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Notice of DRAFT Performance Report Update and Comment Period on the State of Maryland’s Consolidated Plan

Notice of DRAFT Performance Report Update and Comment Period on the State of Maryland’s Consolidated Plan
Notice is hereby given that the State of Maryland has opened a 30 day public comment period on the Draft 2018 Consolidated Plan Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER).
The Consolidated Plan is a planning document required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is prepared by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). It covers a five year period (July 1, 2015-June 30, 2019) and is designed to coordinate Federal, and to a lesser extent State, resources to provide decent housing, economic opportunities, and an acceptable living environment for Maryland’s citizens. The Plan is updated every year during the five year period through an Annual Action Plan, and includes a series of one year goals toward meeting the overall five year goals of the Plan.
Maryland’s Consolidated Plan covers the state’s non-entitlement jurisdictions. Entitlement jurisdictions – those that receive funding directly from HUD, including Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, and the Cities of Annapolis, Baltimore, Bowie, Cumberland, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Hagerstown, and Salisbury – prepare their own Consolidated Plans and are not covered by the State plan.
As part of the Consolidated Planning process, the State submits a CAPER to HUD which describes the progress the State has made in carrying out the one-year goals contained in the five year Plan. DHCD has just completed the fifth year of the five year Plan that ended June 30, 2019, and the draft CAPER details the progress DHCD made toward its housing and community development goals in the last year, and for the full five years of the Plan.

DHCD is interested in public input and comment on the draft CAPER. We will take written comments (via either email or standard post) on the report through COB Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at the address listed below. In addition, we will hold a series of public meetings on the CAPER at the following dates, times, and places:

Thursday, September 12, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.

Towson Library
320 York Road
Wilson Room
Towson, Maryland 21204

Wednesday, September 18, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.

Caroline County Central Library
100 Market Street
Small Meeting Room
Denton, Maryland 21629
Thursday, September 19, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.
Fairview Branch Library
Small Meeting Room
Rt. 4 and Chaneyville Road
Owings, Maryland 20736
Friday, September 20, 2019 at 1:30 p.m.
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.
The draft Performance Report 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 CAPER 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 Performance Report are also available by calling, writing, or e-mailing me at the address and phone numbers listed below.
Ms. 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
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Hogan Administration Announces Fiscal Year 2020 Community Development Block Grants

Hogan Administration Announces Fiscal Year 2020 Community Development Block Grants
More than $4.2 million awarded for public development projects

NEW CARROLLTON, MD (August 26, 2019) – Governor Larry Hogan today announced Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) awards for Fiscal Year 2020. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will administer more than $4.2 million in CDBG funding for nine community development and infrastructure projects.

“These awards reinforce my administration’s strong support of projects and initiatives in rural Maryland,” said Governor Hogan. “These grants will improve infrastructure and services to help revitalize these communities.”

The national CDBG program was enacted into law by Congress as part of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. For 45 years, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program has supported community redevelopment, affordable housing, and the expansion of economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate income. The program is a vital resource for Maryland’s counties, cities, and towns in their efforts to maintain public infrastructure in their communities and provide critical services to their residents.

The CDBG Program is comprised of two parts. The Entitlement Program is managed by HUD and provides federal funds directly to larger, metropolitan counties and cities. The States and Small Cities Program provides federal funds to the states who then distribute assistance to more rural counties, cities and towns. Through that program, the State of Maryland received nearly $7.8 million in funding in FY20. In addition to the nine community development and infrastructure projects, the funding will be used for homelessness services and special projects across the state.

“The Community Development Block Grant has been an important federal resource for economic development and neighborhood revitalization in Maryland,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “We will continue to administer the program to effectively respond to the unique needs of these communities and support their redevelopment goals in a prudent and fiscally responsible manner.”

During the Hogan administration, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has administered nearly $40 million in CDBG assistance for more than 100 projects across Maryland.

Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) States and Small Cities Program
Fiscal Year 2020 Awards

  1. Allegany County – $800,000
    Phase 2 of regional sewer improvements
  2. Calvert County – $800,000
    Construction of food distribution facility
  3. Frederick County – $400,000
    Renovation of affordable rental housing development
  4. Frederick County – $400,000
    Homebuyer assistance
  5. Town of Oakland (Garrett County) – $320,000
    Sewer improvements
  6. Somerset County – $310,000
    Countywide blight removal
  7. Washington County – $729,282.05
    Renovations to buildings used to provide services to persons with disabilities
  8. Town of Mardela Springs (Wicomico County) – $152,120
    Sidewalk construction and improvements
  9. Worcester County – $300,000
    Countywide housing rehabilitation

