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Town of Rock Hall is the First Community Named as Main Street Maryland Affiliate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Town of Rock Hall is the First Community Named as Main Street Maryland Affiliate
Designation will assist revitalization and economic development in town’s downtown business district

Rock Hall, Md. (June 27, 2016) – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has approved the Town of Rock Hall’s application for the Main Street Affiliate program, making the Kent County town the first community in the state to join the program. By becoming a Main Street Affiliate, Rock Hall will work with the department to develop a revitalization plan to strengthen the town’s traditional, downtown business district using the principles, guidelines, and technical assistance of the Main Street Maryland program.

The affiliate program assists communities that are trying to create a downtown revitalization strategy, are in the early stages of applying for a Main Street Maryland designation, or that may not be eligible for the designation but want to use the Main Street approach to address local housing and community development challenges. The foundation of the Main Street approach is based on four points for redevelopment and revitalization endorsed by the National Main Street Center and an additional fifth point created by Main Street Maryland to address sustainability and environmental impact:

  • Economic Vitality to strengthen the district’s existing economic base while finding ways to expand it to meet new opportunities and challenges from outlying development.
  • Design to enhance the physical appearance of the commercial district by rehabilitating historic buildings, encouraging supportive new construction, developing sensitive design management systems and long-term planning.
  • Promotion to market the traditional commercial district’s assets to customers, potential investors, new businesses, local citizens, and visitors.
  • Organization to build consensus and cooperation among the many groups and individuals who have a role in the revitalization process.
  • Clean, Safe and Green to enhance the neighborhood’s perception through smart growth and sustainability principles.

“Our new Main Street Affiliate program provides Maryland communities the assistance and expertise to develop a holistic, big-picture approach to downtown revitalization. This program not only fosters economic development but provides a sustainable foundation for future growth,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Congratulations to Rock Hall for becoming our first affiliate, and we look forward to working with the town to achieve its revitalization goals.”

A historic, scenic, waterfront town, Rock Hall is best known for its outdoor recreation activities including fishing, boating, kayaking, cycling, and birding,  its main street featuring an eclectic variety of shops and restaurants, distinctive historic properties, and a charming, relaxing, small-town atmosphere. The town has initiated a number of recent revitalization efforts, including demolition and blight removal, small business creation, and significantly adding to the number of town events and activities. These annual events include: Bike Fest, a springtime motorcycle event, a regionally-recognized Independence Day celebration, a “Pirates and Wenches” fantasy weekend, the town’s annual FallFest, featuring music and oysters, and a regional triathlon. Rock Hall also hosts a weekly “Festive Fridays on Main” event with live entertainment during the summer. The Hometown Hero program displays Rock Hall’s local pride by decorating main street lamp posts with banners honoring local residents who are active members in the military. A seasonal tram system supports tourism, providing transportation to and from the town’s marinas, main street, restaurants, inns and other local destinations.

“I am very happy to receive word that Rock Hall’s application to become part of the Main Street Affiliate Program was approved. There is a lot of structure with this program and it has been proven to work in other communities. It will help the town stay focused, help with economic development and plan programs and events in our downtown,” said Rock Hall Mayor Brian Jones. “One of our goals with this new designation will be to hire a part-time Main Street manager who will be responsible for a variety of tasks including coordinating volunteers, building existing relations, working on a market strategy and planning events such as Festive Fridays. In addition, we plan on using this program and technical assistance with a focus on revitalization strategies designed to attract new residents, business investment, economic growth and job creation to the Main Street business district.”

Rock Hall’s new Main Street Affiliate designation continues a strong partnership between the town and the state to reshape the community. The town was named as a Sustainable Community earlier this year and has already received a Working Waterfront Enhancement grant from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources to create a master redevelopment plan for the town’s harbor. As an affiliate, Rock Hall will use Main Street Maryland’s technical assistance to apply for additional resources through the Community Legacy Program and other Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development revitalization programs which often serve as the catalyst to leverage additional private and public investment to transform communities for the better.

Applications to participate in the affiliate program are accepted on a rolling basis.

Visit http://bit.ly/MainStMD for an application and to learn more about the benefits of the Main Street Affiliate program.

