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[photo, 100 Community Place, Crownsville, Maryland] The Department works to ensure available housing at all income levels, and encourage strong neighborhoods and viable communities. The Department funds or insures loans for purchase and construction of housing for low-income families; helps low- and moderate-income families buy or rehabilitate houses; and aids nonprofit organizations with grants or loans to house the elderly, developmentally disabled, and homeless. The Department also distributes federal rent subsidies to low-income families; oversees construction, including prefabricated buildings and mobile homes, to ensure that it meets building code standards; and offers weatherization and energy conservation aid to qualified groups and households. To revitalize commercial districts and blighted areas, plan growth and resource development, and provide housing for citizens not served by the private sector, the Department funnels federal and State funds to communities and supports community action and regional development agencies.

100 Community Place, Crownsville, Maryland, February 2006. Photo by Diane F. Evartt.


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Appointed by the Governor with Senate advice and consent, the Secretary of Housing and Community Development is chief executive officer of the Department. The Secretary sets policy, promulgates rules and regulations, and determines the strategies to fulfill the Department's mandate. The Secretary is responsible for the budget of the Department and the budgets of the boards, commissions, and offices under its jurisdiction (Code, Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 2-103, 2-104).

The Secretary chairs the Maryland Building Rehabilitation Code Advisory Council; the Community Legacy Board; and the Commission on Crossroads Development. The Secretary also serves on the Governor's Executive Council; the Base Realignment and Closure Subcabinet; and the Smart Growth Subcabinet. In addition, the Secretary is a member of the Maryland Affordable Housing Trust; the Interagency Committee on Aging Services; the Maryland Agricultural Education and Rural Development Assistance Board; the State Children's Environmental Health and Protection Advisory Council; the Climate Change Commission; the Interagency Disabilities Board; the Maryland State Drug and Alcohol Abuse Council; the Maryland Green Building Council; the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority; the Maryland Advisory Council on Historic Preservation; the Governor's Interagency Council on Homelessness; the State Coordinating Committee for Human Services Transportation; the Interdepartmental Advisory Committee for Minority Affairs; and the Rural Maryland Council.

The Secretary is assisted by the Deputy Secretary. The Deputy Secretary is appointed by the Secretary with the approval of the Governor.


Under the Office of Secretary, the Chief of Staff is responsible for five offices: Communications and Marketing ; Fair Practices; Human Resources; Legislative Affairs; and Policy, Planning, and Research.

The Office of Policy, Planning, and Research began as the Office of Research when the Department of Economic and Community Development formed in 1970. The Office joined the Department of Housing and Community Development in 1987. In 1995, it became the Office of Policy Analysis and Commission Support; in 1996, the Office of Research; and in 1997, Research and Statistics. By 2003, it reformed as Research and, in 2007, as the Office of Research. In July 2008, it reorganized under its present name.

This office analyzes policy issues and develops legislative initiatives. It helps develop Department databases and geographic information systems for policy reporting. The office also prepares the Consolidated Plan (for housing and economic and community development) required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Plan's annual updates, performance reports, and fair housing strategy.


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The Division of Credit Assurance started as the Division of Housing Insurance in 1987. Renamed the Division of Housing Credit Assurance in 1990 (Chapter 321, Acts of 1990), it received its present name in 1996. The Division is responsible for the Maryland Housing Fund and asset management for the multi-family loan portfolio of the Department (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 3-101 through 3-104).


In 1971, the Maryland Housing Fund was established (Chapter 669, Acts of 1971). Through a program of mortgage insurance and other credit enhancements, the Fund assists State citizens of low and moderate income to secure housing. The Fund uses a variety of innovative mortgage insurance programs to stimulate the flow of private investment capital into Maryland for this purpose (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 3-201 through 3-208).


Asset Management began as Housing Management in the Community Development Administration. Renamed Asset Management, it transferred to the Division of Housing Credit Assurance in May 1994 and to the Division of Credit Assurance in 1996. Its functions reformed under Multifamily Asset Management in 1998. Reorganization in 2003 created Asset Management overseeing Single-Family Operations, and Multifamily Operations (now Special Assets).