TOTAL – $4,211,402.05

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Owen McEvoy, Director of the Office of Public Information,, 443-679-7653

Sara Luell, Director of Communications,, 301-429-7803

Hogan Administration Announces Nearly $10 Million Rural Broadband Expansion

Hogan Administration Announces Nearly $10 Million Rural Broadband Expansion
First Wave of Five-Year Plan to Connect 225,000 Marylanders to Affordable Internet

ANNAPOLIS, MD (August 19, 2019) – Governor Larry Hogan has announced $9.9 million in available funding as part of the first wave of a five-year plan to provide 225,000 Marylanders in rural communities with reliable, affordable internet access.

“Maryland is ranked number one in America for having the fastest internet and we have been working hard to provide high-speed internet to every county in the state,” Governor Hogan said. “Today I’m announcing that we will provide an additional $10 million this year as the first installment of a five-year $100 million initiative that will finally provide another 225,000 Marylanders in rural communities with access to reliable and affordable high-speed internet services.”

Created by executive order in 2017, the Office of Rural Broadband, housed in the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, was established to expand broadband capabilities statewide in underserved, rural areas of Maryland.

The plan builds upon earlier efforts made by the Office of Rural Broadband, which successfully implemented the following projects:

  • Provided a loan and refinanced $17 million of the City of Westminster’s debt through the Local Government Infrastructure Financing Program for Westminster’s newly completed fiber network. This financing support will ensure that the city’s network is sustainable and will allow for the completion of customer installations over the next three years.
  • Awarded grants of up to $100,000 each for 11 small broadband pilot projects in five counties.
  • Awarded grants of up to $60,000 each to six counties for broadband feasibility studies. The studies will identify areas lacking broadband facilities, provide guidance for planning and construction, and determine present cost estimates.
  • Hosted a conference in the summer of 2018 for county information technology and economic development officials to determine the needs and status of each county’s broadband expansion efforts. Eighteen counties attended the conference, where best practices developed in relation to local efforts were presented.
  • Provided technical assistance and application preparation funding with grants of up to $200,000 for the upcoming USDA ReConnect broadband funding program. The office worked with two applicants, Easton Utilities on behalf of Talbot County and Armstrong Communications on behalf of Harford and Cecil Counties. If the applicants are selected by USDA, they could be eligible for federal grant awards up to $25 million each.

For more information, visit

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Owen McEvoy, Director of the Office of Public Information,, 443-679-7653

Sara Luell, Director of Communications,, 301-429-7803

In Case You Missed It: Frank Dickson on “Living In Baltimore”

On July 26, Director of Strategic Business Initiatives Frank Dickson appeared as a guest on Heaven 600 WCAO on the Greater Baltimore Community Housing Resource Board’s “Living in Baltimore” radio show, hosted by Bill Kladky. Frank and Bill discussed Opportunity Zones and their potential to change Baltimore City and Maryland for the better. If you missed it the first time around, you can hear the full interview here:

Governor Hogan Participates In Groundbreaking For New C&O Canal National Historical Park Headquarters

For immediate release:
August 8, 2019
Shareese Churchill

Governor Hogan Participates In Groundbreaking For New C&O Canal National Historical Park Headquarters
Project Will Bring 70 New Jobs to Williamsport

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today, with the National Park Service (NPS), Washington County, and the Town of Williamsport, Md., broke ground on a new, state-of-the-art visitor center that will serve as the Chesapeake and Ohio (C&O) Canal National Historical Park Headquarters.

This groundbreaking is the result of a $15 million project with federal, state, and local cooperation that will provide a significant boost to the local economy, bringing 70 new jobs to Williamsport.

Governor Hogan was joined by U.S. Senators Chris Van Hollen and Ben Cardin; National Park Service Director P. Daniel Smith; C&O Canal National Historical Park Superintendent Kevin D. Brandt; State Senator George C. Edwards; Delegate William J. Wivell; Williamsport Mayor William B. Green; Washington County commissioners; and members of the community.


“Today, we are making Williamsport a capital of sorts as we break ground on an incredible project to make this wonderful, historic Maryland town literally the epicenter of the historic 184.5-mile C&O Canal,” said Governor Hogan. “This is the kind of transformative project that only comes along once in a generation and it has taken years of collaboration, cooperation, and hard work by so many people at the federal, state, and local levels of government to help make this important project become a reality.”

