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Legal Notice – Updating Maryland’s Annual Plan

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 to develop its new draft Annual Plan update of the State’s 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). These funds are used primarily in the State’s rural areas (with the exception of HTF), as many communities, including Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties, as well as the Cities of Annapolis, Baltimore, Bowie, Cumberland, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Hagerstown and Salisbury receive their own funding directly from HUD. DHCD will receive about $4.1 million in HOME funding, $7.1 million in CDBG funding, $1 million in ESG funding, $3 million in HTF funding and $1.8 million in HOPWA funding in FFY 2017.

In addition to the above, it should also be noted that the Consolidated Plan also makes it possible for DHCD, public housing authorities, local governments, nonprofit organizations, community action agencies and others to apply for funding under HUD’s competitive grant programs. Local public housing authority Plans must be consistent with the State’s Consolidated Plan, and USDA Farmer’s Home housing programs and Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits are also coordinated with the Plan. Lastly, while not directly covered by the Consolidated Plan, HUD funding allocations for the Section 8 Certificate and Voucher programs may be made in a way that enables jurisdictions to carry out their Consolidated Plan.

In developing its five-year Plan, the State determined it would focus its resources on four main priorities: Revitalizing Communities, Expanding the Supply of Decent Affordable Housing, Providing Homeownership Opportunities and Reducing Homelessness. The Annual Plan update (which will be for the third year of the current Five Year Plan) will establish one-year goals for these priorities. It is for this purpose that we are holding public hearings – to gain input regarding how to carry out these goals in the coming year.

The draft Annual Plan has been written. It should be noted that HUD has changed the Annual Plan from a written document to a largely online tool using pre-filled data. DHCD has written a draft Annual Plan, using the new online system using the data that HUD has provided, and has opened a 14 day public comment period beginning Monday, July 10, 2017. A second set of hearings will be held beginning the third 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 Sunday, July 23, 2017 (at the address listed below). The final version of the Annual Plan will be submitted to HUD on or around August 16, 2017.

The draft Annual Plan is available on-line on DHCD’s website at It can be found under the “Publications” heading at the bottom of the website. In addition, copies of the draft Annual 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 Douglas 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 Annual 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 Annual Plan will be held at the following dates, times, and places:

Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 7:00 PM
Towson Library
320 York Road
Wilson Room
Towson, Maryland 21204

Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 10:30 AM
Fairview Branch Library
Small Meeting Room
Rt. 4 and Chaneyville Road
Owings, Maryland 20736

Wednesday, July 19, 2017 at 10:30 AM
Town of Denton
4 N. Second Street
Second Floor Training Room
Denton, Maryland 21629

Friday, July 21, 2017 at 1:30 PM
Allegany County Office Complex
701 Kelly Road
Potomac Room 230
Cumberland, Maryland 21502

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. Ja’Nai C. Streat
Senior Housing Policy Analyst
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
7800 Harkins Road
Lanham, Maryland 20706
(301) 429-7445 or Maryland Relay for the Deaf at 1 (800) 735-2258.

A New Canvas For Baltimore: Southwest Partnership Working to Expand Traci Atkins Park, Make Way for New Growth

With $350,000 in Project C.O.R.E. funds, Southwest Partnership, a nonprofit serving seven Baltimore City neighborhoods, will soon begin work on demolition of blighted properties in southwest Baltimore. This will allow more recreational space for city residents, and will clear new parcels for future development.

The three areas this project focuses on are in Hollins and Mount Clare. The Hollins sites, which are the 1200 block of Hollins Street and 1100 block of W. Baltimore Street, will create development parcels for new construction mixed use buildings. In the New Southwest/Mount Clare neighborhood, the demolition of the blighted properties will allow for an expansion of Traci Atkins community park.

This project came about through community meetings that allowed those living in the area to voice their concerns, thus creating a project tailored specifically to the needs they identified. Community members participating in these planning sessions identified vacant houses as detrimental to the quality of life in the neighborhood. The consultants brought in through the planning process emphasized the role that groupings of vacant houses did present a liability, but were simultaneously an asset, as some of the vacant houses also provide development opportunities.

