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Home Local Maryland Government Announcement Originally published October 16, 2012

LT. GOVERNOR BROWN PROVIDES REMARKS AT GOVERNOR’S HOUSING CONFERENCE



LT. GOVERNOR BROWN PROVIDES REMARKS AT GOVERNOR’S HOUSING CONFERENCE

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                             

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LT. GOVERNOR BROWN PROVIDES REMARKS AT GOVERNOR’S HOUSING CONFERENCE


BALTIMORE, Md. (October 16, 2012) – Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown today gave remarks before more than 800 participants during the opening plenary session of the 2012 Governor’s Housing Conference in Baltimore, highlighting significant progress made to address the foreclosure crisis and boost the housing sector, but also stressing that work still lies ahead.   
 
"Building strong, stable communities starts with making sure that all Marylanders have safe, affordable places to live,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “This conference is a great opportunity to bring leaders from the public and private sector together so that we can work on solutions to our most pressing housing challenges. ”
 
This year’s Governor’s Housing Conference comes as the state’s housing market is showing signs of recovery. September housing data released by the Maryland Association of Realtors showed that compared to last year, home sales increased for the fifth consecutive month, housing inventory declined for the 19th consecutive month, and the median home sales price rose for the eighth consecutive month.
 
However, despite signs of strengthening in the housing market, roughly one in four Maryland homeowners remain underwater on their mortgages, meaning they owe more than their home is worth. 
 
During his remarks, Lt. Governor Brown announced that the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), which co-hosted the conference, will be holding a series of events in 2013 to offer assistance to Maryland homeowners interested in refinancing their home loans. The events will educate homeowners about their refinance options, connect consumers with lenders and offer the opportunity to receive free housing counseling.
 
“These events could affect thousands of homeowners who are not facing foreclosure, but may feel trapped by their negative equity position in homes and could benefit from a reduction in their mortgage payment,” said DHCD Secretary Raymond A. Skinner. 

Helping connect Maryland homeowners with opportunities to refinance will not only help the homeowners themselves, but will also help provide an economic boost to their communities and the State by lowering monthly mortgage payments so families have additional spending money. The refinancing events will be planned across the state beginning in early 2013.
 
The one-day governor’s housing conference is the largest and most comprehensive forum of its kind in the state, convening experts, advocates and lawmakers to discuss issues related to affordable homeownership and rental housing in Maryland. The Homebuilders Association of Maryland and the Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition co-hosted the conference with DHCD. This year’s conference theme, “Restoring Communities Across Maryland: Creating Jobs … Expanding Housing Choice;” reflects the significant role a healthy housing market plays in generating jobs, stabilizing neighborhoods and helping families of all walks of life establish a foundation upon which they can build toward the future.