Williamsport will be the only place in North America where visitors can experience every aspect of a working canal in one place, from a lift lock, to a lockhouse, a railroad lift bridge, a warehouse and coal basin, and a functional aqueduct. Maryland’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) provided significant financial support to the project, with DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt overseeing the negotiations and planning with NPS. Washington County and the Town of Williamsport also played an instrumental role in ensuring the project’s success.

In addition, today’s groundbreaking marked the completion of a two-year, $10.2 million endeavor to rebuild the historic Conococheague Aqueduct in order to create the first watered operational aqueduct along the C&O Canal in 95 years.


The C&O Canal originates in Washington, DC and extends 184.5 miles along the Potomac River to Cumberland, Md. The canal was constructed between 1828 and 1850 and operated between 1831 to 1924, primarily to transport coal from the Allegheny Mountains to Washington, DC. Today, the park includes nearly 20,000 acres in a strip along the Potomac River with a varied geography offering activities including running, hiking, biking, fishing, boating, kayaking, and rock climbing.

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Hogan Administration Announces Awards for Affordable Rental Housing

Hogan Administration Announces Awards for Affordable Rental Housing
15 projects across the state will result in the creation or preservation of a record 1,837 units

NEW CARROLLTON, MD (July 31, 2019) – The Hogan administration today announced the results of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s most recent application round for federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits and state Rental Housing Funds. More than $44 million in state funds and federal tax credits have been awarded to 15 projects, which will result in the creation or preservation of 1,837 high quality affordable rental units. This is the largest number of units financed in the history of the program in Maryland.

The 15 awarded projects are distributed between eight counties and Baltimore City. A focus for this year’s application round were projects located in Opportunity Zones, areas designated by the federal government to spur economic development. Six projects in Opportunity Zones were awarded $17.5 million, including South Street Centre, which will create 152 units for seniors and families in Frederick, and Sojourner Place at Wolfe, which will create 70 units in Baltimore City, including 35 units set aside for formerly homeless individuals.

“My administration is committed to making sure that seniors and families have access to affordable, quality housing,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “By investing in Opportunity Zones, we are able to leverage state resources and federal dollars to create the most impact.”

Awards are determined through competitive application rounds held annually by the department. For this latest competitive round, the department received 47 applications for projects in Maryland, requesting more than $122 million in financing. The 15 projects awarded will receive more than $22.5 million in state Rental Housing Funds and nearly $21.7 million in federal 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, leveraging more than $262 million in private sector capital. The department received the greatest number of applications in the history of the program.

By making use of a unique “twinning” financial structure, combining the competitive 9% credits with $5 million in noncompetitive 4% credits issued by the department, a record 1,837 total affordable rental units will be financed as a result of this round.

“Thanks to the creativity of our team, we were able to leverage other assets, such as 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits to make our financing tools go further and help house more people,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt.

For a list of awardees, see Affordable Rental Housing Awardees 2019.

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Owen McEvoy, Director of the Office of Public Information,, 443-679-7653

Sara Luell, Director of Communications,, 301-429-7803

Hogan Administration Celebrates Anniversary of SmartBuy 2.0

For immediate release:
July 16, 2019

Shareese Churchill

Hogan Administration Celebrates Anniversary of SmartBuy 2.0
Over $6 Million in Student Debt Eliminated Through Program

ANNAPOLIS, MD—The Hogan administration today celebrated the one-year anniversary of the launch of the Maryland SmartBuy 2.0 initiative. Managed by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), this nationally recognized homeownership program enables prospective homebuyers to eliminate up to $40,000 in student loan debt while purchasing an eligible home through the Maryland Mortgage Program. After a successful pilot of Maryland SmartBuy in 2016, Governor Larry Hogan announced an extension of the initiative in July 2018, greatly expanding the number of homes eligible under the program.

“In Maryland, nearly 60 percent of all of our college students are graduating with thousands of dollars in student debt. This financial burden prevents many young Marylanders from achieving financial security and is a roadblock to homeownership and saving for retirement,” said Governor Hogan. “Today, our administration is proud to celebrate a very successful inaugural year of Maryland SmartBuy 2.0, through which Maryland homebuyers have eliminated millions of dollars in student debt while settling down right here in our great state.”

To support Maryland SmartBuy 2.0, Governor Hogan provided $3 million for the program in his Fiscal Year 2019 budget. Due to demand, DHCD provided an additional $3 million in bridge funding through the Down Payment and Settlement Assistance Program, eliminating a total of $6 million in student debt, an average of $28,000 per participant. For Fiscal Year 2020, Governor Hogan has doubled the program’s original funding to $6 million.

