Introduction of Maryland WholeHome in Snow Hill Thursday Launches One-Stop Shop for Home Improvement

Improve your home with DHCD: WholeHome program gives Marylanders access to funds that can be used to complete repairs and upgrades to their homes.

Governor Larry Hogan’s ongoing effort to make state government more customer-oriented and user-friendly continues Thursday, Sept. 10, with the launch of Maryland WholeHome in Snow Hill.

Maryland WholeHome is a statewide initiative to help low-income homeowners pay for valuable improvements to their homes.

Representatives from DHCD’s Special Loans and Energy programs will attend the Town of Snow Hill’s Homeowners Meeting to discuss how WholeHome can assist low-income homeowners with repairs and upgrades to their homes using our low-interest loans and grants.

The meeting will be located at the Snow Hill Middle School Cafeteria on 522 Coulbourne Lane, from 6 pm to 7 pm.

“State government is working for all of Maryland and my administration wants the more rural areas to know we have the tools to help them,” the governor said.​

Attendees will learn how our programs can be used to improve the safety, comfort and accessibility of the whole home:

  • Replace or repair roofs and porches
  • Repair plumbing and septic systems
  • Rectify structural or maintenance issues
  • Upgrade energy-efficient appliances
  • Repair or replace heating and cooling systems
  • Install energy conservation materials and insulation
  • Add accessibility features such as hand railings, ramps, grab bars and wider doorways
  • Remove lead paint hazards
  • Seal air and whole house envelope
  • Correct building code violations

WholeHome will help change Maryland for the better by providing financial assistance so homeowners can invest in affordable home improvements and save money on their monthly utility bills.

“It is our mission to ensure that homeowners are aware of the Maryland WholeHome Program so they have the opportunity to take advantage of the DHCD funding available to improve their homes,” said Tiffany Robinson, assistant secretary for DHCD.

“Most Maryland families don’t know they qualify for our programs,” added Colin Choney, program manager for the enhanced weatherization program at DHCD. “With this whole home approach, we’re providing solutions and engaging the community so everyone is aware of what we do.”

DHCD plans to take WholeHome to municipalities across the state and discuss how our programs can help homeowners improve the quality of their day-to-day lives.

To learn more about our special loans programs, call 1-800-638-7781. To learn more about our energy programs, call 1-855-583-8976. For additional information on all DHCD programs, visit http://dhcd.maryland.gov.

Samantha Lozano

Five ways homeowners can shrink their energy bills

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Did you know that windows can account for 10 percent to 20 percent of heating and cooling costs for the average American home?

For example, sunny windows account for unwanted heat to enter the house, forcing air conditioners to work two to three times harder just to cool hot air.

Although summer only has about two weeks left officially, the heat is lingering. We’ve compiled a list of warm climate window tips to save you money and keep cool at home.

Cooling Tips

  1. Install window curtains, shades, drapes or blinds to reduce sunlight entering your home.
  2. Close windows and curtains on south- and west-facing windows during the day to reflect heat away from the house.
  3. Install awnings on south- and west-facing windows. Also, apply sun-control or other reflective films on south-facing windows to reduce solar heat gain. According to the Department of Energy, window awnings can reduce solar heat gain in the summer by up to 65 percent on south-facing windows and 77 percent on west-facing windows.
  4. Open windows when the outside temperature is lower than the inside temperature. The cool air helps pull down the overall temperature of the house.
  5. Buy high-performance windows that have at least two panes of glass and low-e coating. Windows with low-e coatings on the glass reflect some of the sunlight, keeping rooms cooler.

You can also learn how to get innovative financing for energy efficiency improvements to your home through our Be SMART Home Loan program. Be SMART offers flexible financing of up to $25,000 for eligible homeowners.

For more ways to save energy, visit the Department of Energy‘s website. We hope you apply these simple and low-cost energy tips to your home. We’ll regularly share a new topic so don’t forget to subscribe to our blog!

By Samantha Lozano

Secretary Holt Announces Ellington Churchill Jr. As New Deputy Secretary

Ellington-ChurchillNew Carrollton, MD – Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Secretary Kenneth C. Holt today announced the appointment of Ellington Churchill, Jr. as the department’s deputy secretary.

Churchill has more than two decades experience as a construction and real estate development professional and will assist Secretary Holt in providing leadership and oversight in the development of the state’s housing finance, asset management, community development and building code programs.Churchill is active in the community and serves on the board of directors for Outward Bound Baltimore, Arundel Community Development Services, and Peale Center for Baltimore History and Architecture.