Asset Management monitors and manages the Department's multifamily portfolio, including State-funded loans and bond loans insured by the Maryland Housing Fund, the Federal Housing Authority, and others. To oversee the portfolio, the unit uses automated databases, standardized procedures, and early warning indicators. The database also provides a means of monitoring performance trends of the portfolio as a whole.

Functions of the Building Codes Administration began with the Code Enforcement Certification Board in 1971. Within the Department of Economic and Community Development, the Board became the Division of Building Codes Administration by 1975. Two years later, the Division was renamed the Codes Administration. When the Department of Housing and Community Development formed in 1987, the Administration reorganized as the Building Codes Administration under the Division of Community Assistance. In 1996, the Administration transferred to the Division of Credit Assurance.

The Administration works with local governments, design professionals, and code inspectors to guarantee that the highest performance standards are met in building construction. Enforcement of the Industrialized Buildings and Mobile Home Regulations, the Model Performance Building Code, the Maryland Accessibility Code, the Maryland Safety Glazing Law, and Maryland Energy Conservation Building Standards are the responsiblity of the Administration.

Industrialized Building Program. Established in 1971, the Program offers certification standards for any building, building subsystem, or component that is manufactured and assembled off-site (Chapter 662, Acts of 1971). The Program encourages the growth of industrialized building construction by using preemptive uniform statewide codes and standards. Building systems that are certified by the State can be used or erected anywhere in Maryland without having to comply with different local building codes, as long as they comply with local zoning laws. The Building Codes Administration also inspects mobile homes to resolve consumer complaints and enforces the standard of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (Code Public Safety Article, secs. 12-301 through 12-313).

The Model Performance Building Code was adopted in 1971 (Chapter 663, Acts of 1971). Based on the National Building Code of the Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc. (BOCA), the State's Model Performance Building Code was intended by the General Assembly eventually to be adopted statewide so builders might adapt their construction practices to a single set of modern, performance-oriented standards. Compliance with that code was voluntary.

In 1993, mandatory standards - the Maryland Building Performance Standards - were enacted by the General Assembly (Chapter 200, Acts of 1993). Also based on the most recent edition of the National Building Code issued by BOCA, these standards apply to all construction permits issued on or after August 1, 1995, with two exceptions. Counties or municipalities lacking any building code had to comply by 1997; those that adopted the Standard Building Code of the Southern Building Code Congress, Inc., by 1999. Local jurisdictions may amend the Maryland Building Performance Standards to meet local needs. A central, automated database that includes the Maryland Building Performance Standards, local amendments, the State Fire Prevention Code, local fire codes, all fire code amendments, and proposed State or federal legislation that directly affects the building industry is maintained by the Department of Housing and Community Development.

Provisions to promote energy conservation in building construction were established by the Maryland Energy Conservation Building Standards Act in 1981 (Code Public Utility Companies Article, secs. 7-401 through 7-408).

The Building Codes Administration administers the Safety Glazing Law (Chapter 116, Acts of 1973). The law requires the use of safety glazing in certain locations for new buildings (Code Public Safety Article, secs. 12-401 through 12-407).

c/o Maryland Revitalization Center, Suite D, 1201 West Pratt St., Baltimore, MD 21223

The Maryland Building Rehabilitation Code encourages and facilitates rehabilitation of buildings by reducing costs of and constraints on rehabilitation resulting from existing procedures and standards (Code, Public Safety Article, secs. 12-1001 through 12-1007). This program was initiated in July 2000 following passage of Chapter 206, Acts of 2000. That law authorized the Department of Housing and Community Development to adopt by regulation the Maryland Building Rehabilitation Code in cooperation with the Maryland Building Rehabilitation Code Advisory Council, the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, and the State Fire Marshal. The Department of Housing and Community Development submitted proposed regulations for the Code to the Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review in December 2000. The regulations went into effect June 1, 2001. In April 2006, the Program and the Advisory Council transferred to the Building Codes Administration.

The Program is aided by the Maryland Building Rehabilitation Code Advisory Council.


