Creating Homeowners, Preserving Neighborhoods in Maryland


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$7.5 Million in Strategic Demolition Awards Will Help Clear Path for New Development

DailyTimesSalisbury

Rendering of the Eastern Shore Medical Center that will replace the vacant Daily Times building in Salisbury.

DECEMBER 17

Salisbury, MD – The demolition of the vacant Daily Times building in Salisbury to make way for a new medical center and the redesign of the Brentwood Fire Station  into a municipal center that will house town offices, the police department and a public meeting space are two of the 27 projects receiving grants through the Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund program.

The awards include $2.5 million to help Baltimore demolish long-time vacant buildings in strategic neighborhoods as part of its Vacants to Value initiative.

DHCD is announcing the award of $7.5 million to benefit 27 projects in 12 counties and Baltimore City. Those funds are expected to leverage an additional $178 million in public, private and philanthropic investments.

The Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Fund program compliments the Community Legacy program by providing the necessary predevelopment funding to jump-start transformational community and economic revitalization projects.

Established in 2012, the program funds such predevelopment activities as demolition, land assembly and infrastructure improvements that are critical to attracting other public and private investment. This funding is also available to local governments and nonprofit community development corporations, who many times are working with private entities and other partners invested in Maryland neighborhoods and focused on creating jobs and housing opportunities.

See the full list of Fiscal Year 2015 awards below. Continue reading


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Lender Closes the First Loan through the Maryland Mortgage Program Triple Play Initiative

DECEMBER 17

NEWS ALERT! First Home Mortgage on Monday became the first lender to close a loan through the MMP Triple Play Initiative, DHCD’s $100 million program to build homeownership in Prince George’s County.

The initiative, which was launched last month, will help an estimated 500 families purchase the home of their dreams in the county through the Maryland Mortgage Program by providing $10,000 downpayment and closing cost assistance, plus an additional $10,000 for homebuyers purchasing in one of 14 county zip codes; and a reduced Maryland Mortgage Program interest rate. In addition, The state is waiving its fee on the Maryland HomeCredit, which allows homebuyers to claim a federal income tax credit of up to $2,000 for as long as the Maryland Mortgage Program loan is outstanding.

The Triple Play initiative is the result of a unique partnership between the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Prince George’s County and the Office of the Attorney General. Working together, the partners recognized homeownership as the most effective use of a portion of the $10 million that was set aside for Prince George’s County as part of the landmark Mortgage Servicing Settlement between the nation’s attorneys general and the five largest lenders. Continue reading


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Stimulating Investment in MD’s Neighborhoods: $5.7 million in Community Legacy Grants Announced

DECEMBER 17

bromo-seltzer-tower-12.17Crownsville, MD – The restoration of Baltimore’s iconic Bromo Seltzer Arts Tower, the renovation and reinvention of a historic tobacco packing house in southern Maryland and the installation of decorative street lights in downtown Ocean City are among the projects receiving grants through the Community Legacy program, Maryland’s initiative to stimulate investment and strengthen development in traditional downtowns all over the state.

DHCD is announcing $5.7 million in Community Legacy program grants to 67 projects in 20 counties and Baltimore City. Those grants support total project costs of more than $45.4 million.

The Community Legacy program provides local governments and community development organizations with essential funding and gap financing for important projects that will strengthen local communities, supporting housing and homeownership goals and attracting and retaining businesses. Projects include improving commercial facades, greening and streetscaping activities, renovating historic buildings for conversion into service or community centers, and rehabilitating blighted properties in downtown areas. It is one of Maryland’s most effective programs for promoting neighborhood revitalization, affordable housing, tourism, and economic growth.

Since 2007, the O’Malley-Brown administration has awarded more than $41 million to 440 projects through the Community Legacy program, creating or preserving an estimated 1,300 permanent jobs and 3,000 temporary jobs mostly in construction-related fields and putting more than $222 million into the state’s economy.

See the complete list of Community Legacy Awardees: Continue reading


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Nine Historic Maryland Properties to Receive $10 Million in Sustainable Communities Tax Credits

 

DECEMBER 10

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Ellicott City, MD – Acting Secretary Clarence Snuggs joined state and local officials to announce $10 million in state tax credits that will fund nine historic restoration projects across Maryland. The tax credit will infuse positive change and jobs to communities from Cumberland to Cambridge. Read the release.

