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Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Announces $178.1 Million in Emergency Rental Assistance Funding Provided For Tenants and Landlords Affected By COVID-19 Pandemic

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Announces $178.1 Million in Emergency Rental Assistance Funding Provided For Tenants and Landlords Affected By COVID-19 Pandemic
Program continues to meet all federal spending goals
All rental assistance programs statewide open and accepting applications

New Carrollton, Md. (December 1, 2021)—The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development today announced the Emergency Rental Assistance Program has approved $178.1 million to assist nearly 28,000 renter households affected by the COVID-19 pandemic as of October 31. This effort exceeds the U.S. Treasury spending goals for the program, and ensures that remaining program funds will stay in Maryland and continue to help tenants and landlords in need.

“Our program, built in consultation with a bipartisan workgroup of members of the Maryland General Assembly, continues to rank ahead of the majority of other states for program implementation, which is a testament to the hard work of our local partners,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Maryland’s program is separately administered by each county and Baltimore City, utilizing their unique preexisting rental relief capacity. I continue to urge Marylanders in need of rent relief to apply to their local jurisdiction for assistance.”

Emergency Rental Assistance Program Data. To see complete program data, visit rentrelief.maryland.gov and click on “Data Dashboard.” Viewers of the dashboard can select information on specific county programs, see demographic information and get data on department marketing and outreach efforts. The dashboard is updated on a monthly basis to show progress.

Federal spending guidelines. The U.S. Treasury required states and jurisdictions to reach an expenditure ratio of 30% of program funds expended for financial assistance by November 15. With October’s reported numbers, the state is at 37% and Maryland is well on target to exceed the November 30 deadline of 40% expended. All reporting, implementation and compliance monitoring requirements have been met as well.

Future funding. In addition to funds allocated to counties directly by the federal government and the state, the Department reserved some funds to reallocate based on successful program implementation. The state recently awarded an additional $20 million to Prince George’s County, $5.5 million to Wicomico County and $2.8 million to Cecil County. These counties will now have additional resources to help residents and meet program demand. Maryland will also receive an additional $352 million through a second phase of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program. There will be a seamless transition to this phase of the program in 2022, ensuring Marylanders can continue to apply for relief.

How to Apply: Tenants and landlords should visit rentrelief.maryland.gov or call 877-546-5595 to get connected to rental assistance programs. All jurisdictions in Maryland are currently accepting applications. In addition to local programs, tenants in eligible properties may qualify for DHCD’s Assisted Housing Relief Program, which serves rental units in multifamily projects financed by the department’s Community Development Administration using state funds or federal resources. Tenants in those properties should contact their property management company for application information.

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MEDIA CONTACT:

Sara Luell, Director of Public Information
sara.luell@maryland.gov



Celebrate Giving Tuesday by Donating to GIVE Maryland

Together we give. November 30, 2021
Celebrate Giving Tuesday by Donating to GIVE Maryland

Giving Tuesday is November 30, 2021

While many will begin their holiday shopping on either Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, or Cyber Monday, Giving Tuesday (#GivingTuesday) is a chance for people to give back to those who need a bit more help, especially during the holiday season.  Celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving, this eight year tradition encourages and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year.

So, how can you join hundreds of millions of people in this global event? Simple – Donate!  From giving money to donating your time to help a cause you believe in, Giving Tuesday is a way for you to stand up for the causes you care about and help people who need it most.

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) even created a way for Marylanders to give back to many nonprofits with their GIVE Maryland campaign.  Individuals and businesses who donate $500 or more to an approved project can earn state tax credits equal to 50% of the value of the contribution.  The site links donors to the 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations that have been awarded Community Investment Tax Credits by the DHCD for use as incentives to attract contributions to benefit local projects and services.

GIVE Maryland also gives individuals and businesses the opportunity to provide contributions based on their interests. Users can simply search for nonprofits in their communities they support and are interested in and donate online to those organizations with available tax credits.

Maryland’s Charity Campaign is also taking donations right now and Marylanders can give back through this statewide campaign too. Check out DHCD’s latest video on how you can donate to Maryland’s Charity Campaign.

