Creating Homeowners, Preserving Neighborhoods in Maryland

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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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Sustainability Movement Builds in Maryland; Five New Sustainable Communities Brings Total to 71

MAY 28


Historic Reisterstown in Baltimore County is one of five new Sustainable Communities in Maryland.

Crownsville, MD - Five neighborhoods in three counties have committed to a revitalization plan to conserve resources and strengthen reinvestment in traditional downtown business districts, bringing the number of Sustainable Communities in Maryland to 71.

Maryland’s Smart Growth Subcabinet approved the new Sustainable Communities during meetings on April 16 and May 21.

Reisterstown is Baltimore County’s sixth Sustainable Community. A national historic district founded in 1758, Reisterstown became an important crossroads for travelers commuting from Baltimore City along Reisterstown Road to Pennsylvania and points further north and west. As with many historic communities, Reisterstown has experienced significant decline in its commercial corridor. Working in conjunction with the community, the county plans to revitalize its main street by seeking a Maryland Main Street designation, capitalizing on its historic building fabric and implementing promotional activities such as, a Buy Local Campaign, Farmers Market and Clean Green 15 (monthly 15 minute clean-ups). Continue reading

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Hitting a “Homerun for Homeowners:” Wealthy Radio Listeners Hear About Upcoming Maryland Mortgage Program Special Discounts


MAY 20

Baltimore – Secretary Skinner and Deputy Director Bill Ariano hit the airwaves last week to tell listeners about the special deals available through the Maryland Mortgage Program.

Speaking on WEAA’s “Wealthy Radio with Deborah Owens,” Secretary Skinner talked about the Maryland HomeCredit program that goes into effect on June 1 that will allow eligible buyers to claim a federal income tax credit of up to $2,000 a year for the life of their mortgage. Deputy Director Ariano described the discount rates available for military families and veterans through May 30. Disabled veterans may qualify for an even lower rate. Hear a podcast of the May 13 program by clicking here.

Owens is a financial expert with 20 years experience in the investment industry. She is the author of three critically acclaimed books. “Confident Investing” and “Nickel and Dime Your Way To Wealth and most recently, “A Purse of Your Own,” published by Simon and Schuster.

DHCD is “hitting a homerun for homeowners” and “making great strides to ensure that homeownership is not a privilege but a right” in Maryland, Owens said during the broadcast.

The Maryland Mortgage Program is the state’s premiere homeownership program, keeping the American dream alive for more than 11,400 qualified, hardworking families under the O’Malley-Brown administration despite the challenging economy and the slow recovery of the national housing market.

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Maryland Housing Beat: Median Home Sales Prices Rose in March; Five Maryland Counties Had Double Digit Increases

Housing-Beat-V3-N4MAY 13

The median home sales price in Maryland rose by two percent in March, marking the 26th consecutive month of year over year increases according to Maryland Housing Beat, DHCD’s monthly profile of the state’s housing market.

Vol. 3 Issue 4 – reflecting statistical data from March – can be viewed by visiting DHCD’s website at or by clicking here to download a PDF version.

In March, the median home sales price in Maryland was $245,891, compared to the national median home sales price of $198,500.

Compared to last year, median home sales price increased in 14 Maryland jurisdictions, declined in nine, and remained unchanged in Montgomery County.

Five counties – Garrett, Prince George’s, Howard, Washington and St. Mary’s – posted double-digit price appreciation rates.

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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“The Home You Want is Within Your Reach:” Spreading the Word About the Maryland Mortgage Program in Harford County Maryland

DHCD's Edward Anthony and Catherine Kraemer-Dale spread the word about the Maryland Mortgage Program at the Harford County Realtor Expo Wednesday in Bulle Rock, Md.

DHCD’s Edward Anthony and Catherine Kraemer-Dale spread the word about the Maryland Mortgage Program at the Harford County Realtor Expo Wednesday in Bulle Rock, Md. Why the hard hats? The theme of the trade expo was “Let’s Build on Our Success!” Get it?

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Maryland Launches Federal Tax Credit for New Homebuyers

Secretary Skinner unveils the Maryland HomeCredit program at the annual convention of the Maryland Mortgage Bankers Association.

Secretary Skinner unveils the Maryland HomeCredit program at the annual convention of the Maryland Mortgage Bankers Association.

Columbia, MD – Eligible homebuyers can claim a federal income tax credit of up to $2,000 for the life of their mortgage under a new program unveiled Thursday by Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Raymond A. Skinner.

DHCD’s Maryland HomeCredit program provides eligible homebuyers with a mortgage credit certificate allowing them to claim a tax credit for some portion of the mortgage interest rate paid each year on their federal income tax returns.

“We believe the Maryland HomeCredit program will make homeownership that much more affordable, particularly for first-time homebuyers who are in many ways the foundation of the housing market,” Secretary Skinner said at the annual conference of the Maryland Mortgage Bankers Association in Columbia.

The program launches June 1 and continues through Dec. 15, 2015. A homebuyer purchasing a home during that period is eligible to claim 25 percent of the interest paid as a federal tax credit for every year the mortgage is outstanding and they live in the home. The homebuyer must get the Maryland HomeCredit at the time they close on their mortgage. There are fees associated with the Maryland HomeCredit. Refinances are not eligible.

In addition, homebuyers can take advantage of the competitive rates and significant downpayment assistance through the Maryland Mortgage Program, the state’s flagship homeownership program, Secretary Skinner said.

To learn more and for a list of approved lenders, see DHCD’s website .

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The Baltimore Design School, Made Possible With Community Legacy Funds, is Named MEDA Economic Redevelopment Project Winner


MEDA President Lawrence F. Twele, CEcD; Secretary Raymond Skinner; N. Gordon Knox, Miles & Stockbridge

BALTIMORE – The Maryland Economic Development Association  has named the Baltimore Design School its MEDA Economic Redevelopment Project Award winner. This project was nominated by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and recognizes Seawall Development Corporation for their commitment to economic development and revitalization in the State of Maryland.

Housed in the former Crown Cork & Seal Company factory building—an abandoned space since 1986—the Baltimore Design School created a state-of-the-art public school delivering educational rigor and training in the areas of fashion design, graphic design, and architecture.

The project, to date, has had a substantial impact on the Baltimore City tax base. The adaptive re-use and sustainable design of the project led to a $3 million dollar award in Sustainable Communities Tax Credits. The school also received a $100,000 award from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Legacy Program, which funds key revitalization projects.

“The Baltimore Design School showcases the power of redevelopment,” said Pamela J. Ruff, Executive Director of MEDA. “The school infuses new life into the community, and new economic possibilities into students’ futures.”

Seawall Development Corporation and the Baltimore Design School were celebrated at the 2014 MEDA Awards Ceremony on April 28, held in conjunction with the MEDA Conference at the Hyatt Regency Chesapeake Bay in Cambridge, Maryland.

About the MEDA Awards:
Sponsored by Miles & Stockbridge P.C., the MEDA Awards recognize outstanding efforts to attract new businesses, assist existing businesses, redevelop business districts, market communities, and support workforce development, tourism, and agriculture.

About MEDA:
MEDA enhances the knowledge and skills of its nearly 500 members and encourages partnerships and networking among those committed to bringing jobs and investment to Maryland. Since 1961, MEDA has operated as a nonprofit organization of economic development professionals, whose members promote the economic well-being of Maryland and work to improve the state’s business climate.


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