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The Division of Development Finance began in 1987 as the Division of Housing Finance (Chapter 311, Acts of 1987). In 1995, it received its present name (Chapter 115, Acts of 1995). The Division consists of the Community Development Administration, which operates finance programs for single- and multi-family housing with the proceeds of revenue bonds issued by the Administration. The Division runs other State housing programs as well (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 4-101 through 4-103).


In 1970, the Community Development Administration formed within the Department of Economic and Community Development (Chapter 527, Acts of 1970). The Administration joined the Department of Housing and Community Development in 1987 (Chapter 311, Acts of 1987).

The Administration works to increase the supply of housing for families of limited income, the elderly, and the disabled. It also fosters sound community development and stimulates the construction industry statewide. Programs that increase home ownership, improve rental housing, build group homes, and assist owners with rehabilitated housing are overseen by the Administration. Programs are funded by the sale of tax-exempt revenue bonds; taxable bonds; State general obligation bonds; general funds; special funds generated through loan repayments, fees, and charges; and federal housing subsidies. The Administration also issues essential function bonds for the Local Government Infrastructure Program.

Projects proposed for financial assistance must comply with local priorities and complement and supplement local community development programs and initiatives. Projects also must meet eligibility criteria and financing requirements (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 4-201 through 4-216).


To raise funds for single-family and multi-family home loans, Bond Finance sells both tax-exempt and taxable bonds. It also directs the investment and accounting of over $2.8 billion in revenue bond assets. Bond Finance reports information about the financial strength of the Community Development Administration and its debt and bond programs to the Department, investment bankers, bond holders, and rating agencies.


Multifamily Housing Programs (formerly Community Development) administers lending programs to increase available housing statewide. Funds either are appropriated by the State or raised through bond sales by Bond Finance. Loans are used by borrowers to purchase single-family homes; construct or rehabilitate rental housing; finance group homes for the elderly and Marylanders with special needs; and assist homeowners with maintenance, rehabilitation, or weatherization. Community development also administers rental assistance programs.

Eleven programs come under Housing Development. They include the Elderly Rental Housing Program, the HOME Program, the Local Government Infrastructure Program, the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program, the Maryland Housing Rehabilitation Program - Multi-Family, the Multi-Family Bond Program, the Nonprofit Rehabilitation Program, the Partnership Rental Housing Program, the Rental Housing Production Program, the Shelter I Program, and the Transitional Housing and Emergency Shelter Program.

Elderly Rental Housing Program. This program was created by the Legislature in 1984. The Program provides below-market-rate or deferred payment loans to developers who agree to construct or rehabilitate rental housing for occupancy by low-income elderly households. Priority is given to developments that serve the lowest income households.

HOME Program. The Program finances construction, acquisition, and rehabilitation of rental housing, owner-occupied housing, and special needs housing, such as group homes. The Program was designated by the Governor to allocate funds from the HOME Investment Partnership Program established by the federal National Affordable Housing Act of 1990 (Title II). HOME funds are used in conjunction with the Homeownership, Housing Development and Special Loan Programs of the Community Development Administration. Projects funded must meet federal HOME regulations. For HOME funds used in conjunction with the Community Development Administration, projects must qualify for the Community Development Administration program. Some funds are allocated to an Opportunities Fund awarded competitively to initiate pilot programs, and support promising projects. Monies from the Opportunities Fund are awarded to projects that neither qualify for nor need funds from other programs of the Community Development Administration, or to those which the Administration, as a matter of policy, has elected not to fund under its existing program.

Local Government Infrastructure Program. This program began as the Local Government Infrastructure Financing Program under the Division of Community Assistance. In 1994, the Program became the Office of Community Assistance and received its present name in 1996. The Program helps local governments access capital markets to finance or refinance improvements to infrastructure. On behalf of local government agencies, bonds are issued to fund projects which provide or improve the physical elements of the public service system. Projects may include improvements to roads, water and sewer systems, parks, public buildings, and other local priorities. The State does not guarantee the bonds.

Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program. The Governor designated this program to allocate tax credits in Maryland under the federal Tax Reform Act of 1986 and Revenue Reconciliation Act of 1989. Tax credits are awarded through a competitive allocation to both nonprofit and for-profit sponsors of low-income housing.

