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Hogan Administration Proposes $5 Million in Funding to Assist Ellicott City

Read the press release at: http://governor.maryland.gov/2016/08/17/hogan-administration-proposes-5-million-in-funding-to-assist-ellicott-city/.



Community Services Block Grant Program Draft Plan Open for Public Comment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

NEW CARROLLTON, Md. (August 15, 2016) – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is announcing the state’s draft plan for the distribution of approximately $9.7 million in federal funds under the Community Services Block Grant Program for federal fiscal year 2017.

The block grant funds, originally authorized under the Budget Reconciliation Act of 1981, will be distributed to local agencies across the state to finance numerous programs for low-income persons. Per federal statute, 90 percent of the funds will be distributed to local community action agencies throughout Maryland.

“The Community Action Agencies are the frontline providers of assistance to low-income families across the state, providing a wide range of services,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt.

Originally part of the nation’s War on Poverty, the community action agencies have used federal funds since 1964 to develop programs designed to ameliorate the causes of poverty in local areas. In Maryland, these programs have included Head Start educational centers of young children; health, employment, housing and weatherization programs for adults; and other special programs for young persons and the elderly.

The department will hold a public hearing on Thursday, August 18, 2016, at 10 a.m. at the Maryland Department of Transportation, 7201 Corporate Center Drive, Hanover, Maryland. Copies of the plan are available for review at 7800 Harkins Rd, Lanham, Maryland, or here. Persons wishing to provide written comment on the state plan may do so by sending a letter addressed to Michelle Bass, Project Manager, Office of Community Programs, Department of Housing and Community Development, 7800 Harkins Road, MD, 20706, or via email at michelle.bass@maryland.gov. All comments must be received by close of business on Friday, August 26, 2016.

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



Mount Rainier Groundbreaking Sets Path for Future Growth

rainierMOUNT RAINIER, Md. (August 15, 2016) – An August 1 groundbreaking kicked off redevelopment efforts in Mount Rainier. The redevelopment of the 3300 block of Rhode Island Avenue will restore three historic buildings that have been vacant for 10 to 25 years. These buildings, located in the heart of Mount Rainier, will create housing on the upper floors and retail space on the ground floors. The project brings together a vibrant mix of uses that activates the commercial core of Mount Rainier.

The redevelopment project encompasses three buildings: 3300 Rhode Island, 3308 Rhode Island and 3310 Rhode Island. 3300 and 3308 Rhode Island Avenue will contain 11 residential apartments on the upper floors and a 6,800 square foot hardware store on the ground floor. The apartment mix consists of two studio, seven one-bedroom and two two-bedroom apartments. 3310 Rhode Island Avenue will contain a 1,600 square foot café/restaurant. The project will be designed and certified to meet LEED Silver standards. The project is scheduled for completion in July 2017.

The economic impact is noteworthy; the project is anticipated to create 22 construction jobs, 38 permanent jobs and bring 11 new households to the area. The project is expected to generate more than $3.5 million in tax revenue over the first 10 years of operation.

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development helped finance a portion of the acquisition costs with $475,000 from its Strategic Demolition Fund program. The total acquisition cost of the three buildings was $1.08 million. The total development costs of the project are $4.58 million.

The Strategic Demolition Fund program played a critical role in the project by providing financial assistance to the Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County to complete site assembly on the project. The Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County selected the Menkiti Group as the primary developer on the project.

The Strategic Demolition Fund is a state-funded program that provides local and county governments and community development organizations with financial assistance for projects aimed at accelerating economic development and job production in existing Maryland communities. Eligible activities of the Strategic Demolition Fund program include demolition of derelict non-contributing structures, site acquisition and assembly to create redevelopment-sized parcels for solicitation or planned development, site development, and construction-level architectural and engineering designs.

Additional financing for the project came from the Redevelopment Authority of Prince George’s County and Sandy Spring Bank.



Waverly Main Street Announces Main Street Hats Grand Reopening

20160801_143938On Saturday, August 13, Baltimore’s Waverly Main Street will celebrate the grand reopening of Main Street Hats. With partner support and funding, more than $40,000 worth of interior and exterior improvements have been completed. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development awarded more than $6,000 through the Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative, which focuses on areas in the Baltimore region where modest investment and a coordinated strategy can have an appreciable neighborhood revitalization impact.

Design services were provided by Gensler and Associates, and construction services were provided by Rebuilding Together Baltimore and Second Century Homes. Other funding sources include $5,000 from Johns Hopkins University, $20,000 from Baltimore Development Corporation and $10,000 from Wells Fargo.

Main Street Hats’ reopening represents the positive effect collaborative funding and initiatives can have on our small businesses and communities in Maryland. Waverly Main Street would like to invite everyone to the ribbon cutting ceremony at 10 a.m. on August 13 at Main Street Hats, located at 3019 Greenmount Avenue. The event is free to the public.



