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Fiscal Year 2020 Maryland Housing Counseling Fund Awards Announced

Fiscal Year 2020 Maryland Housing Counseling Fund Awards Announced
More than $2 million awarded to 40 organizations in 16 jurisdictions

NEW CARROLLTON, MD (December 3, 2019) – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development announced more than $2 million in Fiscal Year 2020 awards through the Maryland Housing Counseling Fund. These awards will support 40 nonprofit and local government organizations that provide housing counseling services including homebuyer education, pre-purchase counseling and financial capability coaching; as well as, counseling and legal assistance to avoid foreclosure. Funds may also be used by these organizations to increase operational capacity to serve more clients.

“A family’s home is their most important asset, and housing counseling helps ensure that potential and current homeowners are educated and empowered to make informed decisions about purchasing or preserving that home,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Kenneth C. Holt. “We will continue to support the members of our statewide housing counseling network and other partners who work tirelessly to increase financial literacy and provide thoughtful and responsive foreclosure mitigation services.”

The department awarded nearly $1.5 million to 33 organizations that are members of the State of Maryland’s network of housing counseling agencies. The majority of these organizations are also approved and certified by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and they provide critical counseling services to assist new homebuyers and homeowners facing foreclosure. These services often include educating clients on the home buying process and working with them to improve their credit and reduce their debt. Counselors also assist clients facing foreclosure by advocating on their behalf with mortgage servicers to achieve a positive outcome.

Six legal service providers received $460,000 in support to assist homeowners in underserved rural areas of the state, as well as Baltimore City and Prince George’s County which continue to experience high foreclosure activity. These funds include a $200,000 award to Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service, one of the largest providers of pro bono civil legal services to low-income Marylanders. This award will enable the organization to continue its successful “My Home, My Deed, My Legacy” public awareness campaign to educate Maryland residents – especially low-income residents of Baltimore City – about the importance of estate planning and the critical need to confirm their name is on the deed to their property to ensure legal ownership and the ability to pass their home on to other family members.

The Community Development Network of Maryland received $64,000 to support the organization’s ongoing activities to increase the capacity of the network of housing counseling agencies, strengthen partnership and collaboration between members, and raise awareness of the free services available to Maryland homeowners. The department also awarded $10,000 to support the BlueHub SUN program, a national nonprofit foreclosure prevention program, which has helped over 1,000 families avoid foreclosure since 2009 by purchasing foreclosed properties before residents are evicted and then reselling these homes to the homeowner with a mortgage they can afford.

For a list of Fiscal Year 2020 Maryland Housing Counseling Fund awardees, visit https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Documents/MHFEC/FY20MHCFAwards.pdf. For more information about the program, visit https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Pages/MHFEC/.

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HELP Veterans Village Receives National Award

HELP Veterans Village was recently named the Special Needs Housing Project of the Year by Affordable Housing Finance Magazine. Developed through a partnership between the VA Maryland Health Care System, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, HELP USA, Cecil County, and the Town of Perryville, HELP Veterans Village provides housing for at-risk and formerly homeless veterans in the village area of the Perry Point VA Medical Center. The department provided nearly $19 million in financing for this vital project that has contributed to the reduction of veterans homelessness in Maryland.

New unit at HELP Veterans Village

Housing for homeless veterans at HELP Veterans Village near the Perry Point VA Medical Center.

Located just outside of the Town of Perryville in Cecil County, HELP Veterans Village features 75 newly renovated and newly constructed homes located in the village area of the Perry Point Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center. The Village was awarded 75 Project Based VA Supportive Housing Vouchers from the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of Veterans Affairs, which are administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. These vouchers provide subsidized rent for all the homes in the Village to support at-risk and formerly homeless veterans and their family members. These veterans and their families receive safe, stable, energy-efficient housing located near the full range of VA support programs and services provided by the medical center, as well as convenient access to local transportation resources. The Village also achieves net zero-energy consumption thanks to a 4-acre, 420-kW solar-array field that feeds back into the power grid.

The selection of HELP Veterans Village for this award highlights Maryland’s ongoing efforts to support local veterans. Earlier this year, Governor Larry Hogan proclaimed 2019 as the Year of the Veteran in Maryland to recognize the state’s 380,000 veterans for their service and raise awareness of the unique challenges they still bravely face, including homelessness. HELP Veterans Village has contributed to the reduction of veterans homelessness in the state. Based on data from the 2019 Point-in-Time Count, the number of veterans experiencing homelessness declined by 8.58% compared to 2017 data. 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 that serves as a snapshot of the scope and scale of homelessness in Maryland’s communities.