In addition to this critical initiative, Governor Hogan introduced the Student Debt Relief Act for both the 2018 and 2019 legislative sessions. This legislation would have allowed Marylanders to deduct 100 percent of the interest paid on their student loans from their income tax return and would have expanded the Maryland Community College Promise Scholarship Program to include four-year Maryland public institutions. The legislature failed both times to act on these proposals.

“Maryland SmartBuy is the first program of its kind in the nation designed to address the decline in homeownership rates among younger, millennial Marylanders,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “The program was an immediate success, quickly becoming a national model for similar programs, and, under Governor Hogan’s leadership, we have continued to expand and adapt this innovative initiative to empower more Maryland homebuyers to erase their student debt while securing their piece of the American dream of homeownership.”

Maryland SmartBuy’s mortgage loans are provided through DHCD’s Maryland Mortgage Program, the state’s flagship homeownership assistance program for nearly 40 years. Traditionally, the program provides fixed-term mortgages, primarily to first-time homebuyers, along with down payment and closing cost incentives.


First Lady Yumi Hogan Visits Baltimore Natural Dye Initiative

First Lady Yumi Hogan Visits Baltimore Natural Dye Initiative

Group photo with the First Lady at the dye farm

On June 28, First Lady Yumi Hogan visited Parks and People’s offices to view progress of the Baltimore Natural Dye Initiative, a multi-agency pilot project to create the area’s first natural dye farm and processing site. The Parks and People Foundation is serving as host site for the project at their 9-acre LEED Platinum headquarters and campus in west Baltimore. The initiative is supporting urban farming, economic opportunities, community redevelopment, international relations, and the arts in Maryland.  The meeting followed an initial visit to the site on March 15 of this year.

The Baltimore Natural Dye Initiative is a result of Governor Hogan’s trade mission to Asia and a subsequent visit to South Korea by First Lady Yumi Hogan. The First Lady was inspired to pilot the initiative after touring the Natural Dyeing Cultural Center in South Korea. Parks and People has agreed to serve as host site for the farm, and coordinate partners and activities from March 2019 through September 2020. 

On her visit, the First Lady witnessed development of the farm operation, where grassy meadows and empty planting beds have been transformed into neatly planted row crops that will serve as raw material for educational, artistic and commercial applications. This first spring planting included:

  • 193 Asian Indigo plants 
  • 550 Black Eyed Susans (planted with help from Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development staff)
  • 25 Tropical Indigo plants 
  • 270 Marigolds 
  • Safflower 
  • 76 Woad plants 

In its first growing season, the initiative is working through challenges of a new farming operation, including adapting a variety of crops, and visits by deer, who seem to be particularly interested in the Tropical Indigo varieties.  The visit included a tour of the grounds to see all of the planted beds, a seed starting operation, and a demonstration of the natural dye activity that will be part of Parks and People’s summer youth program. The project currently employs two part-time farmers who are guiding the growth of the crops as well as leading educational activities with local students.  Crops will be further utilized by college students at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) learning about using natural materials in development of inks and textile arts and promoting the use of natural dyes for artistic or commercial applications. 

Annually, the initiative will introduce and engage more than 500 Baltimore City youth and countless visitors to the project through Parks and People educational programs.  High school interns enrolled in Parks and People’s Branches program are helping the farmers maintain the farm as an introduction to careers in agriculture and participated in an all-day dye activity on July 2. Harvesting will begin the second week in July and continue through the summer. The First Lady plans to return in August to help with harvesting.

The funding partners, providing a combined $300,000 to support the pilot project, include the Maryland Department of Commerce through the Maryland State Arts Council, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (providing $100,000 through the Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative), the Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corp. (MARBIDCO), and the Baltimore Development Corp.


Governor Hogan Announces Drop in Homelessness Rate in Maryland

For immediate release:
June 26, 2019
Shareese Churchill

Governor Hogan Announces Drop in Homelessness Rate in Maryland
Point-in-Time Count Reveals Nearly 9.5% Decrease in Homelessness Since 2017

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that overall homelessness in Maryland has been reduced by 9.47% since 2017, according to data from the 2019 Point-in-Time Count. The number of chronically homeless individuals dropped by 14.8% and veterans experiencing homelessness declined by 8.58%. Conducted by the state’s 16 designated Continuums of Care and supported by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, the Point-in-Time Count is a count and survey of homeless persons on a single night in January by local homelessness service providers. The count serves as a snapshot of the scope and scale of homelessness in Maryland’s communities and is required as a condition of funding by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

“We have made significant progress in preventing homelessness in Maryland by partnering with local housing and community development programs, and their good work and dedication are integral to our efforts,” said Governor Hogan. “We have improved the administration and delivery of state and federal resources, and have supported significant projects that have contributed to this impressive reduction.”