Join hundreds of millions of people around the world on November 30 and make a difference in your community.



Shop Local for Small Business Saturday in One of Maryland’s Main Street Communities

An image of a main street with cars parked along he rode against a blue sky

Shop Local for Small Business Saturday in One of Maryland’s Main Street Communities

Small Business Saturday is November 27, 2021

As Thanksgiving feasts come to a close, the holiday season is right around the corner and that means finding the perfect gifts for those special people in our lives.  Black Friday deals have already started, but don’t forget to check out your local businesses and take part in Small Business Saturday on Saturday, November 27, 2021.  This 11-year tradition is always held during the Saturday after Thanksgiving and gives the community a great opportunity to support their local businesses.  In 2020, Americans spent approximately $20 billion during this event according to the U.S. Small Business Administration.

America’s Main Streets are the heartbeat of local businesses. From one-of-a-kind trinkets to specialized cuisine, even special events, America’s main streets offer customers a unique experience they can only find locally.

Maryland has 33 Main Streets that are part of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)’s Main Street Maryland Program. Created in 1998, this program works to strengthen the economic potential of Maryland’s traditional main streets and neighborhoods. These designated Main Street Maryland communities have made a commitment to improve the economy, appearance and image of their traditional downtown business districts.

When customers choose to shop local, they are purchasing more than a unique good or service. Buying locally stimulates the local economy, helps benefit local schools and charities, and allows cities and towns to thrive because the money in the community stays in the community.  Additionally, shopping locally can be as easily accessible by simply stopping at your local Main Street. 

So while we are starting to get wrapped up in the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, remember to check out your main street area and shop local. Who knows? You may just find that perfect gift for that person on your list that is always hard to shop for or that person who just seems to have everything.

Find out about the Main Street Maryland Program, resources, and more.



PUBLIC NOTICE – Upcoming Hearings and Comment Periods

PUBLIC NOTICE – STATE OF MARYLAND

  • 2021 Action Plan Amendment – Notice of Public Review and Comment Period 
  • Citizen Participation Plan Amendment
  • HOME – American Rescue Plan Consultation

November 19, 2021

2021 Action Plan Amendment – Notice of Public Review and Comment Period

In October of 2018, Congress enacted the Substance Use-disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment for Patients and Communities Act.  When funded, it provided $25 million to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for housing for persons recovering from substance abuse disorders under the Recovery Housing Program (RHP).  The State of Maryland has been awarded $2,117,903 which will be administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

A substantial amendment to the FY 2021 Annual Action Plan is necessary in order to receive the RHP funds. Under this process, the draft amendment must be made available for public review and comment for 30 days.  For this grant, the State is proposing to only accept applications from county governments through a competitive process to be initiated in 2022 for recovery housing for women with children.  Governments can apply on behalf of eligible non-profit providers to acquire improved property for housing.

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development hereby gives notice that the substantial amendment to the FY 2021 Action Plan will be available for public review and comment from November 19 through December 19, 2021.  Upon conclusion of the comment period, any responses received will be considered and the plan will be finalized and submitted to HUD.

There will be two public hearings during the comment period to discuss the proposed plan.  The meetings will only be held virtually and will be accessed by video and telephone. If you wish to participate in the public hearing via video, please email cindy.stone@maryland.gov to receive a link.  

The public hearings will be held on:

Monday, December 13, 2021 at 2:00 PM
Join by phone:  405-353-1442   PIN# 643740112

Tuesday, December 14, 2021 at 6:00 PM
Join by phone:  315-795-1458   PIN# 219885016

The State will make every effort to accommodate those with disabilities by providing the meetings in both audio and visual format.  Persons requiring a translator should request one at least three days prior to the virtual hearing they plan to attend.  

The draft RHP Action Plan can be found at https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Pages/Publications.aspx under the Consolidated Plan.