Maryland Housing Rehabilitation Program - Multi-Family. The Program is designed to preserve housing by making direct, low-interest loans for repair and renovation to the owners of apartment buildings with five or more units and commercial properties. Recipients of loans for the renovation of rental properties must make units available to low-income tenants in the same proportion as Program financing to total project costs. Authorized by the General Assembly in 1975, the Program is funded by State general obligation bonds, general funds, and by repayments of principal and interest on outstanding loans (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 4-901 through 4-932).

Multi-Family Bond Program. Below-market-rate construction and permanent financing using taxable and tax-exempt bonds and notes are provided by this program. To be eligible, developments must set aside a portion of the units for limited-income households.

Partnership Rental Housing Program. Authorized by the General Assembly in 1988, the Program started as a two-year pilot project to expand the supply of affordable housing for the working poor. The Program was established by statute in 1990 (Chapter 343, Acts of 1990). In a partnership, local governments provide the finished site, including roads, water, sewer, and other infrastructure, while the Division of Development Finance provides construction and permanent financing for rental housing units (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 4-1201 through 4-1209).

Rental Housing Production Program. The Legislature created this program in 1986 to stimulate production of rental housing for lower-income households. Funds can be used for capital assistance to cover costs of construction, rehabilitation, or acquisition of rental housing; or for mortgage assistance to reduce the operating costs of rental housing. Local governments must make a contribution to reduce costs or otherwise support developments financed through the Program. Priority is given to developments that serve households at 30 percent or less of area median income. The Program is funded with general funds and repayments of principal and interest on outstanding loans (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 4-1501 through 4-1511).

Shelter I Program. Established in January 1990, the Program encourages nonprofit organizations, such as churches and community groups, to take the initiative in sponsoring their initial small housing project for low-income families or individuals. The Program supplies technical assistance and preferred interest rate loans from the programs listed above.

Transitional Housing and Emergency Shelter Program. This program provides grants to improve or create transitional housing and emergency shelters which include supportive services for their tenants. Its purpose is to reduce homelessness in the State. New construction, acquisitions, rehabilitation of housing, and purchase of capital equipment are eligible for grants. Grants may be provided to local governments and nonprofit organizations (Internal Revenue Code, sec. 501(c)(3)). Sponsors must agree to maintain the project as transitional housing or an emergency shelter for a term of 15 years. Local government letters of support are required for all projects.

Under the Community Development Administration, Rental Service provides rental assistance with federal and State funds to low-income families for decent, safe and sanitary housing. Federal rental assistance comes to the State through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development under the Federal Housing Act of 1937 (42 USC 1437, as amended). The office monitors compliance with legal mandates of all rental developments financed with Community Development Administration loans and federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits. Rental Service Programs includes the Rental Allowance Program, and the Section-8 Housing Choice Voucher Program.

Rental Allowance Program. Created by the General Assembly in 1986, this program was first funded in 1987. For low-income homeless households or those with critical or emergency housing needs, the Program subsidizes rent for short terms. The Program is administered through grants to local governments for monthly payments to eligible households. Funding is provided through State general funds (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 4-1401 through 4-1408).

Section-8 Housing Choice Voucher Program. Under the Program, participating landlords make available to low-income families rental housing that meets occupancy standards. To qualify, total family income must be 50 percent or less of the median income for the area in which the housing is located. Through local administering agencies, the Community Development Administration accepts and reviews applications from prospective tenants for participation in the program. Families that qualify are issued Certificates of Family Participation.

The Community Development Administration or the local administering agency guarantees payments to owners who agree to rent to qualifying families. The housing and lease must adhere to federal standards. Through the Community Development Administration, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development subsidizes a portion of the rent. Families may seek rental housing in neighborhoods that best suit their needs.

Under the Voucher Program, rent is established according to a local payment standard. If the rent exceeds the standard rate for that area, tenants may pay no more than 40 percent of their adjusted monthly income.


Home Ownership includes five programs: the Maryland Mortgage Program, the Maryland Home Financing Program, the Live Near Your Work Program, the Reverse Equity Mortgage Program, and the Settlement Expense Loan Program.

