Creating Homeowners, Preserving Neighborhoods in Maryland


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Building Beautiful Homes: Annual Tour Helps DHCD Staff Remember Why They Do What They Do

JULY 18

Secretary Skinner receives a plaque of appreciation from Kamau Wise, a resident of the Lillian Jones apartments.

Secretary Skinner receives a plaque of appreciation from Kamau Wise, a resident of the Lillian Jones apartments.

Baltimore – The plaque, presented with a shy but beaming smile, read “Thank you Secretary Skinner for our beautiful home, from the children of the Lillian Jones Apartments,” and it had more than a dozen youthful signatures.

That presentation from young Kamau Wise capped a daylong tour of DHCD-funded projects in Baltimore City, where Secretary Skinner and staff members with DHCD’s Community Development Administration got to see the department’s single family and multifamily programs in action.

The Community Development Administration is the housing finance arm of DHCD, working to build homeownership and increase the supply of affordable rental housing for working families, senior citizens and individuals with special needs.

Those programs have a dramatic impact on the state’s economic well-being. Each year, DHCD programs create jobs, stimulate the economy and generate millions of dollars in state and local taxes. In fiscal year 2013, for example, DHCD programs had an economic impact of nearly $24 for every dollar spent.

But those programs have an even more significant and far-reaching impact on what Governor O’Malley calls the most important place in the state – the family home. Staff members got to see that impact firsthand Friday during tours of projects such as Wayland Village, Village Crossroads, City Arts and the Lillian Jones Apartments.

Those projects exemplify DHCD’s success at putting housing to work – to strengthen and stabilize neighborhoods and families. The City Arts and Lillian Jones projects have won national awards for innovation and vision.

But the plaque from the children of the Lillian Jones Apartments pretty much said it best: at the end of the day, DHCD programs are about building beautiful homes – for children, for senior citizens, for families of all walks of life all over the state.


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DHCD Earns National Honors for Sustainable Communities; Baltimore and Annapolis Projects

JULY 21

Long-time community activist Lillian Jones attended the groundbreaking for the award-winning senior apartments project named in her honor.

Long-time community activist Lillian Jones attended the 2012 groundbreaking for the award-winning senior apartments project named in her honor.

Crownsville, MD – The multi-year effort to replace deteriorating public housing in Annapolis and the construction of new affordable housing for senior citizens in west Baltimore were recognized last week by the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials as examples of innovative projects that met the needs of people in the communities they serve.

NAHRO also recognized the Maryland Sustainable Communities initiative, the comprehensive community revitalization strategy that brought the state’s several programs under a single designation. To date, 55 communities have been designated “Sustainable Communities” and more than 70 have applied. The designation makes a community eligible for a comprehensive package of resources as part of a holistic strategy for community development, revitalization and sustainability.

Working with Anne Arundel County and the Annapolis Housing Authority, DHCD has built attractive, new energy efficient public housing at Annapolis Gardens, Bowman Court, Obery Court and College Creek with more projects in process. Those rebuilding efforts also include homeownership opportunities for residents through partnership with Habitat for Humanity and other groups. Continue reading


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Fiscal Year 2015 Funding Applications for Two of Maryland’s Most Effective Revitalization Programs Due July 15

MAY 30

Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund Awards

Joined by Frederick Mayor Randy McClement, Governor O’Malley, and Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Deputy Secretary Snuggs announces the Fiscal Year 2014 Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Investment Fund award winners at Baltimore’s Old Town Mall.

Crownsville, MD – The Fiscal Year 2015 round for the Community Legacy program and the Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund are open. Applications are due July 15.

Governor O’Malley’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget, as approved by the Maryland General Assembly, includes $6 Million in capital funds for Community Legacy and $7.5 Million Capital Funds for the Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund.

Community Legacy provides local governments and community development organizations with funding for essential projects aimed at strengthening communities through activities such as business retention and attraction, encouraging homeownership and commercial revitalization.

The Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund seeks to catalyze activities that accelerate economic development, job production and smart growth in existing Maryland communities. It aims to improve the economic viability of “grey field development” which often faces more barriers than sprawling “green field development.” Since funds are limited, awards focus on those smart growth projects that can have a high economic and revitalization impact in their existing communities.

Organizations that did not participate in application training on May 14 or May 19, can click here for more information on Community Legacy or here for information on the Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund.

Or organization can ontact the appropriate project manager for training and information on how to apply.


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Sustainability Movement Builds in Maryland; Five New Sustainable Communities Brings Total to 71

MAY 28

Reisterstown-Sustainable-Communities

Historic Reisterstown in Baltimore County is one of five new Sustainable Communities in Maryland.