Department financing for HELP Veterans Village was provided through a variety of resources, including short-term and long-term bonds, 4% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, a Rental Housing Works loan, and energy efficiency funds. The department’s Community Legacy program also provided funding to the Town of Perryville to upgrade the wastewater treatment plant system to support the creation of the Village. Additional financing for the development came from philanthropic support from the Home Depot Foundation, the Citi Foundation and Northrop Grumman. The Village’s sponsor is HELP Development Corporation, the development arm of HELP USA, a national homeless service and low-income housing nonprofit.

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Governor Hogan Awards More Than $30 Million in Neighborhood Revitalization Funds

Governor Hogan Awards More Than $30 Million in Neighborhood Revitalization Funds
Five Programs Provide Support for 181 Projects in 23 Jurisdictions

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced more than $30 million in Fiscal Year 2020 neighborhood revitalization program awards. Grants from the Community Legacy program, the Strategic Demolition Fund, the Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative, the National Capital Strategic Economic Development Fund, and the Seed Community Development Anchor Institution Fund will support 181 projects in 23 jurisdictions across Maryland and are anticipated to leverage more than $600 million in private and nonprofit sector funds.

All five revitalization programs are managed by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and support business expansion and retention; streetscape improvements; homeownership and home rehabilitation incentives; commercial improvement programs; mixed-use development, and strategic demolition.

“These awards are about creating economic growth, new jobs, and improving communities for all Marylanders,” said Governor Hogan. “Our administration is proud to support such a diverse slate of important projects that will truly change Maryland for the better.”

Considered one of the state’s most flexible revitalization programs, Community Legacy awarded $6 million to 58 projects in designated Sustainable Communities throughout Maryland. Among others, these include rehabilitation of historic buildings in Frederick County, development of a co-working space in Harford County, and a park overlook in Somerset County.

The Strategic Demolition Fund awarded $5.5 million to 21 projects, including a mixed-use redevelopment in an Opportunity Zone next to Frostburg State University in Allegany County, infrastructure improvements at the Chestertown Business Campus in Kent County, and a community center in Wicomico County.

“Each of these projects makes a huge impact in their communities,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “With diligent allocation of our neighborhood revitalization resources in response to unique local needs, we are strengthening neighborhoods across the state.”

The Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative and the National Capital Strategic Economic Development Fund, programs designed to support redevelopment in communities within the Baltimore and Capital Beltways, awarded $12.575 million to 80 projects and $4 million to 18 projects, respectively. Projects include property rehabilitation in Anne Arundel County, homeownership incentives in Baltimore City neighborhoods, a community family life center in Baltimore County, and facade improvements in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties.

The Seed Community Development Anchor Institution Fund provides grants and loans to anchor institutions for community development projects in blighted areas of the state. To be eligible for a grant or loan, an institute of higher education or a hospital must provide evidence of matching funds from a private source. The Seed fund awarded $2.5 million to four projects including the Sinai Hospital Center of Hope, a new facility that will house multiple partner agencies responsible for a variety of violence prevention and intervention programs, and a pedestrian/bike trail at MedStar Harbor Hospital in Baltimore City.

For a full list of award winners, visit https://governor.maryland.gov/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/2019-NR-Awards-List_Final.pdf.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:
Owen McEvoy, Director of the Office of Public Information
owen.mcevoy@maryland.gov, 443-679-7653
Sara Luell, Director of Communications
sara.luell@maryland.gov, 301-429-7803


Consumer Alert: Attorney General Warns Marylanders About “Community Development Block Grant” Scam

Read the consumer alert here: http://www.marylandattorneygeneral.gov/press/2019/111319.pdf



Notice: Request for Applications for Maternal Opioid Misuse (MOM) Program

Notice: Request for Applications for Maternal Opioid Misuse (MOM) Program

 

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (the Department) seeks qualified and experienced local governments and non-profits to apply for capital funding for the Maternal Opioid Misuse (MOM) Program to develop Supportive Housing for Mothers with Substance Abuse Disorders. The RFA will be posted on the Department’s website at the following location:

https://dhcd.maryland.gov/HousingDevelopment/Pages/FinancingPrograms.aspx

Direct link to RFA PDF:

https://dhcd.maryland.gov/HousingDevelopment/Documentsstghp/RFA.pdf

Proposals must be received by the Department no later than Wednesday, January 15, 2020 at 2:00 p.m. Three (3) copies of the application should be submitted in separate binders along with a zip drive including a file attachment of the application.

The Department will host an information session for interested local governments and non-profits on Wednesday, November 6, at 11:00 a.m. The session will provide specific details about the MOM program as well as a question and answer session. Written questions should be sent to rfa.dhcd@maryland.gov by no later than December 31, 2019. Answers to questions will be responded to as received.

