YEO Policy Books 2015 Policy Book - Page 46

Maryland Affordable Housing Trust Origin: Maryland General Assembly Link: Click here Summary: The Maryland General Assembly created the Maryland Affordable Housing Trust (MAHT) in 1992 to make affordable housing more available throughout the State of Maryland. The Trust is governed by a Board of Trustees and staffed by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. Talking Points & Important Information: • Keeping housing affordable maintains economic and multicultural diversity. • The Urban Institute found that neighborhoods matter to the well-being of children and families. They are the locus for essential public and private services, with schools perhaps the most significant. Quality grocery stores, reliable child care, safe after-school activities, and healthy recreational facilities also shape the quality of life a neighborhood offers its residents. Neighbors help transmit the norms and values that influence behavior and teach children what is expected of them as they mature. Teenagers in particular are profoundly influenced by their immediate peer groups, which are often dominated by neighbors and school mates who have the potential to either fuel healthy competition over grades and athletics or pressure one another to join risky adventures or engage in illegal activities. Where people live influences their exposure to crime and violence, including the risk of being a victim of burglary or assault. And research increasingly suggests that exposure to crime and violence has far-reaching consequences, such as persistent anxiety and emotional trauma. Finally, some neighborhoods offer better access to job opportunities than others. • For more on keeping housing affordable, click here and here. 2015 POLICY BOOK STATE INTRO LEVEL PAGE 46