Creating Homeowners, Preserving Neighborhoods in Maryland

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Where do You Live? DHCD is Taking the Dream of Homeownership on Tour With Regional Specials


DHCD Deputy Director Bill Ariano tells Eastern Shore lenders and real estate agents about special opportunities through the Maryland Mortgage Program.

DHCD Deputy Director Bill Ariano tells Eastern Shore lenders and real estate agents about special opportunities through the Maryland Mortgage Program.

Salisbury, MD – For the next two months, homebuyers on the Eastern Shore can take 0.25 percent off the current interest rate on all Maryland Mortgage Program products.

The discount is part of a rolling promotion of the state’s flagship homeownership program and is available to families reserving a loan between June 19 and August 19 in Kent, Queen Anne’s, Talbot, Caroline, Dorchester, Wicomico, Somerset and Worcester counties.

For homebuyers in the Southern Maryland counties of Calvert, Charles and St. Mary’s, the discount was announced on May 15 and lasts to July 15.

The deal was launched for homebuyers in Harford and Cecil counties on June 10 and will last through August 10.

Next up: Western Maryland! Continue reading

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Year’s First Foreclosure Prevention Workshop is a Reminder that Maryland’s Approach Works


Fair-goers learn about DHCD’s foreclosure prevention and homeownership programs at the 2014 Prince George’s County Housing Fair.

Landover, MD – DHCD hosted its first “Mortgage Late? Don’t Wait!” foreclosure prevention workshop of the year on Saturday during the annual Prince George’s County Housing Fair at the Sports and Learning complex in Landover. Learn more about the housing fair.

The “Mortgage Late? Don’t Wait!” workshops connect homeowners with counselors, pro bono attorneys and lenders and are considered one of the most effective means of helping financially struggling families find sustainable alternatives to foreclosure. Click here to see DHCD’s calendar of upcoming workshops or see a partial list below.

Last year, DHCD participated in 130 workshops and events, often in partnership with local elected officials, churches and civic organizations.

The June 14 event was held as the latest reports indicate that last year’s surge in foreclosures is moderating. The good news is that fewer foreclosures are entering the system. However, lenders are taking advantage of Maryland’s strengthening housing market to move forward with their most seriously delinquent loans. Continue reading

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A Darn Good Deal: Homebuyers Already Are Taking Advantage of the New Maryland HomeCredit Program


HomeownershipCrownsville, MD – The word is spreading about Maryland HomeCredit, the new program that allows eligible homebuyers to take a federal tax credit of up to $2,000 per year for the life of their mortgage.

Within a week of its launch on June 1, seven new homeowners had signed up for the tax credit.

Of course, that may be because the new tax credit generated significant publicity when the program was first announced last month. But mostly, homebuyers recognize a darn good deal when they see one.

Meanwhile, more and more lenders are queuing for approval to offer it – they can recognize a good deal too. First Home Mortgage Corp., the Baltimore-based company that has been recognized as one of the Maryland Mortgage Program’s top performers for two consecutive years, was the first lender to sign-up to offer the credit.

The Maryland HomeCredit program is the state’s newest initiative to make homeownership more accessible for middle income families. Continue reading

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DHCD’s Kelly Vaughn Delivers Commencement Address as a Member of Leadership Prince George’s Newest Graduating Class


Kelly-VaughnNational Harbor, MD – Kelly Vaughn, DHCD’s director of the Office of Community Outreach, graduated Wednesday from Leadership Prince George’s, Inc., joining more than 700 men and women from the private and public sectors who have gone through the 10-month program since its founding in 1985.

“It’s been a very enlightening and humbling experience for me; especially, to have been selected by my peers to bring the commencement speech on behalf of Class 28,” Mrs. Vaughn said. “The past 10-months while challenging have been fulfilling both professionally and personally. It has taught me that you are never too old to learn, but most importantly, one should always believe in themselves and never give up because with passion, purpose and commitment to yourself first, you can and will beat the odds.”

Ms. Vaughn manages a department-wide team on promoting the DHCD’s housing programs and initiatives, including the department’s foreclosure prevention initiatives for low and moderate-income Maryland residents. She is also responsible for working with federal, state and local elected officials, HUD offices, realtors, lenders, non-profit organizations and the public to enhance the images of both the unit and the department through educational efforts, reenergizing existing relationships and establishing new relationships through community outreach and awareness building statewide. Continue reading

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Maryland Housing Beat: Very Tight Inventory Should Help Maintain Upward Pressure on Maryland Home Prices


Housing-Beat-V-3-N-5Crownsville, MD - Maryland’s housing market recorded double digit growth for the second month in a row, according to Maryland Housing Beat, DHCD’s monthly profile of the state’s housing market.