Written public comments will be accepted through December 19th and may be submitted to

Cindy Stone
Director, Community Development Programs, Neighborhood Revitalization
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
7800 Harkins Road
Lanham, MD  20706

OR via email at cindy.stone@maryland.gov 

Citizen Participation Amendment

As a requirement of the RHP funding, the State had to amend its Citizen Participation Plan.  The plan was amended to allow for consultation with organizations and interested parties with an interest in recovery housing.  The amended Citizen Participation Plan can also be found on the same webpage as the RHP Action Plan.  

HOME – American Rescue Plan Consultation

The State of Maryland has been awarded $23,971,559 of HOME funds from the American Rescue Plan (HOME-ARP) funds. HOME-ARP funds can be used for a variety of activities including tenant-based rental assistance, development of affordable housing, supportive services, non-congregate emergency shelter, permanent supportive housing and operating costs for eligible nonprofit organizations. 

Funds must primarily benefit individuals and households in the following qualifying populations:  

  • Experiencing homelessness (as defined in 24 CFR 91.5 “Homeless” (1), (2), or (3)); 
  • At risk of homelessness (as defined in 24 CFR 91.5 “At risk of homelessness”);
  • Fleeing domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, or human trafficking, (as defined in 24 CFR 5.2003); and 
  • Other populations with high risk of housing instability (including highly cost-burdened low-income households, households who have moved two or more times in the last 60 days, and households living in a hotel/motel).

HOME ARP regulations require preparation of a substantial amendment to the FY2021 Action Plan and the development of an Allocation Plan.   As part of the consultation process, the Maryland Department of the Housing and Community Development is requesting input and comment as to needs and potential uses.  Comments will be accepted through December 19th.  Comments may be submitted in writing by mail or email to Dale Quisgard, HOME Program Manager, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, 7800 Harkins Road, Lanham, Md.  20706 OR via email to dale.quisgard@maryland.gov 

Upon completion of the draft amendment to the Action Plan and the Allocation Plan, it will be made available to the public for comment.  

Detailed information about HOME ARP funds can be found at the HUD Exchange found at www.hudexchange.info 



WALKTOBER Trails

WALKTOBER Trails

Three Notch Trail Historic Sign

Three Notch Trail Historic Sign

We have made it to our last blog for the Walktober series. Get ready because we are sharing two different trails to take advantage of for the Halloween weekend. In the beginning of the series we first introduced the Great Allegheny Passage located in Western, Maryland. Week two, we presented the Lafayette Trail located in Havre De Grace, Maryland. Last week the Patapsco River and Valley located in Ellicott City, Maryland was our focus and now this week we are wrapping up the blog series with Three Notch Trail and the Berlin Ghost Walk also known as Chesapeake Ghost Walk. 

Three Notch Trail is located in Charlotte Hall, Maryland. This trail was built in the early 1960s as a railroad that ran throughout the county. The trail runs from Deborah Drive in Charlotte Hall to John V. Baggett Park, in Laurel Grove, for a length of nearly 11 miles. The Three Notch Trail is in St. Mary’s County and extends to Charles County. While the park currently is still a work in progress, it will extend for 28 miles with a future southern endpoint at the access road for Naval Air Station Patuxent River. The park is covered in asphalt which helps visitors easily walk, skate, horseback ride, and do many more activities. While there are rules at this park such as no motorized vehicles,  the trail is a chance to take in the suburban scenery with tall trees and open fields. 

Open Field Trail With Bicyclers

Open Field Trail With Bicyclers

Three Notch Trail has been a part of the State Revitalization Program since 2015. The Program offers a range of funding to further the revitalization goals of communities across Maryland. Funding for the completion of the Three Notch Trail is nearly  $775,000. This will help add more asphalt to the path of Laurel Grove’s John V. Baggett Park. This park contains basketball courts, baseball/softball fields and tennis courts that will be part of the trail. The extension for this trail will increase from 11 miles to 28 miles.    

Once visitors have  completed walking the beautiful and open trail, they can head north of Three Notch Road to different food places such as the Pizza Hotline or Smokehouse BBQ Shack. There are even more restaurants and clothing stores on the street visitors can take advantage of in that area. 

