Creating Homeowners, Preserving Neighborhoods in Maryland


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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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MD Issuing $41 Million in Local Government Infrastructure Financing Program Bonds

Unprecedented Sale to Provide Critically Needed Infrastructure Improvements in Six Municipalities

CROWNSVILLE, MD – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is selling more than $41 million in bonds through the Local Government Infrastructure Financing program, the largest issuance in the nearly 30-year history of the program.

Proceeds from the Aug. 11 sale will provide much-needed resources for critically needed local projects including shoreline protection in the Town of Charlestown; emergency response equipment in the City of Cumberland; street improvements in the Town of North East; water and sewer improvements in St. Mary’s County; and a wastewater treatment plant upgrade in Taneytown.

“This program helps our small municipalities invest in essential projects that have been deferred for far too long,” said Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley. “Working together and by pooling our resources, we can help local governments across the state raise the resources to build and maintain the infrastructure they need for an economy that works.

Through the Local Government Infrastructure Financing Program, DHCD issues bonds on behalf of counties, municipalities, or their agencies to finance projects that serve the community at large. The department has at its disposal the expertise and resources to manage the details of public bond issuance, and to help local governments navigate successfully through the complexities of tax-exempt bond financing.

The program generates savings in the costs of borrowing by pooling local demand and securing affordable capital with advantageous terms. Since the first bond financing in 1988, the program has financed 346 distinct local projects totaling over $340 million.

“A sale of this magnitude is a real tribute to our ability to work in partnership with local governments who have a need for access to the capital markets,” said DHCD Secretary Raymond Skinner.

To obtain the Preliminary Official Statement, click here.

For more information about the LGIF program, visit DHCD’s website at www.mdhousing.org, or click here.


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A Strategic Demolition Near Route One Corridor Supports the Town of Hyattsville’s Revitalization

JULY 30

Hyattsville-Demolition-7.30

OUT WITH THE OLD, IN WITH THE NEW: A wrecking ball takes a ceremonial bite out of a vacant property near downtown Hyattsville, MD as the town celebrates its ongoing revitalization efforts.

Hyattsville, MD – Secretary Skinner joined Hyattsville Mayor Marc Tartaro and local business leaders for the ceremonial demolition of vacant properties to make way for a public parking garage that will support the renaissance of small businesses, affordable housing and entertainment venues known as Arts District Hyattsville.

Hyattsville has experienced tremendous growth in the past few years, transforming the Route One Corridor into a walkable, mixed-use community with a growing roster of retail and restaurants. The parking garage project, funded in part through the Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund, will create centralized parking for visitors to the area.

Established in 2012, the Strategic Demolition fund provides grants and loans to local governments and non-profit community development organizations working in conjunction with private entities to fund capital costs for redevelopment opportunities in the state’s Sustainable Communities. Sustainable Communities are areas identified by local governments as being in need of revitalization and where the state and its local partners have agreed to concentrate growth and development and leverage scarce state revitalization resources.


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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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