Maryland Town Manager Circuit Rider Grant Program Expands

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has significantly expanded the Maryland Town Manager Circuit Rider Grant, a program that enables smaller municipalities to hire professional staff to assist with public administration, financial management, planning, and community development. Typically operating in rural regions of Maryland, these professional administrators “Ride Circuit” by serving several towns in the same area on a part-time basis. Plans to expand the program were developed after the Maryland General Assembly increased the program’s annual budget from $125,000 to $500,000 with approval from the Maryland General Assembly.

Under the Maryland Town Manager Circuit Rider Grant program, municipalities, counties, and regional governmental organizations can partner together to sponsor a circuit and hire professional staff who serve two or more towns. The department assists the local governments that are applying for  program funding by developing a work program for the Circuit Rider, preparing the grant application and budget, and recruiting and interviewing the candidates for the position. Once hired, the Circuit Rider professionals provide the town with administrative services, such as reviewing and updating town ordinances, drafting and submitting grant applications, recordkeeping, responding to public inquiries on behalf of town officials, assisting with the construction and maintenance of water and wastewater management systems, and developing sustainable community and other revitalization plans.

Traditionally, the Maryland Town Manager Circuit Rider Grant program funded two circuits annually. The Garrett County Community Action Agency received funding to sponsor a circuit in the county that includes the towns of Accident, Deer Park, Friendsville, Grantsville, Kitzmiller, Loch Lynn Heights, Mountain Lake Park and Oakland. The Maryland Rural Development Corporation received funding to sponsor a circuit within multiple Eastern Shore counties that includes the towns of Barclay in Queen Anne’s County, Betterton in Kent County, Brookview, Church Creek, Eldorado and Galestown  in Dorchester County, and Goldsboro, and Henderson in Caroline County.  Both circuits will continue to receive funding until the current grant agreements expire in June 2017, When the current grant expires, the circuit sponsors will be required to reapply for a new grant.

Four new circuits were approved under the program’s expansion. The Board of County Commissioners of Caroline County will sponsor a circuit in the county that includes the towns of Goldsboro, Henderson, Hillsboro, Marydel and Templeville. Pocomoke City in Worcester County will sponsor a circuit that includes the municipality as well as the City of Crisfield in Somerset County. The Town of North Beach will sponsor a circuit that includes the Calvert County town and the Town of Forest Heights in Prince George’s County. The Maryland Rural Development Corporation will sponsor its second circuit which will serve the western Maryland towns of Lonaconing, Luke and Westernport in Allegany County and Hancock and Williamsport in Washington County. Grant terms for the new circuits are two years, expiring in June 2018.

For more information about the Maryland Town Manager Circuit Rider Grant program, visit http://bit.ly/CrctRdr.



Programs Available for Ellicott City Flood Disaster

During the July 30 flash floods, downtown Ellicott City sustained severe damage to its historic Main Street. Despite the severity, the residents of Howard County have shown a profound level of strength and perseverance during this catastrophic time. To assist with the recovery, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has several programs available to assist the affected businesses and residents.

Ellicott City has requested funding for façade improvement through the Community Legacy Program, and the department will work with the city in order to increase funding based on damage assessments. Additionally, the department will extend Ellicott City’s application deadline for the Strategic Demolition Fund to enable assistance if needed for this program.

“Our department has a long and successful history of partnership with Ellicott City, particularly through our neighborhood revitalization programs,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “We will continue to strengthen this partnership as we work together to support business owners and residents during their recovery efforts in the wake of this tragic disaster.”

In addition to Community Legacy funds, the department is offering assistance through its Disaster Relief Housing Program, WholeHome (Maryland Housing Rehabilitation Program), Maryland Disaster Housing Assistance Program, Strategic Demolition Fund, Main Street Maryland, and Maryland Business Recovery.

For more information on available assistance, visit http://dhcd.maryland.gov/Communities/Pages/Ellicott-City-Recovery.aspx.



Federal, State and Local Housing Officials Celebrate Opening of Senior Rental Housing in Silver Spring

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt joined Montgomery County Executive Isiah "Ike" Leggett, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's District of Columbia Field Office Director Marvin Turner, and other development partners to celebrate the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the Bonifant at Silver Spring.

Secretary Kenneth C. Holt joined Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, HUD District of Columbia Field Office Director Marvin Turner, and other partners to celebrate the grand opening of the Bonifant at Silver Spring.

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt joined Montgomery County Executive Isiah “Ike” Leggett, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s District of Columbia Field Office Director Marvin Turner, and other development partners to celebrate the ribbon cutting and grand opening of the Bonifant at Silver Spring.  Sponsored by the Montgomery Housing Partnership and the Donahoe Development Company, the Bonfiant is a newly constructed, 11-story, high-rise residential apartment building located next to the new Silver Spring Library and a future Purple Line metro station that will provide 149 units of affordable rental housing for active, independent seniors.  The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development provided $1,127,972 in federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, $22 million in tax-exempt short-term bonds, and a $3,583,340 loan through the Rental Housing Works program.

For more information, visit http://www2.montgomerycountymd.gov/mcgportalapps/Press_Detail.aspx?Item_ID=15214

The Bonifant at Silver Spring will provide 149 units of affordable rental housing for seniors.