Crownsville, MD - Five neighborhoods in three counties have committed to a revitalization plan to conserve resources and strengthen reinvestment in traditional downtown business districts, bringing the number of Sustainable Communities in Maryland to 71.

Maryland’s Smart Growth Subcabinet approved the new Sustainable Communities during meetings on April 16 and May 21.

Reisterstown is Baltimore County’s sixth Sustainable Community. A national historic district founded in 1758, Reisterstown became an important crossroads for travelers commuting from Baltimore City along Reisterstown Road to Pennsylvania and points further north and west. As with many historic communities, Reisterstown has experienced significant decline in its commercial corridor. Working in conjunction with the community, the county plans to revitalize its main street by seeking a Maryland Main Street designation, capitalizing on its historic building fabric and implementing promotional activities such as, a Buy Local Campaign, Farmers Market and Clean Green 15 (monthly 15 minute clean-ups). Continue reading


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The Baltimore Design School, Made Possible With Community Legacy Funds, is Named MEDA Economic Redevelopment Project Winner

MEDA-Award-5.8

MEDA President Lawrence F. Twele, CEcD; Secretary Raymond Skinner; N. Gordon Knox, Miles & Stockbridge

BALTIMORE – The Maryland Economic Development Association  has named the Baltimore Design School its MEDA Economic Redevelopment Project Award winner. This project was nominated by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and recognizes Seawall Development Corporation for their commitment to economic development and revitalization in the State of Maryland.

Housed in the former Crown Cork & Seal Company factory building—an abandoned space since 1986—the Baltimore Design School created a state-of-the-art public school delivering educational rigor and training in the areas of fashion design, graphic design, and architecture.

The project, to date, has had a substantial impact on the Baltimore City tax base. The adaptive re-use and sustainable design of the project led to a $3 million dollar award in Sustainable Communities Tax Credits. The school also received a $100,000 award from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Legacy Program, which funds key revitalization projects.

“The Baltimore Design School showcases the power of redevelopment,” said Pamela J. Ruff, Executive Director of MEDA. “The school infuses new life into the community, and new economic possibilities into students’ futures.”

Seawall Development Corporation and the Baltimore Design School were celebrated at the 2014 MEDA Awards Ceremony on April 28, held in conjunction with the MEDA Conference at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, Maryland.

About the MEDA Awards:
Sponsored by Miles & Stockbridge P.C., the MEDA Awards recognize outstanding efforts to attract new businesses, assist existing businesses, redevelop business districts, market communities, and support workforce development, tourism, and agriculture.

About MEDA:
MEDA enhances the knowledge and skills of its nearly 500 members and encourages partnerships and networking among those committed to bringing jobs and investment to Maryland. Since 1961, MEDA has operated as a nonprofit organization of economic development professionals, whose members promote the economic well-being of Maryland and work to improve the state’s business climate.


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Baltimore’s Wylie Funeral Home Opens Second Facility With Small Business Loan Through DHCD’s Neighborhood BusinessWorks Program

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined members of the Wylie family for the grand opening of their new funeral home which was made possible by a grant through DHCD's Neighborhood BusinessWorks program. Neighborhood BusinessWorks provides gap financing to new or expanding small businesses in sustainable communities throughout Maryland.

Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake joined members of the Wylie family for the grand opening of their new funeral home which was made possible by a loan through DHCD’s Neighborhood BusinessWorks program. Neighborhood BusinessWorks provides gap financing to new or expanding small businesses in sustainable communities throughout Maryland.


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Clearing Away the Old to Make Way for the New: Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund Awards Announced

Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund Awards

Joined by Frederick Mayor Randy McClement, Governor O’Malley, and Mayor Rawlings-Blake, Deputy Secretary Snuggs prepares to announce the award winners.

Baltimore- In front of the vacant storefronts of Old Town Mall in East Baltimore, Governor Martin O’Malley joined Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, and DHCD Deputy Secretary Clarence J. Snuggs to announce Smart Growth awards for revitalization of the Mall and similar sites around Maryland. Through the Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund, 13 projects in Sustainable Communities will receive $5 million.

Once a bustling commercial center, Governor O’Malley cited Old Town Mall as the perfect example of an area and project where targeted State funds can leverage create the investment and partnerships to positively transform neighborhoods. Today’s awards are expected to leverage an additional $292 in public and private investment for “Smart, Green & Growing” revitalization activities that accelerate economic growth, encourage sustainability, and improve residents’ quality of life.

“This funding builds on a wide variety of efforts to strengthen communities and support smart, sustainable projects like the redevelopment of Old Town Mall right here in Baltimore City and across our great State.”