Once completed, Southwest Partnership expects these changes to the area will attract more people to the neighborhoods, both to live and play. By demolishing the vacant houses abutting the park and expanding it, its recreational uses and capacity will increase. This also serves to remove dangerous buildings and illegal dumping. The removal of these properties will make the area more attractive for prospective tenants while also enhancing the quality of life for its current residents.

“A New Canvas for Baltimore” is a regular series covering Project C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise). Project C.O.R.E. will clear the way for new green space, new affordable and mixed use housing, and new opportunities for small business owners in Baltimore City. The initiative will generate jobs, strengthen the partnership between the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland and lead to safer, healthier and more attractive communities. For more information on Project C.O.R.E., visit


Local Project Connects the Riverfront of West Denton with Denton’s East Side

ANNAPOLIS, MD (June 28, 2017)– Governor Larry Hogan today joined local and state officials and elected representatives to officially open the new $2.1 million Crouse Park Visitor and Heritage Center in Denton. The visitor and heritage center has been long sought after by the Town of Denton to support tourism and attract visitors to the Daniel Crouse Memorial Park on the bank of the Choptank River.

“I am proud to celebrate this important, long-anticipated achievement for the Town of Denton, for Caroline County, and for the State of Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “In addition to supporting our vital tourism industry, this center will also be an important boon for the local economy by encouraging more people to visit this region.”

The visitor and heritage center is a 2,500-square foot wooden building that provides a vital link between two riverfronts and offers a unique tourism destination for motorists and recreational boaters. The Crouse Park Visitor and Heritage Center was partially funded by the Federal Transportation Enhancement Program (TEP) via the federal transportation authorization bill SAFETEA-LU. This program provides funding for non-traditional transportation projects, including a broad range of eligible activities from community improvements to environmental mitigation initiatives.

The Maryland Department of Transportation distributes the funding at the discretion of the transportation secretary.

“I personally have been involved with this project for over ten years,” said Denton Mayor Abagail McNinch. “It has been amazing to see this come to fruition.”

Additional state funding was provided through the Community Legacy program, administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The Crouse Park Visitor and Heritage Center received two program awards totaling $310,000 that assisted with architectural, predevelopment, and construction costs. The visitor center is the second DHCD-funded project in Denton to celebrate its opening this month following the grand opening of Riverwoods at Denton, an 84-unit affordable rental housing community that received nearly $3.5 million from the department.

“Projects like the Crouse Park Visitor and Heritage Center and Riverwoods at Denton exemplify the Hogan administration’s commitment to support communities on the Eastern Shore and throughout rural Maryland,” said DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “By working in partnership with local stakeholders, we are ensuring that redevelopment in these areas is responsive to local needs and contributes to positive economic growth.”

The project encompasses nearly 1,000 feet of Choptank riverfront, including over 30 acres, two sites on the National Register of Historic Places, an adjacent National Register Historic District, three National Register Vessels and access to the region’s most extensive water trail, the Choptank and Tuckahoe Rivers Trail.

“The next phase of this project will be the fun part,” said McNinch. “It is now time for tourists and members of our community to enjoy this beautiful center.”


Main Attractions: After Flood, A New Ellicott City Is Born

When strolling through Ellicott City’s Main Street, it’s hard to tell that anything as serious as the flood of July 2016 ever took place. On a sunny Thursday this June, people were milling up and down enjoying the weather, perhaps taking time to pop in one of the many independent stores that line the street or savoring a bite to eat at one of the town’s restaurants. There were virtually no signs to the untrained eye that on July 30, 2016, this historic destination in Howard County was hammered by six inches of rain in two hours. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development was there to assist displaced business owners and residents alike.

