Creating Homeowners, Preserving Neighborhoods in Maryland


Leave a comment

“Make it to Main Street:” New Initiative Will Encourage Consumers to Shop for Maryland-Made Goods in Maryland Shops and Stores

OCT 30

make-it-to-mainstreet_header

Hagerstown, MD – Just in time for the holiday shopping season, a new partnership between local manufacturers and the Main Street Maryland program will make it easier for consumers to find products that are made in Maryland and sold in Maryland shops and stores, Acting Secretary Clarence Snuggs announced.

The “Make it to Main Street” initiative is part of the state’s ongoing program to strengthen the economic potential of Maryland’s traditional downtown business districts. The initiative grows out of a partnership between the Main Street Maryland program, the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland and Maryland With Pride.Acting Secretary Snuggs announced the “Make it to Main Street” initiative during an event in Hagerstown, the newest Main Street Maryland community.

Founded in 1990, RMI of Maryland represents the interests of manufacturers statewide – providing programs, services, and advocacy.

RMI is creating Buy Maryland – an online directory of companies, businesses And artists that make, raise, or create products, artwork, and/or crafts. The directory will identify those items made and sold in Main Street Maryland communities.

Main Street Maryland is the state’s award-winning program to help communities build the infrastructure they need to attract private insvestment. There are 27 designated Main Street Maryland communities, but the program launches on Oct. 30 with listing for nine pilot Main Streets: Annapolis, Berlin, Cumberland, Denton, Frederick, Frostburg, Hagerstown, Havre de Grace and Salisbury.

RMI is creating Buy Maryland – an online directory of companies, businesses And artists that make, raise, or create products, artwork, and/or crafts. The directory will identify those items made in Main Street Maryland communities and are for sale in Main Street Maryland communities.


Leave a comment

Ribbon Cutting Celebrates New Quality Affordable Rental Housing in Downtown Silver Spring, MD

OCT. 22

Residences-at-Thayer-Ave.-10.22

Silver Spring, MD – Acting Secretary Clarence Snuggs joined Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett for the grand opening of The Residences at Thayer Avenue, new quality, affordable rental housing in the heart of revitalizing downtown Silver Spring and just three blocks from the Silver Spring Metro.

The 52-unit apartment building is an example of the energy efficient, transit-oriented development that is  a priority of the O’Malley-Brown administration.

Including the Residences at Thayer Avenue, DHCD has over 80 affordable rental housing projects throughout the state that are in various stages of construction or underwriting – more projects than the agency has had in play at any time in its history.

“The Residence at Thayer Avenue is a great example of the O’Malley-Brown administration’s commitment to expanding affordable rental housing using a variety of sources, including state and local funds, federal low income tax credits and private investment,” said Acting Secretary Snuggs.

“The resources we invest in affordable rental housing yield more jobs; they yield a stronger economy; they yield stable, culturally diverse and vibrant neighborhoods; and they yield a better quality of life for citizens here in Montgomery County and throughout the state.”

The $14.9 million project was financed in part through Multifamily Development Revenue bonds, the Rental Housing Production Program, the Rental Housing Works initiative and federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits. Montgomery County and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provided additional resources.

“The Residences at Thayer Avenue is just one more example of the county’s using its resources to partner with local housing providers to develop a partnership model that leverages the public and private resources to create needed more affordable housing for the families of Montgomery County,” the county executive said.


Leave a comment

New Grant Program May Make it Easier for Maryland Seniors to Age in Place

OCT. 27

Sheila Loccke, underwriter for Accessible Homes for Senior, talks to a patron during the Baby Boomer Expo at the State Fairgrounds in Timonium.

Sheila Loccke, underwriter for DHCD’s Accessible Homes for Seniors program, talks to a patron during the Baby Boomer Expo at the State Fairgrounds in Timonium.

Crownsville, MD – Maryland senior citizens who own their homes may have more options to age in place under a new program that provides grants of up to $25,000 for improvements such as grab bars and railings, the installation of ramps or the widening of doorways.

DHCD’s Accessible Homes for Seniors program, which previously provided loans to help seniors make their homes more accessible, has been expanded to allow grants for that purpose as well, DHCD announced.