“Ellington’s 20 years of hands-on experience in the real estate development industry in Maryland brings a broad range of leadership skills and business development expertise to DHCD,” said Secretary Holt. “He will be an important asset to the Hogan administration and the department in implementing housing and community development solutions to change Maryland for the better.”

Churchill most recently served as director of business development for Lewis Contractors, a family-owned mid-Atlantic commercial general contractor and construction management firm. Churchill was responsible for leading construction management, general contracting and design build project opportunities for the firm. He also developed marketing strategies to gain key construction market penetration to maintain Lewis’ profit margins and forecasted construction volume.

“I look forward to working with Secretary Holt and the team at DHCD in their mission to revitalize communities and provide affordable housing opportunities throughout the state,” said Churchill.

Churchill began his career in 1994 as the project manager and estimator with Lewis Contractors. In 2006, he joined Liberty Project Trust as a senior project manager before coming back to Lewis Contractors in 2011.

Churchill earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture and a master’s degree in construction management  from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University.

Churchill lives in Windsor Mills with his wife, Shareese, and two daughters.

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DHCD investment helps protect Chesapeake Bay

Group Greensboro
Hogan Administration officials are among the participants of a ground breaking in Greensboro for a new wastewater treatment plant.

The Hogan Administration was well represented today at the groundbreaking for a Caroline County project that will help enhance the quality of life for nearly 1,900 Marylanders.

Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Ken Holt, Maryland Department of the Environment Deputy Secretary Lynn Buhl, and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio attended the event marking the start of construction of the Greensboro Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The plant — which was the result of critical partnerships among the towns of Greensboro and Goldsboro and federal, state, county, and municipal departments —
will improve water quality and prevent public health hazards, Secretary Holt said.

“This project is an example of one of our Department’s primary goals: increased support for municipal infrastructure to help you create a thriving community that attracts homeowners and businesses,” Secretary Holt said.Read More »

Five ways homeowners can save on their energy bills

money-finance-bills-bank-notesThe typical U.S. family spends at least $2,200 a year on home utility bills, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Unfortunately, a lot of that money and energy is wasted.

“We are not as energy-conscious as we should be,” said Glenn Thompson, regulatory and compliance inspector for DHCD’s division of credit assurance. “Most Maryland homeowners don’t know how easy it is to cut down energy use in their homes and save money on utility bills.”

Buying a home may be the single largest investment you make. With down payment and mortgage costs, it’s easy to forget bills like electric, water and waste disposal.

In addition to helping you finance your house, we’re here to help protect your investment, so we compiled a list of energy-saving tips to ensure that you’re making smarter energy choices and saving money at the same time.

This week, we listed five cooling tips homeowners can use this summer.Read More »

Maryland’s Next Frontier in Economic Development

Secretary Kenneth Holt answers questions after his address from The Daily Record's Bryan Sears and The Sun's Michael Dresser.
Secretary Kenneth Holt answers questions after his address from The Daily Record’s Bryan Sears and The Sun’s Michael Dresser.

Housing Secretary Kenneth Holt spelled out steps the Hogan administration would take to erase the lingering effects of the Great Recession when he addressed “Maryland’s Next Frontier in Economic Development,” a panel at the Maryland Association of Counties conference in Ocean City on Friday.

Governor Larry Hogan will revamp the regulatory environment and infuse the economy with the capital it needs to grow, Holt said.

Holt said the state Department of Housing and Community Development will help builders to expand the production of single-family homes and multifamily units to increase the amount of housing stock available to residents. The department will expand lending to the small business community.

“We have the capacity to raise capital through revenue bonds. We are not relying on the general fund to exist. We are going to expand lending to local infrastructure,” Holt said.

Holt called Hogan an “action-oriented governor.” Holt also said the state was working to see that the FBI relocate to the state.

“We have an interest in assisting the millennial generation with their student debt,” Holt said. “Something needs to be done on student debt. We are seeking statutory change to allow that debt to be rolled into their first mortgage.”

The secretary said he wanted to offer real-estate owned properties at a discount to those with student debt.

Tweets from the MACo conference.

Doug Tallman

HUD Pours More Funds in Housing Grant Program to Support Rural Nonprofits

Funds appropriated from the Rural Capacity Building program are intended to serve high-need rural areas and enhance the capacity of organizations who participate in community development activities in those areas.
Funds appropriated from the Rural Capacity Building program are intended to serve high-need rural areas and enhance the capacity of organizations who participate in community development activities in those areas.

WASHINGTON – The Department of Housing and Urban Development added more funds to its Rural Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing Grants program.