Maryland Mortgage Program (More House 4 Less). This program originated in 1980 as the Mortgage Purchase Program and received its present name in July 1987. The Program was implemented when mortgage funds available through private lending institutions dwindled and mortgage rates rose. Designed primarily for first-time home buyers, the Program provides reduced-interest mortgage loans to eligible home buyers through participating lending institutions. In this program, the Administration provides mortgage loans directly to eligible low- and moderate-income persons, or purchases loans made for them by participating lending institutions. Both newly constructed and existing homes are eligible under the Maryland Mortgage Program. Federal law designates certain low-income areas as target areas for which 20 percent of the funds from bond issues must be set aside. In these areas, purchase price limits are slightly higher and buyers are not required to be first-time home buyers.

Using Maryland Mortgage Program funds, the Administration also provides commitments to developers of newly constructed or substantially rehabilitated units for set-asides of mortgage funds for eligible buyers. Projects must have approval from the local government entity. To be eligible, project units must meet the acquisition cost limit for the region.

The Maryland Mortgage Program is funded by the sale of tax-exempt revenue bonds. Both the acquisition cost and income limits are set by the Administration within federal tax law guidelines. Acquisition costs vary by region.

Maryland Home Financing Program. Authorized by the General Assembly in 1972, this program was first funded with the sale of State general obligation bonds in 1973. This direct-loan program expands home ownership opportunities for low-income Marylanders. By virtue of its funding source - General Fund appropriations, and a revolving fund from prior loans under the Program - it differs from the other single-family programs. Loans have been made in every county and Baltimore City (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 4-801 through 4-816; Code Financial Institutions Article, sec. 13-310).

By providing below market loans targeted at households with annual income under $27,650, the Maryland Home Financing Program also stimulates the production and rehabilitation of owner-occupied housing. The Administration encourages local governments and nonprofit organizations to contribute local resources for developments funded through this program.

Live Near Your Work Program. In July 1997, the Program was instituted. A partnership between the Department of Housing and Community Development, local governments, and Maryland's business community, the Program provides a cash incentive for employees to buy homes near their work in neighborhoods designated for revitalization (Code Housing & Community Development Article, sec. 4-215).

Reverse Equity Mortgage Program. Started by the General Assembly in 1986, this program was first funded in 1988 through reserve funds of the Community Development Administration. The Program enables older Maryland home owners to gain access to the accumulated equity in their homes without having to sell or move. No repayment of the loan is required until the eligible borrower dies, sells the house, or permanently moves out of the home.

Settlement Expense Loan Program. Begun by the General Assembly in 1988, the Program provides low interest loans for settlement expenses to eligible low- and moderate-income home buyers who do not have sufficient resources to purchase an affordable home (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 4-301 through 4-309).

In 1986, the General Assembly created special rehabilitation programs to address the housing needs of low-income households. With State general funds, these programs provide low-interest, no-interest or deferred loans for 20-year terms.

Accessory, Shared, and Sheltered Housing Program. This program provides loans to limited-income home owners for housing modifications that create accessory dwelling units or provide for shared housing. Home owners also may receive loans to modify housing as sheltered housing for up to fifteen senior citizens or persons with disabilities who meet income-eligibility requirements.

Group Home Financing Program. Authorized by the General Assembly in 1986 as the Group Home Acquisition Program, the Program received its present name in 1995. With special funds, the Program finances nonprofit organizations to acquire and modify housing for group homes and temporary and emergency shelters serving low-income persons.

Limited-income home owners and landlords of rental properties who rent to limited-income households may qualify for loans or grants under two programs. Loans and grants through the Lead Hazard Reduction Loan and Grant Program finance hazard reduction in residential buildings and buildings that provide services to children. The Indoor Plumbing Program provides loans to finance indoor plumbing and related systems in buildings that lack indoor plumbing or have failing plumbing systems.