Berlin Ghost Walk Atlantic Hotel

Berlin Ghost Walk Atlantic Hotel

Haunted House Berlin Ghost Tour

Haunted House Berlin Ghost Tour

The second trail highlighted this week is the Berlin Ghost Walk also known as Chesapeake Ghost Walk. Appropriate for this time of year, this trail is located in Berlin, Maryland. The trail is a short 1.5 mile path in the Eastern Shore area and only ten  minutes from Ocean City, Maryland. People of all ages visit this trail which starts in front of the Atlantic Hotel on North Main Street. The Atlantic Hotel has five famous ghost stories associated with it and still continues to have ghostly activity to this day. Planning to try and have your own paranormal experience with this trail? Be sure to pack a flashlight, camera, umbrella (in case of inclement weather) and wear comfortable clothing. The Berlin Ghost Walk has many haunted sites such as the Old Dairy Queen,  the Store of Crazy Characters, the former Odd Fellows Hall, the Maryland Wine Bar, the Pitts House and St. Paul’s Graveyard. Besides the potential  spiritual encounters, the Berlin Ghost Walk also features a “healing tree.” This trail has multiple attractions for everyone to enjoy.

The Berlin Ghost Walk is also a part of the State Revitalization Program from 2015-2021. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has supported the Town of Berlin by granting them $130,000 to help revitalize the community. Worcester County is about 20 minutes from the Town of Berlin which was also being revitalized in the same time frame and was given over $2.7 Million. The Berlin Ghost Tour has existed for years. With the State Revitalization Program, the tour will continue to grow bringing different attractions to residents and visitors

Town of Berlin

Town of Berlin (Berlin, Maryland)

After being scared and catching your breath again, you can enjoy the multiple restaurants and bars in the Berlin Town less than ten minutes away. The town is small, but has a lot to offer and is great to explore with family and friends. 





Governor Hogan Proclaims October 30 as Weatherization Day in Maryland

Governor Hogan Proclaims October 30 as Weatherization Day in Maryland

Landmark program celebrates its 45th anniversary

6 people holding a proclamation

New Carrollton, Md. (October 29, 2021) – Governor Larry Hogan today issued an official proclamation to celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Weatherization Assistance Program and declared Saturday, October 30, as Weatherization Day in Maryland. The Weatherization Assistance Program helps predominantly low-income households make important repairs and upgrades to their homes to increase energy efficiency.

“The Weatherization Assistance Program has served thousands of Marylanders over its 45-year history by making their homes more energy efficient and providing substantial savings on their utility bills,” said Governor Hogan. “These efforts contribute both to environmental health by lowering energy consumption and to economic growth by promoting green jobs and the use of innovative new technologies.”

The Weatherization Assistance Program was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Gerald Ford in 1976. The program is a federal, state, and local partnership that serves low- to moderate-income households in every county in the United States, including all local jurisdictions in Maryland. Approximately 8.1 million homes nationwide have been weatherized through the program, including more than 15,000 in Maryland over the last decade.

The Weatherization Assistance Program is one of an array of energy efficiency programs administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. During Fiscal Years 2015-2020, roughly the length of the Hogan-Rutherford administration, the department has administered nearly $165 million for energy efficiency programs. During the month of October, the Department has published a series of blog and social media posts focusing on the benefits of the program. You can read the latest post on the health benefits of the program on the Department’s blog. For more information, visit: https://dhcd.maryland.gov.

 



Governor Hogan Announces $10 Million Homeownership Works Initiative

Governor Hogan Announces $10 Million Homeownership Works Initiative

Pilot Program Will Create Homeownership Opportunities, Revitalize Neighborhoods in Baltimore City and Cambridge

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (October 27, 2021) — Governor Larry Hogan today announced the launch of the Homeownership Works (HOW) pilot program, a $10 million economic recovery initiative that will rehabilitate homes to create new homeownership opportunities while revitalizing Johnston Square in Baltimore City and Pine Street in Cambridge.

“Homeownership Works is a game-changing approach that will serve as a national best practice for community renewal,” said Governor Hogan. “The program will revitalize neighborhoods to encourage new homeownership while helping existing homeowners and creating healthier housing markets.”