Maureen Smith, the executive director of the Ellicott City Partnership, can tell you down to the day how long it has been since the flood. While walking along Main Street, she often stops to point out areas where the flood damage was particularly severe or sites of stores that may have moved to a different spot on the street or that did not come back after the storm. The combination of the amount of rain and the short time span over which it fell created a flash flood on Main Street, causing significant damage and costing two people their lives.

“It was absolutely devastating,” Smith said. “It was just awful. There was absolutely nothing good about the flood.” But now, she is optimistic. “We’re getting a whole brand new town. Almost every building was affected. Everybody had to renovate…so we’re going to end up with really nice all-new stores, a whole new attitude, a new culture, new everything. It’s really exciting.”

As a result of the flood and the damage caused, 17 stores ultimately ended up being unable to resume operations due to the high costs associated. However, Smith said, the town has  attracted 17 new businesses, and three more are expected to open in the near future.

With the help of a retail expert who had been working with Ellicott City business owners before the flood, things were already looking up in Ellicott City. Many have established online presences that they did not have before, and have the inviting brick and mortar storefronts to match.

For many businesses affected by the storm, loans offered through the Maryland Business Recovery Loan Program were instrumental. The program has provided 28 loans since the flood. The department still has available funds and is accepting additional applications from businesses in Ellicott City.* Housing assistance was also offered to residents displaced by the flood. Through the Maryland Disaster Housing Assistance Program, the department assisted 27 families and offered nearly $86,000 in emergency rental assistance. Additionally, through the Maryland Housing Rehabilitation Program, $307,657 was issued to Ellicott City residents for home repairs.

Jason Barnes, the owner of All Time Toys, had only taken over ownership of the store two months before the flood hit. Everything from fixtures in the store to items available for purchase were completely destroyed, and Barnes was left in a tight spot.

“It basically saved me,” Barnes said of the Maryland Business Recovery Loan he received from the department. “I put every cent I had in, and then…the flood happened, and that completely wiped me. The loan basically allowed me to wade out, do the repairs, and restore my inventory. It gave me a fighting chance to come back.”

All told, Barnes said it took “just shy of six months” to get back up and running completely. He was fortunate to have most of the damage limited to the basement: the area where customers shop was in need of some repairs, but not nearly as many. Now that business as usual has resumed, Barnes said he’s noticed his sales have been “better than ever.”

“It’s definitely a success story so far,” Barnes said.

*For Ellicott City businesses interested in participating in the Maryland Business Recovery Loan Program, contact Aisha Taylor, Loan Underwriter, at or 301-429-7721.

“Main Attractions” is a regular series highlighting Main Street Maryland communities. Main Street Maryland is a comprehensive downtown revitalization program created in 1998 by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. These communities receive assistance for improving the economy, appearance and image of their traditional downtown business districts. For more information on Main Street Maryland, visit

A New Canvas for Baltimore: Hoen Lithograph Building Renovations Will Bring Jobs, Business

One of Baltimore City’s most historic buildings is receiving a facelift that will allow it to serve Baltimoreans of all ages. With $400,000 in Project C.O.R.E. funding awarded during the program’s FY16 round, Strong City Baltimore is working to repurpose the Hoen Lithograph Building, a vacant property located along E. Biddle Street in the Collington Square neighborhood.

The building has been vacant for more than 35 years. Its primary tenant, Hoen & Company, was known as the oldest continuously operating lithographer in the United States, and occupied the building from 1902-1981, when the company filed for bankruptcy. The renovation will be undertaken by Cross Street Partners and City Life. As one of the anchor tenants in the building, Strong City Baltimore will use the awarded funding to help subsidize the necessary project costs, making rental rates affordable for the nonprofits and other organizations they hope to attract.

The offerings in the Hoen Lithograph Building, once all necessary work is complete, will be diverse and directly beneficial to the community. Among the businesses and services present will be a cafe, event space, an adult literacy center, and a bookstore, along with a workforce incubator that will offer job training and employment opportunities for community members.  Additionally, the partners anticipate that the building will come to serve as a gathering place for the community, offering safe and productive outlets for Collington Square and beyond.