The state legislature approved the grant program last year in response to growing national concern over the graying of the Baby Boom generation, whose need for high quality, independent and financially secure lives is linked more and more to their housing needs.

In Maryland and nationwide, close to 1 in 5 citizens will be 65 years or older by 2030 and affordable, accessible and well-located housing will be central to their quality of life.

Looking at the housing needs of senior citizens from a national perspective, Harvard University’s Center for Housing Policy estimates that 80 percent of older adult households are homeowners although that percentage may change after the rate of homeownership plummeted following the collapse of the housing market. The center recommends policies that help senior citizens retrofit their homes to accommodate disabilities and policies that promote loan modifications to help protect against foreclosures.

In 2012, the legislature established a task force “to study methods for identifying and understanding the renovation and repair needs of low-income and limited-income senior homeowners and identifying resources to assist senior homeowners.” The Accessible Homes for Senior Homeowners Grant program grew out of the task force recommendations.

Visit DHCD’s website to learn more about the Accessible Homes for Senior Homeowners Grant program and other special offers.

 


Leave a comment

DHCD’s Main Street Maryland Program Wins Preservation Maryland’s Stewardship Award

OCTOBER 23

Preservation-Maryland-Stewardship-AwardBaltimore – DHCD’s ongoing efforts to preserve and revitalize the state’s traditional downtown districts have been recognized by Preservation Maryland, the oldest and largest historic preservation organization.

DHCD’s Main Street Maryland program received Preservation Maryland’s Stewardship Award for demonstrating “outstanding achievement in the ongoing preservation and stewardship of historic properties in Maryland.”

The award was presented on Oct. 14 during Preservation Maryland’s annual awards ceremony.

Main Street Maryland strives to strengthen the economic potential of Maryland’s traditional main streets and neighborhoods. Since 1998, the program

In the past 16 years, Main Street Maryland has designated historic downtown commercial areas in 26 communities in 16 counties. When the program began in 1998, the original five Main Street Maryland communities reported 36 business openings, 398 new jobs and $6.1 million in private investments. Since then, the program has helped communities across the state increase investment in downtown historic districts with more than 2,700 private project improvements totaling nearly $214 million in investment. In addition, Main Street Maryland has seen almost 2,000 new businesses open, generating more than 7,300 new jobs in historic downtowns across the state.

 


Leave a comment

DHCD’s Successful Outreach to College Campuses Receives National Recognition for Management Innovation

DHCD Chief of Staff Asuntha Chiang-Smith and Recruitment Manager Amy Kipersztok at the NCSHA annual conference in Boston.

Boston – DHCD’s partnership with a number of area colleges and universities, including the University of Maryland College Park and Bowie State University, received national recognition for management innovation in human resources during the annual conference of the National Council for State Housing Agencies.

DHCD was recognized by its peer housing finance agencies for its success in reaching out to area campuses to expand the range of students applying for internships. Crucial to that success was engaging faculty and staff to help the agency reshape its brand.

Previously perceived as “just another state agency” that recruited liberal arts majors, DHCD worked to help faculty, staff and students better understand its role as a state FINANCE entity that conducts bond financing, single and multi-family housing finance and finances community revitalization. Enlarging its brand helped the agency reach out to talented students in business, architecture and planning schools. The agency paid particular attention to campuses in Prince George’s County, where it will be relocating its headquarters early next year.

 

 


Leave a comment

Demographics Helping Drive Growing Demand for Affordable Rental Housing

Housing-Special-ReportCrownsville, MD – Led by the Millennial Generation, an increasing number of Maryland households are putting off homeownership and choosing to rent, according to a special report on affordable rental housing published Friday by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

Maryland Housing is a new quarterly publication of DHCD’s Office of Research and Statistical Analysis and the Office of Communications and Marketing. It can be found in the Friday 17 editions of the Baltimore Business Journal, the Washington Business Journal, the Daily Record and the Washington and Baltimore editions of the Afro-American Newspapers.

The detailed statistical analysis of the state’s housing market documents the factors driving up the demand for affordable rental housing and how the state has helped finance the record production of new and preserved affordable housing in response.