Information Session:

Time:               11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Location:         Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development

7800 Harkins Road

Lanham, Maryland 20706

Conference Rooms 201-203

Contact Information:

Shannon Lee

Special Assistant – Community Development Administration

Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development

7800 Harkins Road

Lanham, Maryland 20706

301-429-7648

shannon.lee@maryland.gov

Dayna Harris

Group Home Program Manager – Community Development Administration

7800 Harkins Road

Lanham, Maryland 20706

301-429-7845

dayna.harris@maryland.gov

General Information:

rfa.dhcd@maryland.gov



Governor Hogan Announces $40 Million in Support to New and Expanding Small Businesses

Governor Hogan Announces $40 Million in Support to New and Expanding Small Businesses

Neighborhood BusinessWorks Lending Program Hits Milestone With Loan to Ministry of Brewing in Baltimore City

For immediate release: 

October 30, 2019

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the State of Maryland has surpassed the milestone of more than $40 million in lending to over 170 small businesses through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Neighborhood BusinessWorks program since January 2015. Neighborhood BusinessWorks provides gap financing to new and expanding small businesses located in Priority Funding Areas and Opportunity Zones across the state.

“Small businesses are the backbone of our economy, and helping small business owners succeed is a priority,” said Governor Hogan. “Through Neighborhood BusinessWorks, we are able to help great ideas become actual, brick-and-mortar businesses that contribute to the economic development of Maryland’s great cities and towns.”

The program achieved the milestone this summer through a loan to Ministry of Brewing. The project involves converting a desanctified former church in Southeast Baltimore into a 15,000-square-foot brewpub. The brewery is expected to open later this year.

Neighborhood BusinessWorks was also instrumental in aiding small business recovery following the 2016 and 2018 historic flooding in Ellicott City. Other recent loans have assisted biotechnology companies, restaurants, and retail establishments.

“We have been aggressively growing the Neighborhood BusinessWorks program over the last few years,” said Housing Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Prior to 2015, the department was helping on average just about a dozen businesses a year; we have nearly tripled that and will continue to work to help small businesses and create more jobs.”

For more information about Neighborhood BusinessWorks, including information on how small businesses can apply, visit https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Business/.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Owen McEvoy, Director of the Office of Public Information, owen.mcevoy@maryland.gov, 443-679-7653

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



Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Conducts Largest Bond Issuance in the Agency’s History

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Conducts Largest Bond Issuance in the Agency’s History

NEW CARROLLTON, Md. (October 23, 2019) – Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt announced that the department conducted the largest mortgage revenue bond issuance in the history of the agency. The department’s bond-issuing entity, the Community Development Administration, issued more than $347 million under the Residential Revenue Bond program. Proceeds of the bond sales through that program are primarily used to finance mortgage loans to first-time homebuyers through the state’s Maryland Mortgage Program.

“Under Governor Hogan’s leadership, the state has expanded its portfolio of mortgage products and down payment and closing cost assistance available through the Maryland Mortgage Program, including the nationally-recognized Maryland SmartBuy program which empowers first-time homebuyers to eliminate their student loan debt while purchasing a home,” said Secretary Holt. “The majority of the Maryland Mortgage Program’s resources come from the sale of these types of bonds, not the state’s budget, so this highly successful program is funded and managed with virtually no cost to Maryland’s taxpayers.”

This historic issuance received an overwhelming response from bond investors in part due to the Community Development Administration’s solid credit rating and the high level of expertise provided by the department’s bond portfolio management team. The issuance received over $1.2 billion in investor orders, with more than 27 percent of filled orders coming from Maryland and national retail investors. The tax-exempt interest rates achieved through this bond sale will enable the department to continue to offer Maryland Mortgage Program loans at below market interest rates, providing annual savings to program homebuyers.

The Maryland Mortgage Program has been the state’s flagship homeownership program for more than 35 years, providing fixed-rate mortgages along with down payment and closing cost incentives. From 2015 through 2018 – over the period of Governor Hogan’s first term, the Maryland Mortgage Program assisted more than 9,900 homebuyers with mortgages valued at over $2.3 billion and over $49.5 million in down payment assistance. For more information about the Maryland Mortgage Program and its newest initiatives including Maryland SmartBuy, visit http://mmp.maryland.gov.

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


Legal Notice: Notice of Public Hearing – Residential Rental Housing Projects

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING CONCERNING ISSUANCE OF BONDS OR OTHER OBLIGATIONS TO FINANCE RESIDENTIAL RENTAL HOUSING PROJECTS

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, will conduct a public hearing at 12:00 pm, on Friday October 18, 2019 concerning issuance of bonds or other obligations to finance residential rental housing projects. For more information, visit: https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Documents/TEFRA/2019/Notice-10-01.pdf



Applications Open for 2020 Keep Maryland Beautiful Grants

Applications Open for 2020 Keep Maryland Beautiful Grants
$200,000 Available for Stewardship Initiatives Statewide

Four different grants are being offered to help volunteer and nonprofit groups, communities, and land trusts support environmental education projects, litter removal, citizen stewardship, and solve natural resource issues in urban and rural areas. The deadline to apply for funding is Nov. 14, 2019.