“A New Canvas for Baltimore” is a regular series covering Project C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise). Project C.O.R.E. will clear the way for new green space, new affordable and mixed use housing, and new opportunities for small business owners in Baltimore City. The initiative will generate jobs, strengthen the partnership between the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland and lead to safer, healthier and more attractive communities. For more information on Project C.O.R.E., visit

A New Canvas for Baltimore: Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake Works to Help Revitalize and Stabilize Baltimore City

McCabe Avenue in Baltimore’s Woodbourne McCabe neighborhood

With the receipt of Project C.O.R.E. funding, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake will soon bring new and renovated homes to market. The nonprofit is working on ten homes in Sandtown-Winchester, making way for new homes along Ward Street in Washington Village, and stabilizing ten properties on McCabe Avenue, while also converting three empty lots into open green space in Woodbourne McCabe.

During the FY16 round, the nonprofit received $310,000 of the total $1.5 million needed for its Sandtown Stabilization Project, $150,000 of $1.7 million for the Ward Street project, and $125,000 of $527,853 for its work in Woodbourne McCabe. These projects are located in some of the areas in the city most in need of revitalization, and keep in practice with Habitat of the Chesapeake’s existing work in these neighborhoods.

For the last decade, Habitat of the Chesapeake has regularly utilized department funds through the Community Development Block Grant, Maryland Affordable Housing Trust, Self-Help Homeownership Opportunities, and New Market Tax Credits initiatives. They have raised more than $1 million in donations by leveraging Community Investment Tax Credits.

Stabilizing Sandtown-Winchester

In Sandtown-Winchester, where the 2015 civil unrest originated, Habitat staff and volunteers will work to rehabilitate 10 homes located along Gilmor Street, Presbury Street, Presstman Street, Fulton Avenue, and Mount Street with the long-term goal of ultimately putting these homes back on the market for low-income families. All the homes are located within blocks of each other in Baltimore’s Sandtown-Winchester neighborhood.

Sandtown-Winchester has long been a focal point for Habitat of the Humanity. Until 2014, when it merged with Habitat of the Chesapeake, the organization had a chapter specifically for this neighborhood. Since 1989, the group has built more than 300 homes within 15 blocks; 25 of those were constructed within the last five years.

Ward Street Demolition

Recently constructed Habitat for Humanity houses in Pigtown.

Washington Village, a Baltimore City neighborhood that residents also lovingly refer to by its old moniker of Pigtown, is one of the most historic areas the city has to offer. Pigtown dates back to the 1840s and  was originally called home by many employees of the B&O Railroad. It got its name from its status as a destination for pigs unloading from the trains that were to be herded through the city. Despite its rich history, many homes in the neighborhood have fallen into disrepair over time: one in eight properties in this 2,740 home neighborhood is abandoned.


Habitat first began working with this neighborhood back in 2003, and since then they have rehabilitated 35 homes there. Many of these homes are along Ward Street, where much of the work for this round will be focused as well. The properties selected will be demolished. This, in turn, will help the group make way for seven new homes that will be available to low-income families. It will also help to increase property values in Pigtown and help this historic and colorful neighborhood bounce back.

Woodbourne McCabe Stabilization

Recently finished Habitat for Humanity homes along McCabe Avenue.

Since 2011, Habitat of the Chesapeake has focused intensively on the revitalization of three blocks along McCabe Avenue in Baltimore’s Woodbourne McCabe neighborhood. Along these three blocks, 53 of the 103 homes present are vacant. Others are in need of critical repairs, and those residing there are frequently faced with hazardous living conditions like front porches on the verge of collapse.

The round of work to be done with Project C.O.R.E. funding will focus on ten properties, and will address everything from structural repairs to mechanical, plumbing, and electrical work, and weatherproofing. All told, the effort will create some 30,000 volunteer opportunities. When it’s finished, three-bedroom energy efficient homes with zero-interest mortgages will then be offered to low-income families. Three empty lots will also be turned into a community park, furthering the appeal of the neighborhood to buyers from all walks of life.