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CONTACT: Sara Luell, Director of Communications, sara.luell@maryland.gov, 301-429-7803



Legal Notices: National Housing Trust Fund: Opening of Comment Period and Public Hearing Dates

Under the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), notice is hereby given that the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will hold a series of public hearings on the development and administration of the Housing Trust Fund program, a portion of the Consolidated Plan.

The Consolidated Plan is a five-year planning document required by HUD that sets out overall Statewide goals and priorities for housing, community development, and economic development activities.  Special emphasis is given under the Plan to provide assistance for extremely low-, low, and moderate-income persons.  In addition to being a planning document, the Consolidated Plan also serves as the State’s application to HUD for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), Housing Opportunity for Persons With AIDS (HOPWA) and the Housing Trust Fund (HTF).

The HTF is a new affordable housing production program that will complement existing Federal, State and local efforts to increase and preserve the supply of decent, safe and sanitary affordable housing for extremely low-income (ELI) and very low-income households (VLI). The HTF was established under Title I of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, Section 1131 (Public law 110-289).  Section 1131 of HERA amended the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 (12 U.S.C. 4501 et seq.)(Act) to add a new section 1337, entitled “Affordable Housing Allocation” and a new section 1338, entitled “Housing Trust Fund.

HTF is a formula grant program, which is to be administered by States. On January 30, 2015, HUD published an Interim Program Rule (FR-5246-I-03).  The interim rule provided the guidelines for States to implement HTF. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is the entity that will administer the HTF for Maryland.  Each year, HUD will allocate the amount made available for the HTF based on the formula established in the interim rule.   On May 6, 2016 HUD announced that Maryland’s allocation for 2016 is $3,000,000 based on HUD’s formula allocation procedures.  Grantees are required to use at least eighty (80) percent of each annual grant for rental housing; up to ten (10) percent for homeownership housing; and up to ten (10) percent for administrative and planning costs.  HTF funds may be used for the production of affordable permanent housing through the acquisition, new construction, reconstruction and/or rehabilitation of housing.  All HTF-assisted rental housing must meet a minimum affordability period of 30 years.  All HTF-assisted homeownership housing must meet the minimum affordability period of 10, 20, or 30 years based on the amount of HTF investment in the unit.

DHCD has written the draft for the National Housing Trust program and has opened a 30 day public comment period beginning June 27, 2016.  It should be noted DHCD has written the Annual Plan, using the new online system using the data that HUD has provided and will submit the HTF as an amendment to the Annual Plan. A second set of hearings will be held during the second week in July. Written comments (by both email and standard mail) will also be accepted at the hearings, or may be submitted in writing through COB Tuesday, July 26, 2016 (at the address listed below).  The final version of the HTF Allocation Plan will be submitted to HUD on or around August 8, 2016.

The draft HTF Allocation Plan is available on-line on DHCD’s website. Comments regarding the HTF Allocation Plan should be submitted to nht.dhcd@maryland.gov. In addition, copies of the draft National Housing Trust Fund plan are available at the following libraries:  the Enoch Pratt Free Library in Baltimore, the Blackwell Library in Salisbury, the Washington County Free Library in Hagerstown, the Lewis J. Ort Library in Frostburg, the Frederick Douglass Library in Princess Anne, and the Southern Maryland Regional Library in Charlotte Hall.  A large print version is available at the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped in Baltimore.  Free copies of the draft HTF Allocation Plan are also available by calling, writing, or e-mailing the address and phone numbers listed below.

The second set of hearings on the draft HTF Allocation Plan will be held at the following dates, times, and places:

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

Maryland Department of Housing and

Community Development

7800 Harkins Road, Room 201

Lanham, MD 20706

 

Thursday, July 14, 2016

1:00 pm to 2:00 pm

Pleasant View Gardens Apartments

201 North Aisquith Street

Baltimore, MD 21202

 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

10:30 am to 11:30 am

Town of Denton

4 North Second Street

2nd Floor

Denton, MD 21629

 

Friday, July 15, 2016, 2016

2:00pm to 3:00 pm

Elgin Station Community Center

40 Elgin Boulevard

Hagerstown, MD 21740

All of the hearing rooms are accessible to persons with disabilities.  Persons requiring a translator should request one at least three days prior to the hearing they plan to attend.  Any questions or comments should be directed to me at the address, phone numbers, or e-mail listed below:

