Creating Homeowners, Preserving Neighborhoods in Maryland

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



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


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


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, 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 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


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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New Grant Program May Make it Easier for Maryland Seniors to Age in Place

OCT. 27

Sheila Loccke, underwriter for Accessible Homes for Senior, talks to a patron during the Baby Boomer Expo at the State Fairgrounds in Timonium.

Sheila Loccke, underwriter for DHCD’s Accessible Homes for Seniors program, talks to a patron during the Baby Boomer Expo at the State Fairgrounds in Timonium.

Crownsville, MD – Maryland senior citizens who own their homes may have more options to age in place under a new program that provides grants of up to $25,000 for improvements such as grab bars and railings, the installation of ramps or the widening of doorways.

DHCD’s Accessible Homes for Seniors program, which previously provided loans to help seniors make their homes more accessible, has been expanded to allow grants for that purpose as well, DHCD announced.

The state legislature approved the grant program last year in response to growing national concern over the graying of the Baby Boom generation, whose need for high quality, independent and financially secure lives is linked more and more to their housing needs.

In Maryland and nationwide, close to 1 in 5 citizens will be 65 years or older by 2030 and affordable, accessible and well-located housing will be central to their quality of life.

Looking at the housing needs of senior citizens from a national perspective, Harvard University’s Center for Housing Policy estimates that 80 percent of older adult households are homeowners although that percentage may change after the rate of homeownership plummeted following the collapse of the housing market. The center recommends policies that help senior citizens retrofit their homes to accommodate disabilities and policies that promote loan modifications to help protect against foreclosures.

In 2012, the legislature established a task force “to study methods for identifying and understanding the renovation and repair needs of low-income and limited-income senior homeowners and identifying resources to assist senior homeowners.” The Accessible Homes for Senior Homeowners Grant program grew out of the task force recommendations.

Visit DHCD’s website to learn more about the Accessible Homes for Senior Homeowners Grant program and other special offers.



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