The Homeownership Works pilot program will be administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). Through a mix of grant and loan investment, more than 100 Maryland homeowners are expected to benefit from new affordable homeownership opportunities, critical home repairs for existing homeowners, and an increase to the health and stability of targeted housing markets.

“Even if a home is historic, it needs to be maintained, and housing values in many older historic neighborhoods are declining due to aging and the prevalence of vacant and deteriorated housing stock, and the cost to restore or build new housing,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt of DHCD. “This new, targeted homeownership initiative will help fill that financial gap, creating new affordable homeownership opportunities, helping existing homeowners, and stabilizing irreplaceable historic communities.”

HOW Pilot Program. The $10 million pilot program will focus on concentrated areas in one urban community and one rural community, Johnston Square in east Baltimore City and the Pine Street Historic District in Cambridge. In each target area, HOW investment will:

  • Create opportunities for new homeownership through rehabilitation of historic properties and creation of new properties in formerly vacant lots
  • Provide homeowners with critical home repairs and significant façade improvements 
  • Provide pro bono legal services for lower income homeowners to solve title issues that restrict their ability to access grants and loans

DHCD is working with the City of Cambridge and Habitat for Humanity Choptank on the Pine Street initiative, and with the nonprofits Rebuild Metro Baltimore and Rebuild Johnston on the Johnston Square initiative. Over the next year, DHCD will work with these partners to finance the rehabilitation of vacant homes and the infill construction of new homes for affordable homeownership as well as recruit existing homeowners in need of critical home repair and improvements.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Sara Luell, Director of Public Information
sara.luell@maryland.gov

Emily Allen Lucht, Director of Communications
emily.lucht@maryland.gov



7 Steps to Purchasing Your Home

Don’t get lost on the path to homeownership. Here are the 7 steps that can get you there. The Maryland Mortgage Program will help guide the way.

 

Visual guide that represents the text below this image title: 7 steps to homeownership

 

 

Step 1:  Homebuyer Education

Take a Homebuyer Education class to learn about the process and get the required certificate. https://bit.ly/3AC89AI

 

Step 2: Lender Pre-Approval

Find a lender and get pre-approved to determine what you can afford.

Get referred to a top MMP loan officer here:  https://bit.ly/3hXqHEs

If you prefer, you can reach out directly to a lender from the approved list: https://bit.ly/3zBYBEC

 

Step 3: Get a Realtor

A realtor will help you with finding homes that best fit your needs.

You can locate agents in your area by visiting the Maryland REALTORS® homebuyer website at https://bit.ly/3EKe9dp.



Step 4: Submitting an Offer

Once you find the perfect house, it’s time to put an offer in. Your realtor will be able to guide you on what a competitive offer is, as well as any other contingencies the offer will rely on (home inspection, financing, etc.)

 

 

Step 5: Loan Application and Lock

Your loan officer will help you identify which Maryland Mortgage Program loan is best for you and lock in that low interest rate. They will guide you through other required steps, such as home inspection, appraisal, etc. The underwriting team will review your updated employment and credit information to make sure you qualify for a loan.



Step 6: Maryland Mortgage Program Review

The lender will submit your loan package to the Maryland Mortgage Program team to make sure it is in compliance with state requirements. After this approval is received, your lender will schedule closing. 

 

Step 7: Closing

Congratulations, you’ve done it! Once you sign the paperwork you will receive the keys to your new home.

 

The Maryland Mortgage Program has been the state’s flagship homeownership program for more than 40 years. Under the Hogan administration, the Maryland Mortgage Program has provided over $4.1 billion in mortgages to more than 18,900 Marylanders and eliminated more than $17.4 million in student debt for first-time homebuyers. For more information, visit http://mmp.maryland.gov.

 

The Maryland Mortgage Program has developed a Homebuyer’s Guide to help you, wherever you are in the homebuying process.