The Bonifant at Silver Spring will provide 149 units of affordable rental housing for seniors.



Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Announces Fiscal Year 2017 Application Round for Project C.O.R.E. Funding

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Announces Fiscal Year 2017 Application Round for Project C.O.R.E. Funding

NEW CARROLLTON, Md. (July 12, 2016) – The Department of Housing and Community Development has opened the FY17 application round for Project C.O.R.E. funding.

Project C.O.R.E., or Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise, is a state initiative to eliminate blight in Baltimore City and make way for new green space, new affordable housing, mixed-use development and expanded opportunities for businesses.

The Department will prioritize awards to those projects that will have a strong positive economic and revitalization impact. In addition, projects that can be completed quickly and with relative certainty of achieving the project-specific goals will receive preferences in scoring.

Applications are due August 19, 2016, at 3 p.m.

For more information and to apply, download:

For more information about Project C.O.R.E., visit http://dhcd.maryland.gov/ProjectCORE/.

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



Department Partnerships Serve Prince George’s County Residents

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Senior Program Manager for Housing and Building Energy Programs Colin Choney talks with residents

At the Department of Housing and Community Development, we strive to help Maryland citizens live as well as possible in homes that provide a comfortable and safe place for their families. The department is proud to share this mission with many other organizations in Maryland. On June 29, the department partnered with the Prince George’s County government, Housing Initiative Partnership and Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland to host an event to inform county residents of the programs available to them.

The home restoration event, held at the Prince George’s Ballroom in Kentland, was full to capacity days ahead of the event, with 250 people registered. Jack Daniels, the department’s Deputy Director of Special Loan Programs, discussed the services available through Maryland WholeHome, including repairs, accessibility aids for the disabled, lead reduction and plumbing upgrades. Senior Program Manager for Housing and Building Energy Programs Colin Choney followed up by discussing the department’s various energy offerings, such as the EmPOWER Maryland Low Income Energy Efficiency Program.

The partner organizations for the event share many of the same goals as the department, which was evident in their presentations. Housing Initiative Partnership Deputy Director Stephanie Proestel discussed her group’s work with multifamily and single-family initiatives, including an opportunity for Kentland Community residents to apply to receive one of 25 grants for front-facing facade improvements. Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland’s Director of Programs Sarah Reddinger let attendees know of upcoming home buying opportunities, along with their own weatherization and home repair initiatives.

With these partnerships in place, Maryland residents have more opportunities than ever before to receive assistance for these types of services. These ties serve to support and encourage people who may not otherwise be able to afford necessary work for their homes.

Because of the popularity of this event, an additional home restoration event will be held July 7. To register and for more information, call the Housing Initiative Partnership at 301-699-3835.



Maryland Homeownership Groups Represented at White House Event

Maryland Homeownership Groups Represented at White House Event

Several organizations from Maryland attended the “Dare to Own the Dream” event at the White House.

Several organizations from Maryland attended the “Dare to Own the Dream” event at the White House. (Photo courtesy of the Community Development Network of Maryland)

In celebration of Homeownership Month, the White House Office of Public Engagement and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) hosted the “Dare to Own the Dream” homeownership event at the White House on Tuesday, June 21, 2016. HUD Secretary Julian Castro and senior White House officials recognized families and individuals from around the country who became homeowners with the assistance of HUD-approved housing counseling agencies. This event highlighted stories of individuals from various backgrounds who are now on the path to sustainable homeownership after receiving assistance from HUD-approved housing counseling agencies.

The Community Development Network of Maryland and a number of Maryland-based housing counseling agencies were among those represented,  including Centro de Apoyo Familiar, Comprehensive Housing Assistance Inc., Druid Heights Community Development Corporation, Harford County Department of Housing and Community Development, Housing Initiative Partnership, Salisbury Neighborhood Housing Services, United Communities Against Poverty and Home Free-USA. All of these organizations are part of Maryland’s HOPE (Home Owners Preserving Equity) network, which provides professional housing counseling services across the state.

Through the state’s Maryland Housing Counseling Fund, the Department of Housing and Community Development is proud to support the important work done by these organizations to prepare consumers for sustainable homeownership. Research shows that homebuyers who worked with nonprofit housing counselors have fewer late mortgage payments and improved credit scores.

In conjunction with the White House event, a national collaboration of lenders, investors, real estate agents and housing counseling agencies announced that they are joining forces to raise awareness of the opportunities and benefits of working with housing counseling agencies. The “Homeownership Collaborative” will pull together industry stakeholders to host partnerships in local housing markets aimed at increasing homeownership opportunities by working with HUD-approved housing counseling agencies.

Partners in this effort include the Mortgage Bankers Association, the National Housing Resource Center, the National Association of Realtors®, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals, the Asian Real Estate Association of America and National Council of La Raza. HomeFree-USA and Housing Options and Planning Enterprises, also members of Maryland’s HOPE network, will participate in this national effort.

New homebuyers in Maryland can  visit http://bit.ly/HousingCounselors  for a list of housing counseling agencies in their area as well as information about the department’s Maryland Mortgage Program, which provides affordable access to home mortgage financing.



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