Vol. 3 Issue 5 – reflecting statistical data from April – can be viewed by visiting DHCD’s website at or by clicking here to download a PDF version.

In April, the median home sales price in Maryland rose by 4.4 percent to $256,608 and the inventory of homes available for sale increased by 11.2 percent.  Nevertheless, the supply of homes for sale remained very tight, according to the report. The tight supply should help maintain the upward pressure on home prices in the coming months, encouraging seller participation in the market.

Maryland Housing Beat is an in-depth review of housing-related data compiled by DHCD’s Office of Research and Statistical Analysis from a broad range of sources, including the National Association of Realtors and the Maryland Association of Realtors; Freddie Mac; the Mortgage Bankers Association and RealtyTrac.

Maryland Housing Beat is a monthly publication of DHCD’s Office of Communications and Marketing.

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Beauty at the Beach: Ocean City Celebrates Completion of 150th Project Under its Facade Improvement Program


Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown joined Secretary Skinner, Ocean City Mayor Rick Meehan, leadership from the Ocean City Development Corporation, and other state and local officials, and community development representatives to celebrate the completion of OCDC’s 150th Façade Improvement Project in downtown Ocean City. All 150 projects have been funded partly through grant awards from the state’s Community Legacy program and have helped improve the exteriors of Ocean City businesses and homes.

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Secretary Skinner Calls Upon DHCD’s Partners to Hire Veterans as Part of Governor’s “Operation Hire” Initiative


Secretary Skinner is calling upon DHCD’s partners to join Governor O’Malley’s “Operation Hire” challenge, a statewide campaign encouraging employers to hire Maryland veterans.

Governor O’Malley launched Operation Hire on June 1.

Operation-Hire-LogoThe campaign builds on the efforts of the O’Malley-Brown administration to serve the Maryland men and women who have served in the armed forces. DHCD has supported those efforts in the past by offering veterans and military families seeking to buy a home special discounts on Maryland Mortgage Program products. DHCD also funds emergency shelters, including many that focus on homeless veterans and their families. Learn more about the Maryland Mortgage Program.

The governor’s Operation Hire campaign encourages private businesses and federal, state, and local agencies to participate by incorporating or expanding veteran hiring practices.

For 100 days, until Sept. 9, the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs will track participants and hiring statistics. Participating businesses will be honored for their efforts at the end of the campaign.

To register or find out more information, click here to visit the Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs or here to view the Operation Hire official rules.

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Aging Gracefully in Place: Affordable Rental Housing in Baltimore County Was Made Possible Through Rental Housing Works Initiative

35 Ribboncutting

Lansdowne, MD – Tuesday’s grand opening of new affordable rental housing in the Baltimore Highlands neighborhood gives senior citizens who grew up in the area a chance to age gracefully in familiar surroundings.

Secretary Skinner joined Enterprise Homes CEO Chickie Grayson and Baltimore County officials for the grand opening of The Greens at English Consul, a $14.6 million project financed with the help of $2 million from the Rental Housing Works initiative.

“It’s part of our strategy to support these projects because it allows people to age in place and still live in the same communities where these families lived all along,” Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said in an interview with The Daily Record. “So they’re near families, they’re near friends and they’re still in their existing communities, where they are most comfortable.”

Secretary Skinner noted that including the Greens at English Consul, DHCD has over 80 affordable rental housing projects throughout the state that are in various stages of construction or underwriting. 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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Bad Boy Ultra Biker: DHCD Staffer John Papagni Leads by Example on Protecting the Environment By Cycling to Work Every Day

Bike 2 Work Day in Maryland is May 30

JP_bikingBaltimore – Bicycle commuting is slowly but steadily becoming a popular option for residents and visitors to get around town. Public sector investments in protected bike lanes and mass bike sharing programs in cities across the U.S. speak to this increased demand for bike-related services and amenities.

May is national Bike to Work month, and Maryland is celebrating Bike 2 Work Day this Friday, May 30, with events and numerous checkpoints throughout the Baltimore area including in Baltimore City and Baltimore, Carroll and Howard counties, and in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area hosting 28 pit stops in Maryland.

Here at DHCD, one of our great inspirations for bike commuting is Program Officer John Papagni, who has been traveling to the office via his Cannondale Bad Boy Ultra since giving up his car in 2006. Continue reading


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