Maryland Housing Rehabilitation Program - Single Family. This program preserves owner-occupied one- to four-unit dwellings by making low-interest loans for repair and renovation. Owner-occupants and tenants of rental properties must meet income guidelines set by the Secretary of Housing and Community Development. The Program is administered under the same funding as the Maryland Housing Rehabilitation Programs - Special Assets (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 4-901 through 4-933).

Operating Assistance Grant Demonstration Projects. Started in April 1991, these projects promote the development and improvement of low-income housing and, through operating assistance grants, enable nonprofit organizations to provide it (COMAR Title 5, subtitle 11).

Special Housing Opportunities Program. The Program funds nonprofit organizations (Internal Revenue Code, sec. 501(c)(3)) and local development agencies to construct or acquire and modify housing as shelter for persons with special needs. Created in 1991, the Program complements the Group Home Financing Program and is funded by tax-exempt revenue bonds.


100 Community Place, Crownsville, MD 21032 - 2023

The Division of Finance and Administration began as the Division of Finance and received its present name in 1992. The Community Development Administration, the Maryland Housing Fund, and the Office of the Chief Financial Officer of the Department transferred to the Division in 1994.

Advice and technical support in fiscal matters is provided by the Division to the Department's senior program directors and managers. The Division accounts for Department expenditures and revenues; manages the capital and operating budgets; processes contracts, purchasing and procurement requests; and provides financial analytical review and reporting services. For the Department, the Division oversees financial management and central support services, including telecommunication systems, and facilities and fleet management.

Six offices are overseen by the Division: Accounting; Budget; Facilities and Fleet Management Services; Maryland Housing Fund Finance and Loan Accounting; Procurement; and Systems Analysis and Reporting.


100 Community Place, Crownsville, MD 21032 - 2023

As the Office of Data Processing under the Division of Finance and Administration, the Division of Information Technology originated in 1985. It became the Office of Research and Information Systems under the Office of Secretary in 1988. Renamed Office of Information Systems in 1994, the Office reorganized as the Division of Information Technology and Portfolio Management in 1996, and under its present name in 1998.


100 Community Place, Crownsville, MD 21032 - 2023

The Division of Neighborhood Revitalization started as the Office of Neighborhood Revitalization in 1995 and received its present name in 1996. The Division provides technical assistance, as well as grants and loans, to local governments, small developers, and nonprofit organizations. This aid helps secure and preserve affordable housing and provide community services to Marylanders of low and moderate income (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 6-101 through 6-103).

Division programs are administered through two offices: Administration and Policy; and Community Programs.


Within the Division of Neighborhood Revitalization, the Office of Community Programs first organized in 2003 as the Office of Regional Assistance, and later reformed as the Office of Programs and Regional Development in 2006. The Office adopted it present name in 2008.

This program began in December 1996. For housing rehabilitation, commercial revitalization, economic development, infrastructure improvements, and public services, the Program provides grants to rural local governments. It assists low- and moderate-income households, removes slums and blight, and promotes State and local partnerships for development and revitalization.

To alleviate hunger in Maryland, the Office also provides grants through this federal program to agencies that operate nutrition programs.

Meant to complement existing programs, the Community Legacy Program funds comprehensive revitalization projects in communities that can demonstrate both evidence of decline and signs of strength. Sponsors, such as a local government, a group of local governments, or a community development organization, apply to the Community Legacy Board for financial assistance. Applications include a comprehensive revitalization plan designed to meet the needs and resources of the community to be revitalized (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 6-201 through 6-213).

Formerly in the Department of Human Resources, the Program moved to the Department of Housing and Community Development in 1987. Grants are awarded for administration and programs to local agencies that serve the poor. These funds currently are allocated to seventeen community action agencies and two limited-purpose agencies operating in the State.

For local governments and community action agencies, this program provides federal funds to support emergency and transitional homeless shelters and services for persons without housing.

Created in 1995, the Neighborhood BusinessWorks Program originated as the Neighborhood Business Development Program. The Program stimulates investment in Maryland's older communities. It aids designated neighborhoods to develop, redevelop, or expand small businesses, invests in revitalizing small businesses, and helps local governments develop and expand small businesses (Code Housing & Community Development Article, secs. 6-301 through 6-311).

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July 1, 2009   
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