Officials Work to Crack the Code for Successful Affordable Housing Initiatives

Affordable housing is a hot button issue that can polarize and paralyze communities. At the MACo Summer Conference session, "Breaking Barriers and Building Consensus Around Affordable Housing," attendees heard from experts and county colleagues about the challenges counties face addressing the issues and the ways they can work with communities and stakeholders unify around productive local solutions.  Nicola Y. Whiteman, Esq., Senior Vice President of Government Affairs and Erin Bradley, Vice President of Government Affairs…

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2019 Summer #MACoCon Kicks Off with Planning Training

2019 Summer #MACoCon Kicks Off with Planning Training The 2019 MACo Summer Conference kicked off with the annual planning commission and board of appeals training offered by the Maryland Department of Planning (MDP). This several hour class outlines the history of land use in Maryland, basics of planning and Smart Growth, engaging with elected officials and public, and key land use issues currently facing the state. While designed for planning commissioners and board of appeals members, any…

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Montgomery Unveils Results of Two-Year Apartment Building Inspection Initiative

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich yesterday announced the completion of a  two-year County initiative to inspect 686 apartment buildings – a new protocol that is the most aggressive among large jurisdictions in the Washington area. Over the two-year period, the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) inspected more than 22,000 apartment units, identified more than 31,000 violations and ensured that 96 percent of the violations were corrected. “Tenants deserve to live in safe housing conditions,” said…

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Hogan Administration Releases “A Better Maryland” Development Plan

A Maryland Department of Planning press release (2019-08-07) announced the release of the new state development plan, A Better Maryland. The plan will guide growth, preservation efforts, and infrastructure development throughout the state. Governor Larry Hogan issued an executive order in 2017 ordering the creation of A Better Maryland and rescinded PlanMaryland. MACo had expressed concerns over PlanMaryland due to its top-down approach and creation of new (and in MACo's view redundant) land use classifications. A Better Maryland is developed from…

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State Grant Will Help Allegany Residents Get to Work

Allegany County this week received a $300,000 grant from the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) to provide more residents with reliable transportation to and from work. The three-year pilot program will expand bus routes to and from the North Branch Industrial Park (NBIP) — home to several large employers, providing residents with access to high-quality job opportunities. According to the Cumberland Times-News: “It’s no secret that sometimes transportation is a barrier to employment for individuals,” said…

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Breaking Barriers and Building Consensus Around Affordable Housing

The availability of affordable housing is a pressing issue locally and around the country. With many different strong viewpoints taking action to address the issue can be difficult...but it is not impossible. Learn more about how government leaders ad stakeholders around the state are building bridges around affordable housing policies for their communities at the 2019 MACo Conference session, "Breaking Barriers and Building Consensus Around Affordable Housing." Title: Breaking Barriers and Building Consensus Around Affordable…

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Governing Article Finds Mixed Results From Urban Up-zonings

A Governing article (2019-07) explored the mixed results urban areas have experienced when upzoning from detached single-family housing. As previously reported on Conduit Street, up-zoning has recently been enacted or considered by several cities and states. The Governing article looked at both these recent efforts and several older up-zonings and found mixed results regarding increased housing capacity, affordability, gentrification, and political fallout. The article discussed the history of zoning and the invidious use of single-family zoning and…

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Preservation Maryland Makes Smart Growth & Conservation Presentations Available to All

A Preservation Maryland article (2019-08-01) recounted the Smart Growth and land preservation training offered at Preservation's Maryland Old Line Summit. As a benefit to those who could not attend, the presentations used in each session are being made available as a free resource. From the article: In the first Old Line State Summit since the launch of Smart Growth Maryland as a major program of Preservation Maryland, our one-day conference focused on the collaboration, advocacy,…

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Funding Formula for Senior Nutrition Shifts Dollars from Some Counties

The Eastern Shore's provider of Meals on Wheels and other nutrition programs for seniors received less than half of the funding it has been receiving from the State this year.  A change to formulas for state funding of nutrition programs for area agencies on aging made in 2016 is now in effect. The change, intended to reflect shifts in the population, moves substantial funding from Dorchester, Somerset, Wicomico and Worcester counties, via a reduction to…

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AARP to Fund Nearly $1.6 Million in Community Projects Nationwide

AARP recently announced the largest group of AARP Community Challenge grantees to date - with plans to distribute $1.6 million among 159 grant winners across all 50 states, Washington D.C., Puerto Rice and the U.S. Virgin Islands. “AARP’s teams on the ground across the country hear from mayors, local leaders and residents about the value of getting quick wins to create long-term change. We developed the Community Challenge grant program to answer that call and…

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