The Baltimore Development Corporation and the Housing Authority of Baltimore City recently issued a request for proposals for the redevelopment of the Mall’s 17-acre site to create a mixed-income, mixed-use commercial district that, according to the Mayor will link “Downtown to Old Town.” The project was awarded $300,000 through the Fund specifically for demolition of the Mall’s blighted properties to prepare for this redevelopment.

After brief remarks, Deputy Secretary Snuggs announced the awards and recognized the representatives from each project. He then joined the Governor and Mayor for a tour of Mall and surrounding areas led by the City’s Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation.

For more details on today’s awards, visit http://www.governor.maryland.gov/blog/?p=10229

Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund Awards

Governor O’Malley and Mayor Rawlings-Blake tour the Old Town Mall area


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The Community Development Program at Work: Rehabilitating Homes for Wicomico County Families

NATIONAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT WEEK – Day 3

InNew Home recognition of National Community Development Week, DHCD is marking the 40th anniversary of the federal Community Development Block Grant program by featuring a CDBG project each day.

The program is one of the agency’s most significant tools. Through it, Maryland has invested $235 million of grant funds in 810 projects in smaller municipalities and rural counties. The projects have leveraged over $1 billion. CDBG also responds to natural disasters and special issues such as foreclosure prevention. In recent years DHCD has administered $30 million in disaster relief and $31 million in foreclosure relief through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

Today’s featured project is in Wicomico County.

Since 1992, Wicomico County has used $2.45 million in CDBG funds to rehabilitate 184 houses. Those funds were leveraged with additional resources from the county, DHCD and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Wicomico County provides conditional grants and/or zero percentage interest loans to low and moderate income homeowners.

On average, the county spent $29,000 per home to repair code violations, replace roofs, replace of septic tanks, build ADA compliant bathrooms or ramps, and remove lead paint.


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The Community Development Block Grant Program at Work: A Glass Manufacturing Firm in Western Maryland

Simon-Pearce-3-20-07-006

NATIONAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT WEEK – Day 2

Mountain Lake Park, MD – In recognition of National Community Development Week, DHCD is marking the 40th anniversary of  the federal Community Development Block Grant program by featuring a CDBG project each day.

The program is one of the agency’s most significant tools. Through it, Maryland has invested $235 million of grant funds in 810 projects in smaller municipalities and rural counties. The projects have leveraged over $1 billion. CDBG also responds to natural disasters and special issues such as foreclosure prevention. In recent years DHCD has administered $30 million in disaster relief and $31 million in foreclosure relief through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

Today’s featured project is in Garrett County.

A CDBG grant of $1,500,000 was awarded to Garrett County in 1998 to subgrant to Simon Pearce, Inc. to assist with the opening of the Simon Pearce, Inc. manufacturing facility. The company’s founder, Simon Pearce, is an Irish born entrepreneur of glassblowing and pottery. While traveling through western Maryland, he decided to open a second facility in Mountain Lake Park. Through an extensive job training program, the company taught local residents the art of glassblowing.

Garrett-Co_Simon-Pearce-3-20-07-001

 


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The Community Development Block Grant Program: 40 Years of Building Strong Communities in Maryland

Youth-Service-Building

A grant through the Community Development Block Grant program helped make the Carroll County Youth Service Bureau building possible.

 NATIONAL COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT WEEK

In recognition of National Community Development Week, DHCD will mark the 40th anniversary of one of the agency’s most significant tools – the federal Community Development Block Grant program.

This U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development program provides for flexible funding of a wide variety of projects and activities. Its primary purpose is to benefit persons of low and moderate income. In 1987, the state took over the administration of the State and Small Cities CDBG program.

Through it, Maryland has invested $235 million of grant funds in 810 projects in smaller municipalities and rural counties. The projects have leveraged over $1 billion. CDBG also responds to natural disasters and special issues such as foreclosure prevention. In recent years DHCD has administered $30 million in disaster relief and $31 million in foreclosure relief through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

One such project was the Youth Service Bureau building in Westminster.

In 2008, DHCD awarded a CDBG grant of $650,000 for construction of the building. The county sub-granted the funding to the Carroll County Youth Services Bureau who have provided outpatient mental health services since 1972. They provide a range of services to children, adults and families who are primarily of low and moderate income.

The 20,000 square foot building was necessary due to the increase in the demand for their services. The CDBG funds were matched with a $3.9 million grant from the Maryland Department of Juvenile Services. An additional $2 million was raised through a fundraising campaign.

They have served over 6,500 people at the new facility since its opening.

Playroom

Playroom in the Carroll County Youth Service Bureau building.

 

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