Download the MMP Homebuyer’s Guide (English | Spanis​h​)​.​

 



WALKTOBER Trails

WALKTOBER Trails

Entrance to Patapsco Valley Park


We continue our Walktober blog series by introducing you to a new trail located in Howard county. For those who don’t know what Walktober is, the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and other Maryland agencies, including the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development have funded and supported incredible walking trails throughout the state. The first week of this series, we introduced the
Great Allegheny Passage located in Western, Maryland. Week two, we introduced you to the Lafayette Trail located in Havre De Grace, Maryland. This week we are jumping over to Baltimore, Maryland for the  Patapsco River and Valley located in Ellicott City, Maryland.  

The trail is so long – it isn’t only in Howard county!  It is separated into portions throughout Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, and Howard County. Founded in 1907 and originally called the Patapsco Forest Reserve, the park is considered one of the oldest state parks in Maryland. The Patapsco River and Valley is known to be a part of America’s first common-carrier railroad. Additionally, it believed to be the world’s first underwater hydroelectric plant. The park extends 32 ​miles along the Patapsco River covering 16,043 acres of land and has developed eight different recreational areas. Visitors have opportunities to go hiking, fishing, camping, canoeing, horseback and mountain bike trails, as well as picnicking for individuals or large groups. The most beautiful part of the park is the dam that flows through the river and washes upon the natural rocks of the park. 

Arbutus Maryland, which is only 15 minutes away from the park and located in Baltimore County, is Maryland’s most recent Sustainable Community. Catonsville, which is adjacent to Arbutus, is also a Sustainable Community and located in Baltimore County. These Sustainable Communities have been environmentally, economically and socially developed since 2013 allowing their growth to be proudly recognized by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

This park has everything you need to entertain friends and family with breathtaking scenery and surrounds guests with true tranquility. Surrounded by true cutting edge forest fields and beautiful water flow from the river, this park brings a new sense of calm to all vistors. The park is less than ten minutes from fan favorite restaurants such as Hook and Reel Cajun Seafood Bar and Chipotle. This park is truly a sight to see. For more information on other trails in Maryland, check out the Walktober Blog Series on our website.



State of Maryland Designates New Sustainable Community in Baltimore County

State of Maryland Designates New Sustainable Community in Baltimore County

Arbutus will become 123nd Sustainable Community in Maryland

New Carrollton, Md. (October 21, 2021) – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development today announced Arbutus has become Maryland’s newest Sustainable Community. With this designation, Arbutus becomes the ninth designation in Baltimore County and 123rd in the state. By earning a Sustainable Community Designation, local governments are provided with a revitalization “toolbox” of state resources including programs, loans, grants and tax credits that can support brick and mortar community projects, small business development, job creation and tourism.

Arbutus’ Sustainable Community Area is in Baltimore County, located south of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC) campus and is bordered by Patapsco Valley State Park to the south and west. Arbutus is uniquely positioned and able to serve as a hub for a diverse technology, industrial business community, and provide direct access to major commuter routes such as I-95, I-695, I-895, and I-295, and is six miles from BWI Airport. Additionally, Arbutus is just 20 miles away from the Washington DC Beltway, providing further access to several business communities and federal employment centers.

In addition to the Sustainable Community Designation, Arbutus has been designated as a Local Historic District, a Commercial Revitalization District, a Design Review Area, and a County Enterprise Zone, which all further encourage neighborhood revitalization and economic development. Arbutus’ key outcomes of the new designation include improving stream water quality and increasing the tree canopy, attracting and retaining more businesses such as grocery stores and cafes, creating a more complete bicycle and pedestrian network, encouraging homeownership and promoting relationships between the community and UMBC students and faculty, and lastly, to expand upon the area’s existing assets for the arts. 

Arbutus hopes to accomplish these key outcomes by improving their existing assets such as strong access to transportation networks and their growing relationship with UMBC.

To date, 123 Sustainable Communities have been designated. This includes 4 county-level designations, 118 municipalities and 59 unincorporated areas. They are as diverse as Frostburg in western Maryland, the Town of Ocean City on the eastern shore, unincorporated areas of Calvert County and large urban jurisdictions in central Maryland. For more information, visit our Sustainable Communities webpage

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

Sara Luell, Director of Public Information
sara.luell@maryland.gov

Emily Allen Lucht, Director of Communications
emily.lucht@maryland.gov







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