Five ways homeowners can save on their energy bills

money-finance-bills-bank-notesThe typical U.S. family spends at least $2,200 a year on home utility bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Unfortunately, a lot of that money and energy is wasted.

“We are not as energy-conscious as we should be,” said Glenn Thompson, regulatory and compliance inspector for DHCD’s division of credit assurance. “Most Maryland homeowners don’t know how easy it is to cut down energy use in their homes and save money on utility bills.”

Buying a home may be the single largest investment you make. With down payment and mortgage costs, it’s easy to forget bills like electric, water and waste disposal.

In addition to helping you finance your house, we’re here to help protect your investment, so we compiled a list of energy-saving tips to ensure that you’re making smarter energy choices and saving money at the same time.

This week, we listed five cooling tips homeowners can use this summer.Read More »

Maryland’s Next Frontier in Economic Development

Secretary Kenneth Holt answers questions after his address from The Daily Record's Bryan Sears and The Sun's Michael Dresser.
Secretary Kenneth Holt answers questions after his address from The Daily Record’s Bryan Sears and The Sun’s Michael Dresser.

Housing Secretary Kenneth Holt spelled out steps the Hogan administration would take to erase the lingering effects of the Great Recession when he addressed “Maryland’s Next Frontier in Economic Development,” a panel at the Maryland Association of Counties conference in Ocean City on Friday.

Governor Larry Hogan will revamp the regulatory environment and infuse the economy with the capital it needs to grow, Holt said.

Holt said the state Department of Housing and Community Development will help builders to expand the production of single-family homes and multifamily units to increase the amount of housing stock available to residents. The department will expand lending to the small business community.

“We have the capacity to raise capital through revenue bonds. We are not relying on the general fund to exist. We are going to expand lending to local infrastructure,” Holt said.

Holt called Hogan an “action-oriented governor.” Holt also said the state was working to see that the FBI relocate to the state.

“We have an interest in assisting the millennial generation with their student debt,” Holt said. “Something needs to be done on student debt. We are seeking statutory change to allow that debt to be rolled into their first mortgage.”

The secretary said he wanted to offer real-estate owned properties at a discount to those with student debt.

Tweets from the MACo conference.

Doug Tallman

HUD Pours More Funds in Housing Grant Program to Support Rural Nonprofits

Funds appropriated from the Rural Capacity Building program are intended to serve high-need rural areas and enhance the capacity of organizations who participate in community development activities in those areas.
Funds appropriated from the Rural Capacity Building program are intended to serve high-need rural areas and enhance the capacity of organizations who participate in community development activities in those areas.

WASHINGTON – The Department of Housing and Urban Development added more funds to its Rural Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Grants program.

The Rural Capacity Building program helps applicants with demonstrated expertise in affordable housing and community development in high-need rural communities. Through this program, HUD recognizes the vital role nonprofit organizations play in putting community-building programs into place such as the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, especially in rural areas.

HUD anticipates awarding a total of $5 million to four winners, with each recipient receiving between $500,000 and $2,500,000. Eligible applicants must have IRS 501(c)(3) status and demonstrate experience working with rural housing in one or more states in five or more of HUD’s regions.

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DHCD to lead discussions on improving local economies and communities

water dome frostburg
DHCD provided LGIF bond proceeds of $1.4 million for the City of Frostburg to install dome covers for their water plant to protect and safeguard the public water supply from airborne contaminates.

Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference next week in Ocean City

NEW CARROLLTON, MD – DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt and senior department officials will lead three sessions at the MACo Summer Conference on strategies to improve local communities and change Maryland’s economy for the better. The MACo Conference will take place on Aug. 12-15, 2015 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s theme is – “Energize. Mobilize. Capitalize.”

With mortgage and small business lending capabilities, public infrastructure financing, and grant and loan programs to improve communities, DHCD plays a unique role in building a stronger, healthier Maryland economy.

As part of the Hogan administration’s commitment to improving the economic climate, DHCD has an arsenal of tools to encourage job creation, grow small businesses and increase homeownership in Maryland.