“Through Keep Maryland Beautiful we empower local stakeholders to improve the health and beauty of their neighborhoods,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “We have provided more than $2 million in grants and equipment for the cleaning, greening, and revitalization of Maryland’s communities since 2017.”

Visit https://news.maryland.gov/dnr/2019/10/01/applications-open-for-2020-keep-maryland-beautiful-grants/ to learn more.



Photo Release: Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford Delivers Opening Remarks at Opportunity Zones Conference

Photo Release: Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford Delivers Opening Remarks at
Opportunity Zones Conference
Conference Educates Potential Investors on State and Federal Incentives, Highlights Current Opportunity Zone Success Stories

ANNAPOLIS, MD (October 1, 2019) — Lt. Governor Boyd K. Rutherford, chair of the Maryland Opportunity Zone Leadership Task Force, today delivered opening remarks at the second Maryland Opportunity Zones Conference. Hosted by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development at the Turf Valley Resort in Ellicott City, the conference provided an opportunity for attendees and potential investors to learn more about the program and its incentives, as well as additional state incentives and current Opportunity Zone success stories in Maryland. The lieutenant governor was joined by Housing Secretary Kenneth C. Holt, Maryland Department of Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson, and representatives from the private and nonprofit sectors.

The federal Opportunity Zones program is a nationwide initiative administered by the U.S. Treasury. The program provides federal tax incentives for investment in economically distressed and under-served communities. Areas designated as Opportunity Zones will be able to reap the benefits of capital gains to help finance redevelopment and revitalization. Maryland has 149 designated Opportunity Zones, and each of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions has at least one designation.

TURF1

“For the last four years, Governor Hogan and I, and our entire administration, have been laser-focused on growing jobs and turning around Maryland’s economy, and we’ve seen a lot of success,” said Lt. Governor Rutherford. “But we know that there are places in the state that have not had the same growth as the rest of Maryland. The Opportunity Zone program is an exciting chance to truly lift up and help these communities.”

During the sold-out conference, more than 400 attendees learned about the expected future impact of Opportunity Zones, how to attract equity to both real estate and operating business projects, and additional state incentives. During the 2019 Legislative Session, the Hogan-Rutherford administration supported, and the governor later signed, a bipartisan omnibus bill that allowed the state to create or expand additional incentives to stack on top of those already offered by the federal government.

Examples of the state incentives include six additional tax credit programs under the Department of Commerce Opportunity Zone Enhancement Program: (1) Job creation; (2) One Maryland; (3) Enterprise Zone; (4) Biotechnology Investment incentive; (5) Cybersecurity Investment incentive; and (6) More Jobs for Marylanders. The legislation also extends the Historic Revitalization Tax Credit Program through the Maryland Historic Trust at the Department of Planning through 2024, and authorizes property tax credits at the local level for qualifying properties. In addition, the legislation extends geographic eligibility for State economic development tax credit and financing programs in priority areas, and adds an affordable and workforce housing component to Opportunity Zones to facilitate mixed-income developments.

Attendees also received an overview of some of the current successful projects featured on the Maryland Opportunity Zone Information Exchange, an innovative, first-in-the-nation online resource that serves as a virtual meeting place for investors, fund managers, property developers, new or expanding businesses, and local stakeholders. Examples of successful Opportunity Zone projects include Yard 56, a $160 million, 1-million-square-foot mixed-use development in East Baltimore; the Cambridge Waterfront Development, a $200 million, 25-acre mixed-use development adjacent to Route 50; and the Frostburg Center Street Redevelopment, a $10 million, 15,000-square-foot mixed-use project that will serve both the Frostburg University community and the community at large. Currently, the Information Exchange lists more than 100 projects totaling $12 billion of capital investments, comprising 29,000 housing units and 45 million square feet of commercial development.

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“Since the program was created by Congress, Maryland has been ahead of the curve when it comes to Opportunity Zones,” said Secretary Holt. “Governor Hogan has lead the nation in providing state support to leverage private capital. Today’s successful conference is another example of how we as a state are positioning ourselves to maximize Opportunity Zone investment.”

For more information about Opportunity Zones and for maps of selected communities, visit http://dhcd.maryland.gov/OpportunityZones.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Owen McEvoy, Director of the Office of Public Information, owen.mcevoy@maryland.gov, 443-679-7653

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



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