Press Release

February 15, 2024
Cardin Addresses Housing Insecurity in Southern Maryland
“We have to make affordable housing a priority.”

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin joined Sandy Washington, CEO of LifeStyles of Maryland/Chair of the Southern MD Homelessness Coalition and Dr. Yolanda Wilson, President of the College of Southern Maryland at the College of Southern Maryland for a roundtable discussion on housing insecurity and federal support to help address these issues. They were joined by housing advocates and stakeholders and local officials representing St. Mary’s, Calvert and Charles Counties.

“It’s outrageous that in the wealthiest nation in the world, there are people who can’t afford to pay their rent or live in the communities where they work. We have to make affordable housing a priority,” said Senator Cardin. “Today, the largest single investment of federal support in affordable housing is in the tax code, and we have to maintain it.”

“Families with children who are living in unstable housing environments experience increased stress and frequency of chronic illnesses,” stated Dr. Dianna E. Abney, Charles County Health Officer. “The lack of a secure home acts as a barrier to educational opportunities, healthy food access, and preventive healthcare, and we need comprehensive solutions that ensure everyone in our community can thrive.”

Recent reports indicate that as 20 percent of Southern Maryland renters spend more than 50 percent of their income on rent, 17 percent of these renters receive an eviction filing each year. According to the Southern Maryland Homelessness Coalition, in 2023, there were over 300 people recorded experiencing homelessness in Southern Maryland.

“We’re expanding our partnership to keep front and center the needs of our students and community and making sure that these partnerships are successful so we can help provide support. We have students who experience homelessness, have housing insecurities, food insecurities, transportation and broadband issues,” said Dr. Yolanda Wilson, President of the College of Southern Maryland. “This is something that hits home every day.”

Senator Cardin has introduced the Neighborhood Homes Investment Act tohelp revitalize housing in distressed neighborhoods and expand affordable housing across the country. Senator Cardin is also a co-sponsor of the Affordable Housing Credit Improvement Act, comprehensive legislation to expand and strengthen the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (Housing Credit), our nation’s most successful tool for encouraging private investment in the development and preservation of affordable housing.