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Groundbreaking for Affordable Housing in Downtown Baltimore Shows Governor Hogan’s Commitment to City’s Revitalization

Secretary Holt joins city officials for the groundbreaking of Mulberry at Park Apartments, a 68-unit building that will provide affordable housing for Baltimore City residents.
Secretary Holt joins Baltimore officials for the groundbreaking of Mulberry at Park Apartments, a 68-unit complex that will provide affordable rental housing for Baltimore families.

New Carrollton, Md. – New affordable rental housing near downtown Baltimore will help revitalize the city’s West Side and change things for the better for families and individuals with special needs, Governor Larry Hogan said today.

“Baltimore City residents will benefit because of the investments we are making to ensure Maryland has more affordable housing options,” the governor said.

DHCD Secretary Kenneth Holt on Tuesday joined Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, local officials and development leaders to celebrate the groundbreaking of Mulberry at Park Apartments, a 68-unit affordable apartment complex in the Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District of West Side Baltimore.

The Hogan administration helped finance the project with more than $1.5 million in 9% Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits and a $1.4 million Rental Housing Program loan.

During the ceremony, Secretary Holt highlighted the  administration’s commitment to supporting affordable rental housing development as an economic catalyst and job-creation engine in Maryland. Mayor Rawlings-Blake announced the unveiling of Leveraging Investments in Neighborhood Corridors Strategy, a development initiative aimed at improving five of Baltimore’s major corridors.

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Governor Hogan Announces More Than $5.6 Million to Enhance the Quality of Life in 13 MD Communities

The 2016 Community Development Block Grant awards will help communities all over Maryland fund vital projects such as renovations that will enable The ARC Carroll County to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The 2016 Community Development Block Grant awards will provide much-needed funding to 13 Maryland communities for vitally important projects such as renovations  to this new facility in Westminster that will allow The ARC Carroll County to continue  its work enhancing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

New Carrollton, Md. —The construction of a million gallon water tank in the Town of Westport, the expansion of a food pantry in Easton and the rehabilitation of a senior home in Leonardtown to make it more energy efficient rehabilitation are among the projects benefitting this year from DHCD’s Community Development Block Grant program.

The Hogan administration announced more than $5.6 million in CDBG funds to 13 Maryland municipalities and counties. The funds will support projects that provide housing and infrastructure improvements and support economic development for Maryland communities.

Awardees also include rehabilitation of low income housing in Dorchester and Garrett counties and Pocomoke City, several infrastructure improvement projects and funding for a water tank, pump station and service lines that is critical to the retention of 800 jobs at the Verso Paper Mill in Allegany County.

See the list of 2016 awardees below.

CDBG is a federally funded, competitive grant program designed to help Maryland communities meet a wide range of economic, social and physical environment needs. The program has been a vital and versatile source of revenue to help communities across the nation fight deterioration in lower-income neighborhoods and communities and maintain public infrastructure.

Maryland has awarded over $242 million since 1987 to over 850 awardees.

CDBG embodies the Hogan administration’s commitment to changing Maryland for the better through development projects that enhance the quality of life for Maryland citizens in communities throughout the state.

List of 2016 grantees: Read More »

DHCD Prepares Students for the Workforce through Baltimore City YouthWorks Summer Program

Baltimore YouthWorks students participated in a college and career ready workshop, hosted by the DHCD Office of Human Resources.
Baltimore YouthWorks students participated in a resume writing and mock interview workshop, hosted by the DHCD Office of Human Resources.

Landing a summer job is a rite of passage for many high school students.

Whether it’s part-time or seasonal, organizations keep teenagers busy during summer vacation while helping them earn a paycheck.

Last month, Governor Hogan committed $1 million in state funding to provide summer job opportunities for Baltimore City youth.

Funding was allocated to the Youth Works and Hire One Youth programs through the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.

Through YouthWorks, DHCD hired two student interns to work at our office in Baltimore City.  YouthWorks matches young people between the ages of 14 and 21 to five-week work experiences with private sector, nonprofit and government employers.