Mrs. Elaine Cornick, Director

Multifamily Housing

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development

7800 Harkins Road

Lanham, Maryland 20706

(301) 429-7777 or Maryland Relay for the Deaf at 1 (800) 735-2258.

nht.dhcd@maryland.gov



Maryland Names New Sustainable Communities in the Eastern Shore, Southern Maryland

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Maryland Names New Sustainable Communities in the Eastern Shore, Southern Maryland

NEW CARROLLTON, Md. (June 23, 2016) – Maryland’s last inhabited island in the Chesapeake Bay not connected by bridge to mainland, Smith Island is a historic waterman community that was named one of the five best spots for “dropping off the grid” by CNN. It promotes itself as the hub of the soft-shelled crab industry in America, and is home to Maryland’s official state dessert, the multilayered Smith Island Cake. The island can now claim another title: Sustainable Community. Joining the Towns of Greensboro and Trappe on the Eastern Shore and the Town of Indian Head in southern Maryland, these four communities are the latest to receive designations under the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Sustainable Communities Program.

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Sustainable Communities Program is a place-based designation that offers access to a comprehensive package of resources that support holistic strategies for sustainable revitalization and community development. The Sustainable Communities designation provides local governments with a framework for planning and promoting growth and redevelopment in existing older communities that is environmentally, economically and socially responsible. Designations are approved by Maryland’s Smart Growth Subcabinet, and there are now 95 approved Sustainable Communities statewide with at least one designated Sustainable Community in each of Maryland’s 23 counties and Baltimore City.

Charles County – Town of Indian Head

With a population just under 4,000, the Town of Indian Head is 30 minutes from Washington, D.C., and offers the best of small town living with access to big city amenities just up the road. Nestled between the Potomac River and Mattawoman Creek, the town is home to a 13-mile rail trail and provides an ideal setting for outdoor activities, such as hiking, fishing, kayaking and canoeing. Indian Head offers cultural events at its Center for the Arts along with a flea market and several annual festivals on its Village Green. It is located near the Indian Head Naval Support Facility, one of the largest employers in Charles County. The town’s current challenges include decreased homeownership, stormwater management, lack of broadband internet access, vacant storefronts, and aging housing stock. Indian Head will seek state assistance to develop dynamic commercial and residential districts to replace currently vacant and dilapidated commercial properties. The town wants to create and implement homeownership incentives such as “live near your work” programs to attract new residents. Indian Head also plans to construct a boardwalk along the Potomac River to increase recreational opportunities in the community, as well as reduce the amount of impervious surfaces throughout the town to address stormwater and environmental impact concerns.

Caroline County – Town of Greensboro
Located on the north bank of the Choptank River, the Town of Greensboro is known for its water recreation activities, historic homes, beautiful churches and the rich farmland of Caroline County. With its Sustainable Community Greensboro_Riverside Inndesignation, the town seeks to improve its Main Street business district by establishing a façade improvement program and beautifying its streetscape. Seeking to maximize its historic assets, Greensboro plans to conduct a market study to determine a feasible re-use for the Riverside Country Inn, which was built in 1890 and is currently vacant. The town would also like to improve the pedestrian and bike network in town, developing town-wide trails and boardwalks to improve connectivity to the Choptank River. With 15 percent of the town located in the 100 year flood-plain, Greensboro seeks to establish a green street program to mitigate flooding.

Somerset County – Smith Island
Situated nine miles away from Crisfield, Smith Island is Maryland’s last inhabited island in the Chesapeake Bay not connected to the mainland by bridge and is home to the Martin Wildlife Refuge and the multi-layered Smith Island Cake, Maryland’s official state dessert. The island has historically been and continues to be a waterman community and is considered the hub of the nation’s soft-shell crab Smith Island_watermanindustry. It’s home to the Smith Island Crabmeat Co-op, Inc., a small business established in 1996 with help from the department’s Neighborhood BusinessWorks program that is dedicated to hand-picking and packaging crabmeat. Through the Sustainable Communities program, the community plans to preserve its heritage and grow its industry by establishing a waterman apprenticeship program. The island seeks to encourage the rehabilitation and reuse of vacant commercial spaces for dining and general stores. To promote eco-tourism, the community plans to develop an online guide to Smith Island and create all-inclusive tour packages that bundle multiple island experiences, such as historical walking tours, birding, kayaking, waterman tours and crab-picking tutorials. The community also plans to mitigate some of its flooding issues with green infrastructure improvements throughout the island. Smith Island faces additional environmental challenges, including erosion, climate vulnerability, poor drainage and lack of storm surge protection. Despite these challenges, the state recognized the island’s unique assets and rich history warranted a Sustainable Communities program designation.

