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Five ways homeowners can save energy this fall

Winterize your homes: Fall is the perfect time to prep your home for the cold weather ahead (Photo by Ned Horton/Free Images).

Winterize your homes: Fall is the perfect time to prep your home for the cold weather ahead (Photo by Ned Horton/Free Images).

Household heating bills this winter are estimated to be lower than in the last two seasons, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.

This forecast ​is good news to homeowners with heating costs accounting for more than 40 percent of utility bills.

​Still, with the fall season underway now is the best time to get your homes in shape for the colder months ahead. By making simple adjustments, you can spend less money on energy and add more to your savings.

This week, we’ve compiled a list of ways you can make your homes more comfortable this season: Read more…



Baltimore Groundbreaking Marks Hogan Administration’s Commitment to Jobs, Revitalization

Deputy Secretary Ellington Churchill, Jr. at the groundbreaking for the City Arts II project in Baltimore.

Deputy Secretary Ellington Churchill, Jr. at the groundbreaking for the City Arts II project in Baltimore.

Baltimore – Standing in the heart of the Station North Arts and Entertainment District on a beautiful fall afternoon Tuesday, Maryland DHCD Deputy Secretary Ellington Churchill, Jr. helped break ground for City Arts II, a new affordable housing development in the Greenmount section of Baltimore.

City Arts II received $900,000 through DHCD’s Rental Housing program and more than $1.2 million in Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, providing an estimated equity value of $12.4 million to the project. Through the division of Neighborhood Revitalization, DHCD provided an additional $100,000 in financing through the Baltimore Regional Neighborhoods Initiative program in FY 2014 for pre-development costs including architectural and engineering services for the project.

The project is a joint partnership between Homes for America, Jubilee Baltimore, and TRF Development Partners.

“Governor Hogan knows that a healthy housing market is key to a healthy economy,” Churchill said.

“As with the original City Arts project, City Arts II will show that affordable rental housing is also a key component to the ongoing revitalization that strengthens our communities. That is why the Hogan administration and DHCD are committed to great partnerships that make projects like this a reality.”



Elkton Spruces Up its Main Street with $50,000 from Maryland’s Community Legacy Program

Elkton Mayor Robert J. Alt, far right, meets with the owners of The Coffee Place as the town's historic downtown business district commemorates Economic Development Week.

Elkton Mayor Robert J. Alt, far right, meets with the owners of The Coffee Place as the town’s historic downtown business district commemorates Economic Development Week.

Elkton, MD – Elkton is one of those charming old small towns that Maryland is so famous for. Founded by Swedish mariners in the 17th century; nestled at the northern headwaters of the Chesapeake Bay; Elkton once was the destination of choice, according to some sources, for ardent young couples looking to elope.

The Town of Elkton, one of the state’s 28 designated Main Street Maryland communities, and the Elkton Chamber and Alliance have been working with DHCD through the Community Legacy program to revitalize its commercial district while preserving its unique history and charm.

Thursday, in recognition of Economic Development Week, the Elkton Chamber and Alliance recognized The Coffee Place as the latest local business to participate in the alliance’s residential and commercial facade improvement program. Read more…



Five tips for using household appliances more efficiently

Small changes to how you use household appliances can add up to big results overtime (Photo by Aaron Beall).

Small changes to how you use household appliances can add up to big results overtime (Photo by Aaron Beall).

When you get your monthly electricity bill, do you ever wonder which appliances consume the most power?

The U.S. Department of Energy reports that major appliances in your home account for 13 percent of household energy costs. Our homes are a hub of activity for some energy-hungry appliances. Your refrigerator, clothes dryer and water heater use most of the electricity, according to this list.

There are many ways to lower your electricity bill and enhance your quality of life. This week, we’ve put together five tips for using appliances efficiently. Read more…



DHCD Announces New Funding, Streamlined Application for Local Governments and Nonprofit Groups

Operating Assistance Grants can support local governments reach their community revitalization and economic development goals.

Operating Assistance Grants can support local governments reach their community revitalization and economic development goals.

A key goal for Governor Larry Hogan is to make Maryland state government more user friendly, with a greater emphasis on customer service. Taking this to heart, DHCD has consolidated three programs into a single Operating Assistance Grants application for the current fiscal year: the Main Street Improvement Assistance Program, the new Nonprofit Assistance Fund and the Technical Assistance Grant.

These programs offer funding to support local housing and revitalization projects. They are part of DHCD’s commitment to helping the state’s local governments and nonprofit agencies achieve their community revitalization and economic development goals.