“A New Canvas for Baltimore” is a regular series covering Project C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise). Project C.O.R.E. will clear the way for new green space, new affordable and mixed use housing, and new opportunities for small business owners in Baltimore City. The initiative will generate jobs, strengthen the partnership between the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland and lead to safer, healthier and more attractive communities. For more information on Project C.O.R.E., visit


Sustainable Communities Program Wins Award for Excellence in Sustainability from the American Planning Association

Kevin Baynes accepts an award from the American Planning Association honoring Maryland's Sustainable Communities Program

Kevin Baynes accepts an award from the American Planning Association honoring Maryland’s Sustainable Communities Program.

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development was recognized by the American Planning Association at the organization’s annual national conference in New York City earlier this month. The association’s Sustainable Communities Division honored the the department’s Division of Neighborhood Revitalization in its “Leadership in Sustainability” awards category, recognizing the Sustainable Communities program for its proactive and cooperative efforts to promote economic, social, and ecological sustainability across the state. Through the Sustainable Communities program, the department has led collaborations among various state agencies, facilitated sustainability planning among local governments, and invested in projects that support sustainable development. The department was one of just five organizations around the country to receive the an award for sustainability from the association.

The Sustainable Communities Program is a place-based designation that enables access to a “toolbox” of state programs and resources that support holistic strategies for community development, revitalization and sustainability. To participate in the program, local governments are required to identify a geographic area in need of revitalization and develop an “Action Plan” outlining a comprehensive strategy to promote growth and development in existing older communities. To date, 103 urban, suburban and rural communities in Maryland have received a Sustainable Community designation.

In 2016 the Sustainable Communities application was reorganized and simplified to better facilitate community sustainability planning and to establish a framework for developing implementation strategies. The action-oriented application now clearly focuses on six key areas of sustainability and helps local governments develop implementation strategies that either address challenges to sustainable development or build on existing community strengths.

In the five years since the passage of legislation to create the Sustainable Communities program, the department has invested over $70 million to support more than 350 capital projects and initiatives in designated communities through its core revitalization programs – Community Legacy, the Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative, Project C.O.R.E., and the Strategic Demolition Fund. In addition to traditional redevelopment and revitalization activities typically funded by the department, local governments have used Sustainable Community resources for completion of stormwater retrofit projects, removal of impervious surfaces, the launch of curbside recycling programs, infill development projects, and new zoning approvals such as Traditional Neighborhood Design and Adaptive Reuse Floating Zones to encourage sustainable development.

The American Planning Association is an independent, nonprofit, educational organization that provides leadership in the development of vital communities. The association includes a professional institute for certified planners, 47 chapters, 21 divisions, and special memberships for students. The goal of the association’s Sustainable Communities Division is to help planners engage in and collaborate on innovative approaches to sustainability planning.

Governor Larry Hogan Attends Groundbreaking Ceremony for HELP Veterans Village at Perry Point VA Medical Center

Governor Larry Hogan Attends Groundbreaking Ceremony for HELP Veterans Village at
Perry Point VA Medical Center
Project will create 75 housing units for homeless veterans

PERRYVILLE, Md. (May 13, 2017) – Governor Larry Hogan was today joined by Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt, Maryland Department of Veteran Affairs Secretary George Owings, officials from the VA Maryland Health Care System and HELP USA, as well as community stakeholders for the groundbreaking of the HELP Veterans Village. Located at the Perry Point VA Medical Center, the village will create 75 newly renovated and newly constructed units of housing for at-risk and formerly homeless veterans.

“Anyone who spent their lives in service to others has more than earned the support they deserve to live, work, raise a family, and retire in Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “It is so important that we honor and take care of all of our veterans, and that’s exactly what the Perry Point Village project, here in Cecil County, will help us do.”

