Community Development Network Day in Annapolis

St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center is a member of Community Development Network of Maryland (CDN). CDN is a group that represents the interests of housing and community development organizations across the state. Although Maryland communities are diverse in so many ways, CDN unites community organizations on our shared goal of making our communities great places where people can thrive and have access to opportunities. The network gathered in Annapolis to meet with legislators and discuss some of the pending legislation this session that could improve and strengthen our communities.

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left to right: Director of Housing Counseling, Cara Stretch; Staff Attorney Christina Ochoa; Special Assistant to the Executive Director/Compliance Officer, Phillip Westry

We heard from law makers and had the opportunity to connect and share our on-the-ground experiences as community development professionals. By providing testimony and education about how Maryland laws impact our clients, we can be confident that our legislators have an educated perspective to make decisions that will strengthen communities and people. Below are a few of the highlights from our state legislators and leaders:

sam_0261House Appropriations Chairwoman Maggie McIntosh discussed the necessity of housing and addressing poverty if we are to expect strong education outcomes. Delegate McIntosh also emphasized the importance of passing the HOME act during this session to end discrimination in housing based on source of income only.

SAM_0254.JPGHouse Environment and Transportation Committee Chairman Kumar Barve commented that we can’t expect health outcomes or education outcomes to be achieved until we have a safe secure place to live. Many of the bills that impact the community development field are introduced in the House Environment and Transportation Committee.

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Land Use and Ethics Sub Committee Chair Steve Lafferty reiterated the importance of the work of housing counselors in Maryland for not only foreclosure prevention, but also to prepare Maryland families for the future through homeownership counseling and financial literacy.

SAM_0270.JPGMaryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth Holt emphasized the bright future ahead for communities across the state and discussed initiatives to reach the state’s goal of eliminating homelessness.

If you’re interested in learning more about the Maryland government and the general assembly, check out Maryland Manual Online .

If you’re interested in learning more about the work of Community Development Network check out their website here. 

 

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Author: Carla Hinson

Housing, Baltimore, and also Brazil.

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