With applications due Oct. 29, available program funds total $900,000. The programs are:

  • Main Street Improvement Program: $150,000. This program was last offered in 2008.
  • Nonprofit Assistance Fund: $600,000. This is a new program.
  • Technical Assistance Grant: $150,000

Read more…



Groundbreaking for Station North arts incubator reinforces Governor Hogan’s commitment to Baltimore’s revitalization

From left, MICA President Samuel Hoi, DHCD Deputy Secretary Ellington Churchill Jr., Delegate Maggie McIntosh, DBED Secretary Mike Gill, Maryland Lieutenant Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, Rep. Elijah Cummings, and Laurens "Mac" Maclure of BARCO.

From left, MICA President Samuel Hoi, DHCD Deputy Secretary Ellington Churchill Jr., Delegate Maggie McIntosh, DBED Secretary Mike Gill, Maryland Lieutenant Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, Rep. Elijah Cummings, and Laurens “Mac” Maclure of BARCO.

BALTIMORE – As part of Governor Larry Hogan’s pledge to invest in Baltimore’s livability and economic success, Deputy Secretary Ellington Churchill on Tuesday joined Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford to celebrate the groundbreaking of Open Works, an $11 million project Baltimore Arts Realty Corp. (BARCO) is developing in the Station North Arts & Entertainment District.

​Also attending were ​Rep. Elijah Cummings​, Delegate Maggie McIntosh​​ and Mike Gill, Secretary of the ​Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development (DBED).

Open Works, at 1400 Greenmount Avenue, will house an arts incubator for artists, designers and manufacturers of all varieties. The 34,000-square-foot facility will offer a complete wood shop, metal shop, digital media studio and fabrication shop, 3D imaging and printing studio, a microelectronics lab, and a digital embroidery and fibers studio.

“Open Works is an important part of the renaissance happening in Baltimore and the restoration of manufacturing jobs that were thought to be lost forever,” Churchill said. “DHCD is proud to be a part of projects like this that truly improve lives and communities by bringing jobs, new manufacturing, and more opportunities to the people of Baltimore.”

Read more…



Maryland Mortgage Program Reaches All Maryland Jurisdictions for First Time

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MMP helping families find homes across state.

New Carrollton, MD – Governor Larry Hogan announced today that for the first time since the creation of the Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) in 1977, the state finished a fiscal year helping families obtain a home in all 24 of the state’s jurisdictions.

Administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the program has been widely accessed throughout Central Maryland, and has been active on the Eastern Shore, and in the D.C. Metro area and Southern Maryland.

However, MMP had never purchased a mortgage in each of the state’s 23 counties and Baltimore City— that is, until the state closed the books on Fiscal Year 2015.

“I want every corner of Maryland to know that state government is working for them,” Governor Larry Hogan said. “For the first time in the program’s history, MMP will now be well-established from Southern Maryland to the Eastern Shore, and all the way to Western Maryland. A healthy housing market is key to a healthy economy. By helping more families in more places purchase a home, we are changing Maryland for the better.” Read more…



Five ways homeowners can cut costs on water heating

On a daily average, kitchen and bathrooms faucets use up to two gallons of hot water per minute (Photo by Evrim Icoz).

On a daily average, kitchen and bathrooms faucets use up to two gallons of hot water per minute (Photo by Evrim Icoz).

With fall weather underway and chilly temperatures ahead, we’re going to be using more and more hot water.

The U.S. Department of Energy found that water heating accounts for about 18 percent of an average family’s utility bill. This makes water heating the second largest energy expense in your home.

To help Maryland families prepare for the cold months, we’ve collected five ways to help cut costs on your water heating bill.  Read more…



Maryland WholeHome: Investing in Families by Helping Families Invest in Their Home

DHCD’s Colin Choney helps Snow Hill residents learn how they can make their homes healthier, safer and more energy efficient during a presentation that DHCD is taking statewide.

Maryland WholeHome is a statewide initiative that brings together the resources available to help homeowners learn how they can make their homes healthier, safer and more energy efficient through DHCD’s low interest loans and grants.

DHCD launched the initiative Thursday evening in the historic Eastern Shore town of Snow Hill.  Soon DHCD staff members will be taking their presentation across the state to share with residents in other small communities.

Nearly 100 people joined Snow Hill Mayor Charlie Dorman, Town Manager Kelly Pruitt and other city officials at Snow Hill Middle School.  Jo Ellen Bynum, administrator of the Worcester County Housing Rehabilitation Program, also attended and encouraged participants to make use of all available state and county programs.

Read more…



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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Read more…



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