“HELP USA has been working on this project for almost a decade and we are gratified to see it finally begin construction,” said David Cleghorn, Senior Vice President of Real Estate Development at HELP USA. “In a few short months, homeless veterans will start moving into brand-new homes on this beautiful site. From day one, they will be surrounded by clinical support and services from the VA, case management from HELP USA, and most importantly by each other, a group of like-minded veterans beginning their new lives. This project would not have been possible without the leadership of Governor Hogan, Assemblyman Hornberger, Secretary Holt and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program. ”

“The opening of the HELP Veterans Village will allow us to further our efforts to end veteran homelessness throughout Maryland by providing permanent and affordable housing close to important VA health care services and support programs,” said Dr. Adam M. Robinson, Jr., Director of the VA Maryland Health Care System. “We all have a moral obligation to ensure that the men and women who proudly wore the cloth of our nation have access to affordable housing, and that is what we are doing through this innovative partnership between the VA Maryland Health Care System, HELP USA and the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.”

“The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is proud to have helped shepherd this project to fruition through our financing and this partnership,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Today the state takes its first major step to address homelessness across Maryland and by aiding veterans in their time of need.”

With the award of 75 project-based VA Supportive Housing (VASH) Vouchers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), which will be administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, every home in the village area will have subsidized rent that is exclusively for the benefit of at-risk and formerly homeless veterans and their family members. The location of the housing is ideal because of its close proximity to a full range of VA support programs and services at Perry Point and the transportation resources that are available in the local community.

The project is being financed through various Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development resources, including short-term and long term bonds, 4% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, a Rental Housing Works loan, and energy funds. Additional financing comes from philanthropic support from The Home Depot Foundation, The Citi Foundation, and Northrop Grumman.

The project is being developed by HELP USA, a national homeless service and low-income housing nonprofit. Founded in 1986, the organization has built more than 16 Low-Income Housing Tax Credit properties and developed over 2,000 units of transitional and permanent housing in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. The project was designed by Kramer + Marks Architects, and will be built by general contractor Harkins Builders Inc. The HELP Veterans Village is one of seven developments currently underway at HELP USA.

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CONTACT: Sara Luell, Director of Communications,

Live Baltimore to Offer Homeownership Tour of Baltimore City

Live Baltimore to Offer Homeownership Tour of Baltimore City

Grants for Down Payment, Closing Costs Available

As Project C.O.R.E. works to bring new life to areas of Baltimore City, a nonprofit that aims to attract new residents to the city is gearing up for one of its biggest homeownership events of the year.

Live Baltimore will hold its Buying Into Baltimore Trolley Tour on May 13, with stops in the Waverly, Ednor-Gardens – Lakeside, Original Northwood, Hillen, New Northwood, Belvedere, and Homeland neighborhoods. It’s one of six annual homebuying events hosted by the groups, as well as one of its largest. This tour, held twice a year, offers participants the chance to take advantage of a particularly generous offer: if at the end of the tour they decide they’re ready to buy a home, they have the chance to receive one of 30 available $5,000 awards that go toward down payment and closing cost assistance. This is available through the Buying Into Baltimore program, which is funded by the city and offered exclusively by Live Baltimore. These funds, according to Executive Director Steven Gondol, can be used in conjunction with Maryland Mortgage Program funds to give prospective buyers $10,000 toward buying a home in Baltimore City.

The Maryland Mortgage Program is popular among the first-time homebuyers Live Baltimore frequently works with, Gondol said. He added that Project C.O.R.E. is working very well when it comes to revitalizing Baltimore and making it appeal to new residents. When they attend these tours, people who may be unfamiliar with Baltimore get to see it in a positive light. Live Baltimore makes it a point, Gondol said, to “take people off the known path and try and introduce them to other stable, established areas where we see there’s opportunity.”

The department’s homeownership programs have been successful in the city to the benefit of their mission before, Gondol said, pointing out that more than 400 people were able to become homeowners through a previous department initiative, Maryland Grand Slam. These resources are what ultimately will help most in bringing in a new day for Baltimore.