In 2017, the Maryland General Assembly approved Governor Hogan’s proposed legislation to streamline administration of the majority of the state’s homelessness service programs. Previously, the six programs serving Maryland’s homeless were spread between the Department of Human Services and the Department of Housing and Community Development. All six programs were consolidated into one Homelessness Solutions Program, creating a more efficient process for funding and reporting; aligning state funding goals with federal requirements and national best practice trends; providing more local flexibility and control over spending; and expanding supportive housing options. Due in large part to the program improvements, during Governor Hogan’s first term, the State of Maryland provided over $47 million for services to more than 76,000 people who are homeless or in danger of becoming homeless statewide.

Specific projects and activities supported by the Homelessness Solutions Program and other housing and community development programs include:

  • The opening of the Lower Shore Shelter in Somerset County, previously the only county in Maryland without a shelter.
  • The financing of HELP Veterans Village, which provides 75 units of newly renovated and newly constructed housing for at-risk and formerly homeless veterans at the Perry Point VA Medical Center in Cecil County.
  • Support for local initiatives that assisted Montgomery County in placing more than 416 chronically homeless individuals into permanent housing since January 1, 2016, becoming one of the largest communities in the country to effectively end chronic homelessness.
  • A grant award to expand emergency cold-weather sheltering for homeless individuals in Charles County.
  • Project C.O.R.E. support for Restoration Gardens 2 in Baltimore City, which provides 42 efficiency units for homeless youth and those aging out of foster care coupled with supportive services including case management, life skills training, and workforce development.
  • A recent symposium which attracted over 200 providers and youth from across the state to strategize on how to effectively address youth homelessness.

“The state’s responsive and responsible investment has played a pivotal role in serving homeless and potentially homeless Marylanders,” said Housing Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Our agency will continue to deploy its resources thoughtfully and compassionately to do the most good for the most people.”

For more information about the Homelessness Solutions Program, visit:


Sell More With Maryland!

This article was previously published in the June/July 2019 issue of Maryland Realtor magazine.

Sell More With Maryland!

Happy Homeownership Month from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and the Maryland Mortgage Program! Each June we celebrate the American dream of homeownership and its ability to create positive economic growth for our families and our communities. Purchasing a home is perhaps the largest investment a family will ever make, and it’s often their key to unlocking long-term financial stability. Stable, informed, and invested homeowners form the foundation for thriving communities across Maryland and our nation. National Homeownership Months affords us a moment to reflect on the profound power of our industry and how we can remove barriers to homeownership opportunities in Maryland.

In the past decade, one of the most significant barriers to homeownership that has emerged is student debt. Studies show graduates with student debt wait, on average, seven years longer to purchase their first home because of that financial burden. We want to help people put down roots and grow their families and careers in Maryland as soon as possible. One of the best ways to support that goal is to help these prospective buyers remove student debt as a barrier to owning a home.

This was the rationale behind the creation of Maryland SmartBuy, the first government homeownership program in the country to actively mitigate student debt as part of the home purchase. When it was launched, the program enabled homebuyers with student debt to purchase select properties from the department’s REO portfolio. Since then, the program has evolved and expanded, and now SmartBuy can be used to purchase any home in Maryland if the property and buyer both meet the requirements of the Maryland Mortgage Program.

SmartBuy has been an incredible success. In its current, expanded form, the program has helped 160 Marylanders saddled with student debt purchase homes with an estimated total sales volume of $35.5 million. The program helped retire $4.5 million of outstanding student debt. The average purchase price of these homes is $250,000 and homebuyers had an average of $27,300 in student debt completely forgiven. In fact, SmartBuy has proven so successful that Governor Larry Hogan requested that program funding be significantly increased in his most recent budget proposal. Thankfully, the General Assembly agreed with Governor Hogan, and I am pleased to announce that funding for Maryland SmartBuy has been doubled from $3 million in Fiscal Year 2019 to $6 million for Fiscal Year 2020.

This increase in funding could not come at a better moment. In addition to marking National Homeownership Month, June is also traditionally a month of graduations. A whole new class of graduates will begin their transition from students into this new phase of their lives. These graduates can be potential homebuyers thanks to Maryland SmartBuy.

If you have any questions about Maryland SmartBuy or the Maryland Mortgage Program, please get in touch. Best wishes for a productive and pleasant Homeownership Month.


Matthew Heckles

Assistant Secretary, Division of Development Finance

Director, Community Development Administration

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development




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