“As a national leader in affordable housing and community development, we are always hiring people that will challenge the status quo, effectively communicate ideas and implement efficient housing solutions for Maryland citizens,” said Amy Kipersztok, recruiting manager for DHCD’s office of human resources. “Through YouthWorks, we can show our young people the value of coming to work and knowing that what they do makes a difference in the community.”Read More »

New Resources Will Help Borrowers with Significant Student Loan Debt Move into Homeownership

Secretary Holt says the
Secretary Holt says the “You’ve Earned It!” initiative will help members of the Boomerang generation move out of their parents’ basements and into homeownership.

New Carrollton, MD – Maryland is putting more resources into a popular initiative to help members of the Millennial generation who have been unable to move into homeownership because of significant student debt.

Governor Larry Hogan and Secretary Kenneth Holt said the state will commit $70 million for the next phase of the “You’ve Earned It!” program for Maryland Mortgage Program borrowers who have more than $25,000 in student loan debt and are purchasing a home in one of the state’s Sustainable Communities.

The program is aimed at assisting potential buyers, particularly members of the so-called “Boomerang Generation,” who are employed and have good credit but are saddled with student debt that is proving a barrier to homeownership. These young people are more likely to live with their parents than were young people one or two decades ago and they are saddled with significantly more student loan debt than their predecessors.Read More »

Net-Zero: Suitland Home is 100 Years Old But State-of-the-Art When it Comes to Energy Efficiency

This Net Zero home in Suitland, MD features 20 solar panels on top of the house, a rain barrel irrigation system, low maintenance vinyl fencing and non-invasive plants in the front yard.

Suitland, MD – A renovated home in Suitland may be 100 years old but as the first Net-Zero home in Prince George’s County it represents the state-of-the-art in energy efficiency.

The house will be a stop on a tour hosted by the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo when the group meets in Washington, D.C. in November. Greenbuild is the world’s largest conference dedicated to architects, engineers, designers and contractors in the green building industry.

DHCD helped fund the project through its Neighborhood Stabilization Program, a federally funded initiative that helps state and local governments purchase, rehabilitate and redevelop foreclosed or abandoned homes to stabilize neighborhoods and stem the decline of house values of neighboring homes. View a video to learn more about Net-Zero homes.

“Our programs support projects that can enhance neighborhood sustainability and inspire Maryland families to put down roots in our traditional communities,” said Anne Stringer, DHCD’s assistant director of community programs.Read More »

Riverwoods at North East Holds Grand Opening in Cecil County; Apts. Fully Leased in Three Months

Residents, development leaders and local officials celebrated the opening of Riverwoods at North East Apartments with an official ribbon cutting held Wednesday, June 30. From left: Robert Iber, Director of Baltimore Multifamily Program Center, U.S. DHUD; Chickie Grayson, President, Enterprise Homes; Edmund Delany, Senior VP, Capital One Bank; Paul Stark, Vice Mayor, Town of North East; Ron Wilson, Director of Housing Initiatives, Enterprise Homes; and Christine Caudillo, Property Manager, Habitat America.
From left: Robert Iber, director of Baltimore Multifamily Program Center, U.S. DHUD; Chickie Grayson, president, Enterprise Homes; Paul Stark, vice mayor, Town of North East; Ron Wilson, director of housing initiatives, Enterprise Homes; and Christine Caudillo, property manager, Habitat America. Photo by Alan Gilbert.

North East, MD – Community leaders and residents celebrated the grand opening of Riverwoods at North East Apartments in Cecil County, capping the evening with a community barbecue. The 76-unit, garden-style community is on Riverwoods Rd. next to Route 40 and nearby North East Creek.

Riverwoods at North East Apartments serves a tremendous demand in Cecil County for affordable rental housing. DHCD helped fund the development through the agency’s Rental Housing Production Program and federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits.

“It took less than three months for all 76 units to fill up. This only shows that affordable rental housing is needed more than ever,” said Brein O’Toole, deputy director of DHCD’s multifamily unit. “Funding this development emphasizes our commitment to the well-being of Maryland’s hardworking citizens and to helping them find a balance between family life and work life.”

Read More »