Creating Homeowners, Preserving Neighborhoods in Maryland


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Sustainable Communities OK’d in Five Counties Including DHCD’s Future Home in Prince George’s

NOV 3

New-Carrollton-StationCrownsville, MD – With the support of the governor’s Smart Growth Subcabinet, DHCD has approved six new Sustainable Communities, raising to 77 the total number designated communities throughout the State of Maryland.

Sustainable Communities is a place-based community revitalization designation offering a comprehensive package of resources. To participate, municipal and county governments are asked to identify local areas in need of revitalization and create a comprehensive revitalization strategy or “Action Plan” guiding investment in accordance with the principles of sustainability.

The Sustainable Community Action Plan aims to increase economic, transportation and housing choices, and improve environmental quality and health outcomes, among other locally identified goals. Sustainable Community designation encourages interagency and cross-governmental collaboration, aligning State and local resources to address the needs of Maryland communities. Sustainable Communities builds on current federal and state initiatives.

DHCD is especially pleased to announce the designation of the Landover Hills-New Carrollton community in Prince George’s County, which is to be the future location of the Department’s headquarters tentatively beginning Spring 2015.

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Hagerstown is First in Washington County to Join Award-Winning Main Street Maryland Program

OCT 30

Hagerstown-Main-Street-10.30

Hagerstown, MD –Hagerstown has joined the Main Street Maryland program, becoming the ninth community under the O’Malley-Brown administration to participate in the comprehensive initiative to stimulate investment in the state’s traditional downtowns.

Acting Secretary Clarence Snuggs on Thursday joined Hagerstown Mayor David Gysberts and other community and business leaders in Hagerstown’s Public Square to announce the designation.

Becoming a Maryland Main Street isn’t easy. The award winning program looks for factors such as preservation of the historical character, community involvement and sustainability when evaluating an application. Twenty-seven communities in 16 counties have made the grade since Maryland launched the program in 1998. Hagerstown is the first Main Street Maryland community in Washington County.

Once designated, Main Street Maryland communities will receive technical assistance, training and other commercial revitalization services. Designees also receive priority consideration for DHCD funding through programs such as Community Legacy and Neighborhood BusinessWorks.

Since 1998, 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 nearly 2,000 new businesses open, generating more than 7,300 new jobs in historic downtowns across the state.


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New Initiative Will Encourage Consumers to Shop for Maryland-Made Goods in Maryland Shops

OCT. 30

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.

Visit http://www.buymarylanddirectory.com/make-it-to-main-street to learn about opportunities to shop Maryland in your neighborhood.


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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.


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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.

 


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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.

 

 


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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


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Microenterprise Loan Program Awards $1 Million to Expand Opportunities for Smallest Business Owners

Microenterprise-Loan-Program-10.6Crownsville, MD – Two community-based microenterprise lenders received $500,000 loans through DHCD’s Microenterprise Loan Program to help create new opportunities for entrepreneurs in revitalizing communities throughout the state.

Maryland Capital Enterprises, Inc. and the Anne Arundel Economic Development Corporation will serve as intermediaries that originate and administer microenterprise loans. DHCD’s local partners understand their local economy and can provide micro-entrepreneurs with easier access to training and technical assistance. This new public-private partnership will provide better access to capital for establishing and sustaining micro-businesses. Continue reading


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Maryland Communities to Get $5.1 Million for Crucial Development, Infrastructure Projects

After 40 Years, the Federal Community Development Block Grant Program Remains Vital Source of Revenue for Nation’s Rural Communities

CDBG-40th-Anniversary-8.14BERLIN, MD – Lt. Governor Anthony Brown on Thursday joined Secretary Skinner in front of the historic Atlantic Hotel to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Community Development Block Grant program.

The lieutenant governor also announced more than $5.1 million in Fiscal Year 2015 program awards to 12 Maryland counties and municipalities through CDBG’s States and Small Cities Program. Read the release.

Administered by HUD, the program has been a vital source of revenue to help communities across the nation fight deterioration in lower-income neighborhoods and communities and maintain public infrastructure.

Maryland has received over $2.2 billion since the program began, including more than $61 million since 2007.

It has proved a versatile tool in supporting a wide variety of development goals.

The 2015 awards will assist diverse projects including bridge and road repair in the Town of Lonaconing , rehabilitation of an aging water tower in the Town of Elkton, construction of a multipurpose community center in Dorchester County, and down payment assistance for homebuyers in Charles County. The Town of  Berlin will receive $800,000 for storm water improvements to eliminate flooding in the Hudson Branch area. Continue reading

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