By offsetting the costs of historic renovation, the Sustainable Communities Tax Credit Program helps owners of historic structures preserve some of Maryland’s best places as well as provides an economic boost to their communities. The awards were announced in the Old Post Office in Ellicott City, near the site of a tax credit project.

The Sustainable Communities Tax Credit program, administered by Maryland Historic Trust, which is part of the Maryland Department of Planning, has invested close to $360 million since it began in 1996. The investments have helped restore more than 3,995 residential and 616 commercial historic structures, preserving buildings with a sense of place that contribute to the uniqueness and charm of Maryland towns and cities.

Part of the 2010 Sustainable Communities Act, the tax credit program promotes community revitalization and strengthens the mutual goals of the Maryland Departments of Planning and DHCD.

The $10 million investment will leverage private investment of about $76.7 million in the following projects: Continue reading


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New Assistance for Homeless Veterans Announced, Including First-Ever Vouchers in Southern Maryland

DECEMBER 8

Voucher-Program-12.8

Baltimore – Sixty homeless veterans in Maryland will receive rental assistance and other services through the HUD-Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing program, including the first vouchers in southern Maryland, officials announced.

Acting Secretary Clarence Snuggs joined Senator Benjamin Cardin, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and the secretaries of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs to announce additional assistance to help 1,984 homeless veterans find permanent supportive housing. Read HUD’s release.

The voucher program combines rental assistance from HUD with case management and clinical services provided by the Veterans Administration. In October, the two federal agencies awarded $62 million in vouchers to assist more than 9,000 homeless veterans.

Three Maryland agencies received 60 vouchers for more than $491,000, including 21 vouchers for homeless veterans in southern Maryland, which has never received vouchers before. Continue reading


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DHCD Launches $100 Million Mortgage Initiative for Homebuyers in Prince George’s County

NOV. 20

triple-play-posterHyattsville, MD – Acting Secretary Clarence Snuggs, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker III and Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler today announced the launch of the Maryland Mortgage Program TriplePlay Initiative in Prince George’s County for potential homebuyers.

This new $100 million mortgage initiative is designed to help stabilize county neighborhoods by promoting homeownership. Learn more.

Here’s why the initiative is called TriplePlay: First, families looking to buy a home in Prince George’s County through the Maryland Mortgage Program may be eligible for up to $20,000 of downpayment and closing cost assistance. Second, they are eligible for a reduced Maryland Mortgage Program interest rate. Third, the state is waiving its fee to receive the Maryland HomeCredit, which allows homebuyers to claim a federal income tax credit of up to $2,000 for as long as the Maryland Mortgage Program loan is outstanding.

The $100 million MMP TriplePlay Initiative in Prince George’s County will help an estimated 500 families own the home of their dreams in the county. It is the result of a unique partnership between the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, Prince George’s County and the Office of the Attorney General.  Working together, the partners recognized homeownership as the most effective use of a portion of the $10 million that was set aside for Prince George’s County as part of the landmark Mortgage Servicing Settlement between the nation’s attorneys general and the five largest lenders. Continue reading


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Pilot Initiative Will Help Homeless Vets in Prince George’s Co. Get Stable Housing for Their Families

NOV.10

Crownsville, MD – In recognition of Veterans Day, Acting Secretary Clarence J. Snuggs is announcing the Families First initiative, an innovative pilot program that will help homeless veterans in Prince George’s County – particularly those with children – find stable housing for their families. Read the release.

Families First is a housing-centered program designed to help veterans better navigate the various programs that help them adjust to civilian life. Its unique focus on families offers additional support for households that sometimes are headed by single parents.

Families First is provided to eligible military veterans through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development with generous support from the Freddie Mac Foundation and with service navigation provided by Friendship Place, a nonprofit organization already working with veterans in Prince George’s County.

Through the Families First initiative, DHCD will be able to assist eligible veterans and their families by providing a stable living situation through rental supports. A participating family will contribute 30 percent of their income toward rent, and DHCD can pay the remainder for up to three years. Participating veterans will be enrolled in a self-sufficiency program that will connect the veteran with community resources such as workforce training, career development, childcare, and transportation.

To learn more, visit DHCD’s website at DHCD.MARYLAND.GOV/FAMILIESFIRST


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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.

Continue reading


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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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