The Rural Capacity Building program helps applicants with demonstrated expertise in affordable housing and community development in high-need rural communities. Through this program, HUD recognizes the vital role nonprofit organizations play in putting community-building programs into place such as the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) and the HOME Investment Partnerships Program, especially in rural areas.

HUD anticipates awarding a total of $5 million to four winners, with each recipient receiving between $500,000 and $2,500,000. Eligible applicants must have IRS 501(c)(3) status and demonstrate experience working with rural housing in one or more states in five or more of HUD’s regions.

Read More »

DHCD to lead discussions on improving local economies and communities

water dome frostburg
DHCD provided LGIF bond proceeds of $1.4 million for the City of Frostburg to install dome covers for their water plant to protect and safeguard the public water supply from airborne contaminates.

Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference next week in Ocean City

NEW CARROLLTON, MD – DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt and senior department officials will lead three sessions at the MACo Summer Conference on strategies to improve local communities and change Maryland’s economy for the better. The MACo Conference will take place on Aug. 12-15, 2015 at the Roland Powell Convention Center in Ocean City, Maryland. This year’s theme is – “Energize. Mobilize. Capitalize.”

With mortgage and small business lending capabilities, public infrastructure financing, and grant and loan programs to improve communities, DHCD plays a unique role in building a stronger, healthier Maryland economy.

As part of the Hogan administration’s commitment to improving the economic climate, DHCD has an arsenal of tools to encourage job creation, grow small businesses and increase homeownership in Maryland.

Read More »

Groundbreaking for Affordable Housing in Downtown Baltimore Shows Governor Hogan’s Commitment to City’s Revitalization

Secretary Holt joins city officials for the groundbreaking of Mulberry at Park Apartments, a 68-unit building that will provide affordable housing for Baltimore City residents.
Secretary Holt joins Baltimore officials for the groundbreaking of Mulberry at Park Apartments, a 68-unit complex that will provide affordable rental housing for Baltimore families.

BALTIMORE – New affordable rental housing near downtown Baltimore will help revitalize the city’s West Side and change things for the better for families and individuals with special needs, Governor Larry Hogan said today.

“Baltimore City residents will benefit because of the investments we are making to ensure Maryland has more affordable housing options,” the governor said.

DHCD Secretary Kenneth Holt on Tuesday joined Baltimore City Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake, local officials and development leaders to celebrate the groundbreaking of Mulberry at Park Apartments, a 68-unit affordable apartment complex in the Bromo Tower Arts & Entertainment District of West Side Baltimore.

The Hogan administration helped finance the project with more than $1.5 million in 9% Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits and a $1.4 million Rental Housing Program loan.

During the ceremony, Secretary Holt highlighted the  administration’s commitment to supporting affordable rental housing development as an economic catalyst and job-creation engine in Maryland. Mayor Rawlings-Blake announced the unveiling of Leveraging Investments in Neighborhood Corridors Strategy, a development initiative aimed at improving five of Baltimore’s major corridors.

Read More »

Governor Hogan Announces More Than $5.6 Million to Enhance the Quality of Life in 13 MD Communities

The 2016 Community Development Block Grant awards will help communities all over Maryland fund vital projects such as renovations that will enable The ARC Carroll County to enhance the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The 2016 Community Development Block Grant awards will provide much-needed funding to 13 Maryland communities for vitally important projects such as renovations  to this new facility in Westminster that will allow The ARC Carroll County to continue  its work enhancing the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

New Carrollton, Md. —The construction of a million gallon water tank in the Town of Westport, the expansion of a food pantry in Easton and the rehabilitation of a senior home in Leonardtown to make it more energy efficient rehabilitation are among the projects benefitting this year from DHCD’s Community Development Block Grant program.

The Hogan administration announced more than $5.6 million in CDBG funds to 13 Maryland municipalities and counties. The funds will support projects that provide housing and infrastructure improvements and support economic development for Maryland communities.

Awardees also include rehabilitation of low income housing in Dorchester and Garrett counties and Pocomoke City, several infrastructure improvement projects and funding for a water tank, pump station and service lines that is critical to the retention of 800 jobs at the Verso Paper Mill in Allegany County.

See the list of 2016 awardees below.

CDBG is a federally funded, competitive grant program designed to help Maryland communities meet a wide range of economic, social and physical environment needs. The program has been a vital and versatile source of revenue to help communities across the nation fight deterioration in lower-income neighborhoods and communities and maintain public infrastructure.

Maryland has awarded over $242 million since 1987 to over 850 awardees.

CDBG embodies the Hogan administration’s commitment to changing Maryland for the better through development projects that enhance the quality of life for Maryland citizens in communities throughout the state.

List of 2016 grantees: Read More »