PROJECTUsing State Data to Target Homeowner Assistance Fund Dollars Where Owners Are at Risk of Foreclosure

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    Maryland has nearly 1.5 million homeowners, of which we estimate more than two-thirds earn less than 150 percent of the area median income (AMI). The Maryland counties with the highest predicted foreclosure rates (outlined in pink) account for almost all the state’s census tracts where most homeowners are homeowners of color (Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Charles County, and Prince George’s County). These four counties collectively are home to 43 percent of all Maryland homeowners earning less than 100 percent of the AMI, more than two-thirds of whom have outstanding mortgages.

    Predicted foreclosure rate, by county

    Source: Urban Institute.

    Share of homeowners of color, by census tract

    Source: 2019 American Community Survey.

    Guidance from the US Department of the Treasury states that, besides prioritizing homeowners with low incomes, HAF distributions going to eligible homeowners earning above the AMI (but still less than 150 percent of the AMI) should prioritize “socially disadvantaged” groups.

    Two Maryland counties, Prince George’s and Baltimore, have similar foreclosure risk and a comparable number of HAF-eligible homeowners, but the data show higher ownership costs in Prince George’s County. As a result, Prince George’s County has a larger share of HAF-eligible homeowners of color who earn above the AMI. This suggests that policymakers can meet different US Treasury goals in Prince George’s and Baltimore Counties, with Baltimore County satisfying the prioritization of homeowners with low incomes and Prince George’s County meeting the goal of assisting “socially disadvantaged” owners. 

    Homeowners of color earning between 100 and 150 percent of the AMI, as a share of total homeowners

    Source: 2019 American Community Survey.

    Research Areas Housing finance
    Policy Centers Housing Finance Policy Center