Creating Homeowners, Preserving Neighborhoods in Maryland


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Five New Sustainable Communities Added, Including Historic W. Md. and Eastern Shore Towns

Founded in 1683, originally as a seaport, the Eastern Shore town of Oxford is reinventing itself through the Sustainable Communities program.

Founded in 1683, originally as a seaport, the Eastern Shore town of Oxford is reinventing itself through the Sustainable Communities program.

FEBRUARY 11 

Crownsville, MD – DHCD is announcing the addition of five new Sustainable Communities, bringing the statewide total to 82. There is at least one designated  Sustainable Community in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City.

Maryland’s Sustainable Communities program seeks to strengthen reinvestment and revitalization in the state’s older communities through state, local and private sector partnerships.

The new Sustainable Communities are:

Baltimore County – Northwest Gateways

Frederick County – Town of Myersville

Kent County – Town of Betterton

Kent County/Queen Anne’s County – Town of Millington

Talbot County – Town of Oxford

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Homeownership Initiative in Prince George’s Doing Record Business, Real Estate Brokers Told

Real estate brokers listen intently as DHCD's Bill Milko leads a training session on the MMP Triple Play Initiative in Prince George's County.

Real estate brokers listen intently as DHCD’s Bill Milko leads a training session on the MMP Triple Play Initiative in Prince George’s County.

FEBRUARY 5

Lanham, MD – Just weeks after its launch in November, the TriplePlay Initiative in Prince George’s County is on track to become one of the most successful Maryland Mortgage Program initiatives to date, according to William Ariano, Jr., deputy director of development finance at the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

Ariano said the program has received over $40 million in reservations, representing 186 first-time homebuyers in the county.

“From Bowie to Temple Hills … from Upper Marlboro to Oxon Hill, we are poised to do more lending in Prince George’s County than ever before and those areas that need the greatest focus are receiving it,” Ariano said. Continue reading


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MD Launches Initiative to Increase Access to Healthy Foods in State’s “Food Deserts”

FEBRUARY 2

fresh-food-initiative-2Crownsville, MD – Maryland is joining the growing movement to expand access to fresh fruits and vegetables in under-served communities known as food deserts.

Food deserts are communities that do not have easy access to affordable healthy foods, typically because those communities do not have a local supermarket or grocery store. They can be in urban, suburban or rural communities.

Maryland’s Fresh Food Financing Initiative provides flexible financing for the start-up, rehabilitation or expansion of businesses and nonprofits in designated food desert or sustainable communities with an emphasis on using Maryland farmers.  The goal is to invest in lending partners that will in turn support the development of food-related enterprises within designated Food Deserts and Sustainable Communities. Continue reading


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DHCD Awards More Than $30 Million to 11 Multifamily Projects in Latest Funding Round

Foxtail-Crossing-Project-3.20Crownsville, MD – Eleven affordable rental housing projects throughout Maryland will receive more than $19.1 million in Rental Housing Funds and $11 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits in the latest competitive funding round, DHCD announced.

The 11 projects will create or preserve 106 rental housing units and put more than $167 million into the economy. Just as importantly, the projects will help meet the affordable rental housing needs for working families and senior citizens in Baltimore City and six counties.

Awards are determined through competitive application rounds held periodically by DHCD.  Rental Housing Funds include a number of programs aimed at rehabilitating or creating rental housing, including the Rental Housing Works initiative.  The federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program was created to encourage the private sector to invest in the construction and rehabilitation of housing for low- and moderate-income families. States receive an annual tax credit allocation based on population.

The projects receiving awards in the fall 2014 round are: Continue reading


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More Than $2.4 Million in Grants Awarded Through Baltimore Regional Neighborhoods Initiative

JANUARY 10

Crownsville, MD – DHCD has awarded more than $2.4 million in capital and operating grants to four local nonprofit community development organizations through the Baltimore Regional Neighborhoods Initiative.

The FY 2015 awards – $1.68 million in capital and $750,000 in operating funds for 18 projects – will help attract new investment to targeted areas in Baltimore City and Dundalk.

BRNI, in its second year, is aimed at increasing the ability of older neighborhoods to attract new homeowners and businesses. The awards will advance the comprehensive revitalization plans and strategic partnerships put in place by local neighborhood leaders and stakeholders. The BRNI grants (list attached) are anticipated to catalyze an additional $20 million in investment in these neighborhoods.

BRNI awardees are the Central Baltimore Partnership working in central Baltimore City; Southeast Community Development Corporation in southeast Baltimore City, Healthy Neighborhoods, Inc. in Reservoir Hill; and Dundalk Renaissance Corporation in Dundalk, Baltimore County.

BRNI grew out of recommendations of the House Regional Revitalization Workgroup convened January 2014 by Speaker Michael E. Busch to focus on strengthening community and economic development efforts in the Baltimore Metropolitan region.

“Bringing back the vitality of older neighborhoods in the Baltimore region is important to the overall health of the region. These targeted neighborhood investments are showing the way to make this happen,” says Speaker Busch.

Award Totals:

  • Central Baltimore Partnership – $775,000
  • Southeast Community Development Corp. – $750,000
  • Dundalk Renaissance Corporation – $535,000
  • Healthy Neighborhoods, Inc. – $370,000.

– By Olivia Ceccarelli Continue reading


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The Year in Pictures – Maryland Housing Stories in 2014

The groundbreaking for DHCD's new headquarters in New Carrollton, MD. was one of the memorable events of 2014.

The groundbreaking for DHCD’s new headquarters in New Carrollton, MD. was one of the memorable events of 2014.

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Maryland’s National Model: Treat Families Facing Foreclosure “Like Human Beings Instead of Cattle”

DECEMBER 18

Landover, MD – The written evaluations of some of the 200 homeowners who attended the “Mortgage Late? Don’t Wait!” foreclosure prevention workshop last weekend illustrate why the program has become a national model for connecting families with the resources they need to avoid losing their home.

Mortgage Late Don't WaitDHCD hosted its last workshop of the year at the Prince George’s County Sports and Learning complex on Dec. 13.

“The housing counselor and the attorney talked me through the process and told me exactly what steps to take next,” wrote one homeowner who was more than 90 days behind on her mortgage and who said she heard about the workshop through her church. “Everyone was pleasant and helpful. Thank you for providing this service.”

“The people I talked to treated me like a human being instead of like cattle,” wrote another.

And in answer to a question asking what about the workshop was most helpful, another homeowner answered with one word: “Hope.” Continue reading


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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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