Talbot County – Town of Trappe
Incorporated in 1827, the Town of Trappe was home to African-American activist Nathan “Uncle Nace” Hopkins who established the first school for African-American children in Talbot County in 1878. Home of the Rural Life Museum, Trappe Trappe_Historic Methodist Church_Schoolcelebrates its rich, local history and hopes to use the Sustainable Communities program to focus on the town’s current challenges, a struggling Main Street, flooding, lack of pedestrian facilities, and little to no commercial or industrial base. The town seeks to revitalize their Main Street by creating an economic development plan and recruiting new businesses to fill commercial vacancies. Trappe plans to address pedestrian safety concerns by completing sidewalk projects and making signage improvements. To address flooding issues, the community plans to prioritize locations for stormwater management improvements. Trappe also hopes to create a workgroup to explore the feasibility of additional community events and youth activities.

To learn more about the Sustainable Communities program and the application process, visit dhcd.maryland.gov/Communities/Pages/dn/.

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CONTACT: Sara Luell, Director of Communications, sara.luell@maryland.gov, 301-429-7803



#5000Reasons to Own a Home

June marks Homeownership Month, and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development shares the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s dedication to making homeownership affordable. Owning your own home is an important part of the fabric of the American dream, and we want to help Marylanders achieve this goal.

There are many reasons to own your home:

  • Economic benefits that include tax incentives.
  • The ability to provide your family with stability and room to grow.
  • A place you can truly call your own.

“Homeownership is a significant responsibility, but in many cases the rewards make the commitment undeniable,” Secretary Kenneth C. Holt said. “We’re working to make sure that Maryland residents can overcome barriers, such as down payments or finding affordable interest rates.”

For first-time home buyers, the Maryland Mortgage Program can make all the difference in the homeownership journey. The program offers down payment assistance up to $5,000 and partners homebuyers with lenders and builders. To learn more about the Maryland Mortgage Program, visit mmp.maryland.gov.

During Homeownership Month, the department is launching its #5000Reasons campaign on Twitter to give followers a chance to share their reasons for wanting to own their own home. How do you participate? During June, tweet your reasons for wanting to own your home to @MDHousing with the hashtag #5000Reasons. You can also send your contributions to us via Facebook.



Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Announces Fiscal Year 2017 Application Round for State Revitalization Programs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Announces Fiscal Year 2017 Application Round for State Revitalization Programs

NEW CARROLLTON, Md. (June 8, 2016) – The Department of Housing and Community Development has opened the FY17 application round for three of the four available State Revitalization Programs.

Work continues on a block in southeast Baltimore City using State Revitalization funding.

Work continues on a block in southeast Baltimore City using State Revitalization funding.

These programs, which include Community Legacy, Strategic Demolition Fund – Statewide (all non-Baltimore City) and Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative, offer funding to support local housing, community and economic development and revitalization projects. They are part of the department’s commitment to helping the state’s local governments and nonprofit agencies achieve their community revitalization and economic development goals.

Specifically, Governor Hogan’s Fiscal Year 2017 budget items, approved by the Maryland General Assembly, include the following:

  • Community Legacy: $6 million capital funds
  • Strategic Demolition Fund – Statewide: $3.5 million capital funds
  • Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative: $3 million capital funds and $750,000 operating funds

Applications are due July 15, 2016. The FY17 application due date for a fourth program, Strategic Demolition Fund – Project C.O.R.E., will be announced shortly.

Applicant organizations must serve communities that include designated Sustainable Community areas (http://dhcd.maryland.gov/Communities/Pages/dn/) and projects or initiatives that themselves align with local Sustainable Community Action Plans.

