Gov. Harry Hughes, appearing before television cameras for the second straight day to unveil a plan to ease the housing crunch, today announced that Maryland will provide $116 million to finance housing programs for low and middle-income families.
Hughes said the state will use revenues from bond sales to provide loans for developers and public housing authorities for construction of low-income apartment complexes and for mortgages for low and middle-income home-buyers. He said $96 million will be lent through the state Community Development Administration and will result in 1,500 new housing units. Some $14 million will be allocated to residents of Montgomery and Prince George's counties.
The day before, Hughes announced that $20 million in funds from the state's pension system was being directed to a savings and loan in Baltimore to finance 350 new home mortgages.
The governor said both programs "represent a very significant effort on the part of the state" to help curb unemployment and revive the depressed housing industry. Neither program costs the state any money, Hughes said.
As he has done increasingly in recent months, Hughes used the forum of a press conference today to draw attention to a program that highlights his liberal social philosophy and that distinguishes his Democratic administration from that of President Reagan.
Although the loan program announced today was approved by the legislature three years ago, before Reagan took office, Hughes said it would help the state counter "the effects of federal economic policies (that are) contributing to our intolerable unemployment rate . . . (and) reduce the burden on some of our citizens."
Sources in the executive branch said the governor will announce yet another plan tomorrow in which some $2.5 million in state funds will be committed in this year's supplemental budget--and $5 million for several years thereafter--for a loan program for minority businesses. Six state banks will participate in that program, the sources said. Hughes will also include in that budget money for black colleges, a political quid pro quo that was worked out with the legislative Black Caucus when the governor sought their votes on a controversial bill to raise the drinking age.
The loan program for construction and mortgages of low and middle-income housing units was approved by the General Assembly in 1979 and bonds were authorized for sale the next year. In 1980 the state loaned $87 million in the first leg of the program, which allows the state to earmark 20 percent of its lendable revenues from the bond sales for mortgages in targeted areas.
Of the money provided this year through the Community Development Administration, $31 million will be lent at 9.5 percent interest rates for construction of 493 apartment units for the elderly, the handicapped, and low-income families. None of the construction projects receiving loans is located in the Washington metropolitan area.
The largest block of CDA funds, some $65 million, will be available for 30-year mortgages for 1,100 low and middle-income home-buyers, at 13.9 percent interest. The state agency will divide the money around the state according to population. Prince George's County will receive $7.5 million and Montgomery County will obtain $6.5 million.
To qualify for the loans, borrowers must have incomes below $33,000 for a family of two or more, or below $28,000 for an individual, and must not have owned a home during the previous three years. Loans will be available for new homes and those under construction. But for residents of Prince George's and Montgomery Counties, loans will be provided only for houses that cost less than $60,000.