“Any time you can have a broad array of resources, you increase your chances of attracting people and being able to help them,” Gondol said. “It’s a really valuable asset to help sell Baltimore City. You can use the products anywhere in Baltimore City, and there’s products for people at any stage of life. It’s helping us stabilize and grow Baltimore City’s population. I feel the state really knows when to step up and help out. In terms of community development, it’s very generous of the state.”

The tour comes not long after the department announced the Baltimore City Special, a new initiative offered through the Maryland Mortgage Program. Eligible buyers who use the Baltimore City Special may receive a $7,500 grant, with $5,000 of the funds offered through the department and the remaining $2,500 through Baltimore City. With other Maryland Mortgage Program products, buyers typically receive a loan rather than a grant. These funds may also be used in conjunction with the Buying Into Baltimore program.

A New Canvas for Baltimore: Food Hub Approaches Development Milestone

In September 2016, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development joined with partners from the private and public sectors for a groundbreaking for the Baltimore Food Hub. Developed by American Communities Trust, the Baltimore Food Hub has the potential to help revitalize Baltimore’s Broadway East neighborhood and provide new opportunities for its residents.

At the September groundbreaking, the Secretary Kenneth C. Holt stated, “The State of Maryland is proud to partner with the American Communities Trust to support the Baltimore Food Hub. This ambitious project creates a central location for food-related education, production and innovation, helping to positively transform Baltimore City by creating jobs and economic opportunity in the Broadway East neighborhood and surrounding communities”.

The Food Hub is approaching another milestone with the completion of an 8,000 square foot, shared-use commercial kitchen designed to support small businesses by providing professional kitchen space and technical resources to established and emerging food entrepreneurs in Baltimore.  City Seeds, a social enterprise of Baltimore-based nonprofit Humanim, will run the teaching and commercial production kitchens for their catering business and School of Food.

The commercial kitchen, expected to be completed in July 2017,  is one element in the planned adaptive reuse of the former Baltimore City Water Works Pumping and Repair Station, at the corner of East Oliver and North Wolfe streets. The 3.5 acre multi-building campus will also feature 2,500 square feet for hoop houses; two flexible-use buildings for manufacturing, storage or preparation; and an office space for food-related businesses.

Much of the site will be open to the public, transforming this long vacant property into a community asset with open space, valuable learning opportunities and a new source for fresh, local and healthy food for the residents of Baltimore and beyond.  The site is already bustling with activity as construction of the commercial kitchen is well underway along with stabilization and renovation of historic buildings. The completed development will create new jobs, offer educational opportunities to East Broadway residents, foster microenterprise and feature adaptive reuse of historic properties all with a single 3.5 acre campus.  Students will be able to visit the site to learn more about urban agriculture and about their food and where it comes from. There will also be a market that operates year-round on the premises.

The State of Maryland has provided $3.3 million for the Food Hub through the Department’s Neighborhood Revitalization (Community Legacy and Strategic Demolition) and Business Lending Programs (Neighborhood BusinessWorks), combined with direct assistance allocated through the governor’s Fiscal Year 2016 budget.

Federal partners include the U.S. Economic Development Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Nonprofit and private partners include Humanim, Historic East Baltimore Community Action Coalition, the New Broadway East Community Association, J.S. Plank & D.M. DiCarlo Family Foundation, Abell Foundation, France-Merrick Foundation, Annie E. Casey Foundation, Johns Hopkins University, Goldseker Foundation, The Reinvestment Fund, Ziger Snead, STV, Kaliber Construction, and Ballard Spahr.

“A New Canvas for Baltimore” is a regular series covering Project C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise). Project C.O.R.E. will clear the way for new green space, new affordable and mixed use housing, and new opportunities for small business owners in Baltimore City. The initiative will generate jobs, strengthen the partnership between the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland and lead to safer, healthier and more attractive communities. For more information on Project C.O.R.E., visit

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