“Every Marylander, whether they own their home or rent, deserves the opportunity to live in places that are decent, safe and affordable,” said Governor O’Malley in a message in the publication.

The O’Malley-Brown administration’s balanced approach to housing includes expanding access to homeownership through programs such as the Maryland Mortgage Program, fighting to help financially beleaguered homeownerships save their homes through reform of the foreclosure process and financing one of the most aggressive building booms of affordable rental housing in the state’s history using federal low income housing tax credits and state resources such as the Rental Housing Works initiative.

“The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has over 80 affordable rental housing projects throughout the state in various stages of construction or underwriting,” said Acting Secretary Clarence Snuggs. “This is an unprecedented number – more than we have had in play at any time in DHCD history. Just as importantly, those projects will allow us to leverage many times that amount from federal and private sources, so that we will put nearly a billion dollars into the state’s economy.”

In addition to the local publications, Maryland Housing can be viewed by visiting DHCD’s website or by clicking here to download a PDF version.

 


Leave a comment

Echoing Orioles’ Postseason Motto, Baltimore and DHCD Vow “’We Won’t Stop!’ Building Barclay!”

OCT. 10

Barclay-10.3Baltimore – About 60 neighborhood residents, public officials and project partners gathered in the Barclay neighborhood to celebrate the latest phase of a transformative housing and revitalization initiative occurring there.

Phase 2 of Barclay/Midway/Old Goucher redevelopment consists of 69 affordable rental homes and a community center costing $17.8 million.
Acting Secretary Clarence Snuggs was a guest speaker for the community event and was joined by Housing Authority of Baltimore City Commissioner Paul Graziano as Master of Ceremonies.

The multi-million dollar redevelopment plan will transform the Barclay neighborhood by reclaiming older and/or vacant housing stock and creating safe and healthy housing opportunities and community and open spaces. Continue reading


Leave a comment

Regional Specials May Be Over but the Maryland Mortgage Program Remains a Very Special Deal

OCTOBER 9

This summer’s regional specials helped spread the word about the Maryland Mortgage Program.  Beginning in May, DHCD rolled out a 0.25 percent discount on all of its products for homebuyers in Southern Maryland, the Eastern Shore and Western Maryland.

That schedule of discounts may have ended, but Maryland’s premiere homeownership program remains a pretty good – and special – deal.MMP_Logo_FINAL_ColorLogoForLightBG-(2)

The Maryland Mortgage Program works with an ever-expanding network of local and national lenders to make homeownership more accessible and attractive to middle class families. The O’Malley-Brown administration has helped more than 11,000 families realize their dream of homeownership through the Maryland Mortgage Program, totaling more than $2.1 billion.

The program has a lot to offer: competitive rates, significant downpayment assistance and an expanded array of loan products. The program is a particularly important option for first-time homebuyers who may have the income and credit history but not the cash in hand to qualify for a conventional loan. Veterans and active duty military can enjoy even greater savings through the Maryland Homefront program.

In June DHCD launched the Maryland HomeCredit program, giving eligible homebuyers (not just Maryland Mortgage Program buyers) the opportunity to sign up for a federal tax credit of up to $2,000 per year for the life of their mortgage.

Visit the Maryland Mortgage Program website for more information about current specials, downpayment assistance, homebuyer education and more!


Leave a comment

Maryland Housing Agencies Receive Grants to Help 92 Homeless Veterans Find Permanent Homes

hudseal_teal_1WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs have announced more than $62 million to help more than 9,000 homeless veterans find permanent supportive housing, including assistance to 92 homeless veterans in Maryland. Learn more.

The rental assistance is provided through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program, which combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by the Veterans Administration.

Nationally, HUD is awarding $57 million to support 8,276 Tenant-Based Vouchers for rental units in the private market, and $5 million for 730 Project-Based Vouchers for existing units or new construction in specific developments.

In Maryland, the Housing Authority of Baltimore City received $485,463 to provide tenant-based vouchers for 55 veterans. The Harford County Housing Agency in Bel Air received $105,966 for 14 vouchers. The Baltimore County Housing Authority received $186,416 for 23 vouchers, HUD reported.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 166 other followers