To obtain a State Revitalization Program application, eligible applicants must register via the Project Portal System at http://projectportal.dhcd.state.md.us. If your nonprofit or local government is already a registered user, once logged in, you can access the application via the “My Opportunities” tab. For assistance, please contact Bryan Holtzapple, grants system manager, at bryan.holtzapple@maryland.gov or 410-209-5832.

Additional program information is found on the following websites:

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CONTACT: Sara Luell, Director of Communications, sara.luell@maryland.gov, 301-429-7803



In Case You Missed It: Kelly Vaughn Radio Interview

 From left: Eric Brown, Director, Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development, Harold Fisher, host of the Daily Drum, and Kelly Vaughn.

From left: Eric Brown, Director, Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development, Harold Fisher, host of the Daily Drum, and Kelly Vaughn.

On Thursday, June 2, Director of Community Outreach Kelly Vaughn was interviewed by Harold Fisher on “The Daily Drum” radio show on WHUR 96.3.

Vaughn, along with Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development Director Eric Brown, spoke with Fisher about how foreclosure affected and continues to affect Maryland residents, and the steps one can take to prevent themselves from ending up in that position.

Vaughn also discussed the next Mortgage Late? Don’t Wait! workshop, to be held June 11 at the Prince George’s Sports and Learning Complex. Register for the event here.

Listen to Vaughn’s interview here.

 

 

 



Sykesville Nominated for Coolest Small Town in America: Vote by June 6!

Sykesville's Main Street

Sykesville’s Main Street

A second town in Maryland is in the running for Coolest Small Town in America. Visitors to BudgetTravel.com have the chance to vote for Sykesville, a Main Street Maryland community located in Carroll County, to receive this designation. Another Maryland town, Berlin, located in Worcester County, won the honor in 2014.

In a state full of small towns with charm, Sykesville stands out. Traversed by the B&O Railroad, which still passes through the town regularly, the town also boasts a beautiful view of the Patapsco River, along with a thriving main street that has given new life to the community as it rebounded from the recession. Along the town’s main street, visitors can find many independently-owned shops and restaurants. The town also pays homage to its railroad history through train rides for children, model train displays, and a restaurant located in the former B&O Train Station.

The town is rich in history: Civil War buffs and other history enthusiasts can learn about the town’s significance in the war and the story of many of its buildings on a guided walking tour. It’s also home to the Sykesville Town House, named as one of the most haunted spots in Maryland, for those who like their history lesson to be a little on the spooky side.

The town also earned Main Street Maryland designation in 2012. Main Street Maryland is a comprehensive downtown revitalization program created in 1998 by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. The program strives to strengthen the economic potential of Maryland’s traditional main streets and neighborhoods. Using a competitive process, Main Street Maryland selects communities who have made a commitment to succeed and helps them improve the economy, appearance and image of their traditional downtown business districts.

Sykesville was also previously recognized by Bloomberg BusinessWeek as the number 10 spot for best places to raise a family in the entire country.

All of this, and much more, make Sykesville worthy of taking the Coolest Small Town title. Click here to vote for Sykesville! The contest closes on June 6, and you may only vote once a day per IP address.



Legal Notice: National Housing Trust Fund Program

LEGAL NOTICES

NATIONAL HOUSING TRUST FUND PROGRAM

Under the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), notice is hereby given that the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will hold a series of public hearings on the development and administration of the Housing Trust Fund program, a portion of the Consolidated Plan.

The Consolidated Plan is a five-year planning document required by HUD that sets out overall Statewide goals and priorities for housing, community development, and economic development activities.  Special emphasis is given under the Plan to provide assistance for extremely low-, low, and moderate-income persons.  In addition to being a planning document, the Consolidated Plan also serves as the State’s application to HUD for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), Housing Opportunity With AIDS (HOPWA) and the Housing Trust Fund (HTF).

The National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) is a new affordable housing production program that will complement existing Federal, State and local efforts to increase and preserve the supply of decent, safe and sanitary affordable housing for extremely low-income (ELI) and very low-income households (VLI). The HTF was established under Title I of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, Section 1131 (Public law 110-289).  Section 1131 of HERA amended the Federal Housing Enterprises Financial Safety and Soundness Act of 1992 (12 U.S.C. 4501 et seq.)(Act) to add a new section 1337, entitled “Affordable Housing Allocation” and a new section 1338, entitled “Housing Trust Fund.

