Counties: Weather Preparedness Initiative Should Include Multi-Unit Dwellings

On January 26, 2023, Legislative Director Kevin Kinnally testified before the Senate Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee in support of SB 0077 – Housing and Community Development – Homeowner’s Extreme Weather Mitigation and Preparation Grant Program with amendments.

The bill’s cross-file, HB 0190, will be heard in the House Environment and Transportation Committee on February 2, 2023.

By establishing the Homeowner’s Extreme Weather Mitigation and Preparation Grant Program, SB 0077 would help homeowners, local governments, and nonprofit organizations rectify water damage to residential properties caused by dangerous inclement weather events. As written, the bill’s language excludes residences able to accommodate higher levels of density, inadvertently leaving many Marylanders unprotected from the worsening extremes of climate change. To insure the bill’s intent is successfully realized, the Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) suggests amending the bill to expand its applicability beyond single-family homes.

From the MACo Testimony:

SB 77 seeks to harden our communities against the worst impacts of climate change but, as drafted, it excludes a significant cross section of building types that many Marylanders call home. As the housing crisis has become more acute, it is evident that policy makers must do more to preserve existing affordable housing. By excluding housing types that can accommodate a higher level of density, this legislation could inadvertently invest resources too narrowly, leaving vulnerable a major segment of our communities and undermining this bill’s noble intent.

More on MACo’s Advocacy:

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2023 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database

Learn more about MACo’s 2023 Legislative Initiatives

Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog