State lawmakers this past weekend sent legislation to the governor’s desk that would create a public funding tool to address the stubbornly problematic appraisal gap in historically redlined and disinvested neighborhoods in Baltimore and elsewhere across Maryland.
On Saturday, Maryland’s Senate unanimously approved HB1239, which would create a special fund for the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development to help cover the difference between how much a developer spends to renovate or build out a new home in an economically distressed neighborhood, and how much the home sells for based on an appraisal. The legislation awaits Gov. Larry Hogan’s signature.
These funds, to be made available as either grants or tax credits, would be capped at 35% of the price tag for construction costs on a given project or 80% of the national median home sales value — whichever turns out to be less. The program, dubbed the Appraisal Gap From Historic Redlining Financial Assistance Program in the bill, would target designated low-income census tracts under rules to be set by Maryland DHCD.