HTF is a formula grant program, which is to be administered by States. On January 30, 2015, HUD published an Interim Program Rule (FR-5246-I-03).  The interim rule provided the guidelines for States to implement HTF. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is the entity that will administer the HTF for Maryland.  Each year, HUD will allocate the amount made available for the HTF based on the formula established in the interim rule.   On May 6, 2016 HUD announced that Maryland’s allocation for 2016 is $3,000,000 based on HUD’s formula allocation procedures.  Grantees are required to use at least eighty (80) percent of each annual grant for rental housing; up to ten (10) percent for homeownership housing; and up to ten (10) percent for administrative and planning costs.  HTF funds may be used for the production of affordable permanent housing through the acquisition, new construction, reconstruction and/or rehabilitation of housing.  All HTF-assisted rental housing must meet a minimum affordability period of 30 years.  All HTF-assisted homeownership housing must meet the minimum affordability period of 10, 20, or 30 years based on the amount of HTF investment in the unit.

It is to this purpose that we are holding public hearings – to gain input regarding how to develop and administer HTF.   At this point, nothing has been written for the draft HTF program.  These hearings are to gather initial input about what should be in the draft HTF program. It should be noted DHCD has written the Annual Plan, using the new online system using the data that HUD has provided and will submit the HTF as an amendment to the Annual Plan. Once the Housing Trust Fund portion of the Annual Plan is written it will be released for 30 days of public comment (including written comment) in mid-June, 2016.  After the public has had several weeks to review the draft HTF Plan, a second set of hearings will be held in late June and early July.  Additional comments, recommendations, and suggestions will be taken during these hearings (and during the full public comment period), with the final version of the HTF Plan submitted to HUD during the week of August 8, 2016.

The first set of hearings on the development of the draft Housing Trust Fund Plan will be held at the following dates, times, and places:

Tuesday, May 31, 2016, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Maryland Dept. of Housing and Community Development
7800 Harkins Road
Room 201
Lanham, MD 20706

Wednesday, June 1, 2016, from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Sollers Point Multipurpose Building
323 Sollers Point Road
Classroom
Dundalk, MD 21222

Thursday, June 2, 2016, from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Town of Denton
4 North 2nd Street
2nd Floor
Denton, MD 21629

Friday, June 3, 2016, 2016, from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Elgin Station Community Center
40 Elgin Boulevard
Hagerstown, MD 21740

All of the hearing rooms are accessible to persons with disabilities.  Persons requiring a translator should request one at least three days prior to the hearing they plan to attend.  Any questions or comments should be directed to the address, phone numbers, or e-mail listed below:

Mrs. Elaine Cornick, Director
Multifamily Housing
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
7800 Harkins Road
Lanham, Maryland 20706
301-429-7777 or Maryland Relay for the Deaf at 1-800-735-2258.
nht.dhcd@maryland.gov

 



State Housing and Planning Officials Get In-Depth Look at East Baltimore’s Growth

State officials toured East Baltimore in April to observe EBDI's progress.

State officials toured East Baltimore in April to observe EBDI’s progress.

On Wednesday, April 13, staff from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and the Maryland Department of Planning toured East Baltimore to see the progress of state investments in blight elimination, affordable housing and creation of new community open spaces.
The tour was led by members of nonprofit East Baltimore Development Inc., an organization originally created in 2004 to manage the redevelopment of 88 acres north of the Johns Hopkins medical campus. The project, one of the largest community renewal efforts in the country, is an example of how public-private partnerships can spur private sector reinvestment while also being responsive to local resident housing and employment needs.

Recent investments by the department in housing rehabilitation and new construction have created over 200 units of affordable housing. This year’s investment of just over $1 million in Strategic Demolition Funds will help EBDI clear the final parcels needed to create Eager Park, a new linear community park which spans a three block area.

The area’s master developer, Forest City, has completed two commercial office buildings including 37,000 square feet of retail space. Additional projects completed include a 321 unit graduate student housing building and a K-8 community school. A Marriott Hotel and 50 single family housing units are under construction. Overall, the project has leveraged $500 million in public and private funds with major commitments from the state, Baltimore City, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, and Johns Hopkins Medicine.

For John Maneval, the Deputy Director of Multifamily & Business Lending Programs, the chance to go on this tour was an invaluable experience. Maneval said it had been a while since his last visit with EBDI, and was happy to see the amount of progress being made in East Baltimore.

“It was especially encouraging to see new and planned retail investment in the area,” Maneval said. “Our tour guides — Ray Skinner of EBDI and Scott Levitan of Forest City — were quite frank about the challenges associated with the overall redevelopment, and the bumps in the road they have encountered. The creation of Eager Park as a new anchor for continued development is a bold undertaking; it will be interesting to see if this significant new investment achieves its goal of jump-starting additional development.”



Maryland Mortgage Program Announces Annual Award Winners

NEW CARROLLTON, Md. – For the Department of Housing and Community Development, partner organizations play a critical role in the agency’s success. On Friday, April 22, the Maryland Mortgage Program held its annual awards breakfast. The event honored the program’s top performing lender partners in 2015.

Since 2010, the awards breakfast has served as the department’s way of recognizing the partners that help advance the Maryland Mortgage Program. The honorees have gone above and beyond to utilize the department’s resources, and assist in achieving homeownership for all Maryland residents.

Secretary Kenneth C. Holt and Assistant Secretary Tiffany Robinson present Heidi Ford of First Home Mortgage (center) with the award for Top Producing Lender.

Secretary Kenneth C. Holt and Assistant Secretary Tiffany Robinson present Heidi Ford of First Home Mortgage (center) with the award for Top Producing Lender.

“Our partners are a vital part of our mission,” Secretary Kenneth C. Holt said. “Without them, we could not have provided 3,270 mortgage loans with a volume of $636 million in 2015 to residents in all of Maryland’s jurisdictions. We’re very proud of the work they’ve done, and want to express our deep appreciation.”

In addition to the awards program, Laurie Benner from the Maryland Association of Realtors, Burgess Kegan of Maryland Mortgage Bankers Association and Steve Gondol of Live Baltimore gave remarks. Three senior representatives from U.S. Bank, the master servicer of the Maryland Mortgage Program for nearly five years, flew from Ohio and Minnesota to attend the event. They presented an award for best loan packages to First Home Mortgage, highlighted processing improvements at the bank, and affirmed their commitment to the program.

 

The winners are:

Top Producing Lenders

First Home Mortgage Corporation – Accepted by Heidi Ford, Vice President, Secondary Marketing
First Home Mortgage led the way with the highest overall production.
George Mason Mortgage – Accepted by Sue Spinetta, Vice President, Product Management & Investor Relations
George Mason Mortgage, based in Virginia, has become a significant player in Maryland, and moved from third place to second by the end of 2015.
Howard Bank – Accepted by Jeff Albaugh, Senior Vice President
Howard Bank has been an approved lender with the Maryland Mortgage Program since 2013, and made it to the gold-tier productivity list in just one year.

Secretarial Recognition: Rising Star Award

Monarch Mortgage and Fitzgerald Financial, divisions of Monarch Bank – Accepted by Kirk Forman, Branch Manager
The Rising Star Award recognizes a remarkable leap in year-to-year performance. Monarch Bank has been an approved Maryland Mortgage Program lender for several years. In 2015, incentivized by the TriplePlay initiative, Monarch tripled their business with the program, moving from bronze to gold.

Best Utilization of Builder/Developer Incentive Program

Universal American Mortgage Company / Lennar Homes
Partner Match Programs allow borrowers to get additional down payment assistance from their employer, a builder or developer, or a community partner. For most products, the Maryland Mortgage Program will match the contribution up to $2,500 in the form of a zero percent loan on top of regular down payment assistance. Usage of these programs has been strong and steady with 302 partners. For the third year running, Lennar Homes and Universal American Mortgage Company are the top producing Builder/Developer Partner.

Staff Recognition Award: Best Processor

Erin Glackin of First Home Mortgage
Erin was chosen by the Maryland Mortgage Program’s underwriting and processing staff as the year’s best processor; her familiarity and comfort with the program make her loan packages a breeze to review!



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