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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



WEATHERIZATION MONTH

WEATHERIZATION MONTH

Our new  blog series this month is highlighting 45 years of success for the Weatherization Assistance Program. Each week we feature the many benefits of energy efficient homes to help reduce total residential energy expenses and improve overall health and safety. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development maintains the program for Maryland’s residents and informs them of these  life-changing opportunities. Last week we discussed the program’s energy efficiency benefits that can help low-income families. 

This week we are focusing on the health benefits and extensive care that allows low-income families to take advantage of our Weatherization Assistance Program. The key role in making homes more livable is making sure the home is healthy inside and out. The Weatherization Assistance Program has led to significant health benefits such as residents needing  fewer hospitalizations and ER visits. The annual out of pocket expenses decrease by an average of $514. This program has helped reduce 65% of hospital visits for asthma patients. Additionally, it has helped decrease sinus infections, colds, allergies, and hypertension. Finally, the program has caused a 48% reduction in the number of days residents reported poor mental health. 

The extensive care benefit, also called the Weatherization Plus Health, is an integrated service allowing residents to ask for the removal of lead, any pest control, mold mitigation and more. More information is available on the Plus Health Program website. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development is committed to helping our residents and their families save money and stay  healthy  in the community. To find out more information, and if you are an eligible applicant, visit our Weatherization Assistance Program website.

After weatherization residence with asthma reporting if you were hospitalizations and ER visits. Residence experienced if you were bad physical and mental health days. Children in the household missed fewer days of school. Hustle members reported if you were allergy and cold symptoms.



Maryland Celebrates the 100th Affordable Housing Community Financed by Rental Housing Works Program

Maryland Celebrates the 100th Affordable Housing Community Financed by Rental Housing Works Program

Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition Recognized with
Governor’s Proclamation

NEW CARROLLTON, Md. (October 19, 2021) – Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt joined leadership and members of the Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition at their annual meeting to celebrate the 100th affordable housing community financed through the State of Maryland’s Rental Housing Works program. Secretary Holt presented the coalition with a proclamation from Governor Larry Hogan marking the milestone.

“The Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition was instrumental in the creation of the Rental Housing Works program and has been a dedicated, professional partner in advancing the mission of the department to create and preserve affordable rental housing,” said Secretary Holt. “The support and advocacy of their members has helped contribute to unprecedented levels of financing and production during the Hogan-Rutherford administration.”

The coalition worked with the department to create the Rental Housing Works program in 2012. The program allows developers to make maximum use of previously unused, and often returned, federal bond resources for affordable rental housing. Designed to provide immediate support to shovel-ready projects, Rental Housing Works funds are deployed as low-interest loans that are paired with the federal bond funds to finance the preservation and modernization of affordable rental housing. The development of the 100 affordable housing communities financed through Rental Housing Works has leveraged more than $2 billion in additional public, private, and nonprofit investment.

Through Rental Housing Works and other rental financing programs, affordable housing production in Maryland has significantly increased to historic levels since 2015. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has financed the creation and preservation of more than 22,000 units during the current administration. Additionally, the department achieved two consecutive years of record-breaking application volume in competitive rounds for state rental housing funds and low income housing tax credits.

The Maryland Affordable Housing Coalition is composed of nearly 200 businesses and organizations that work in the affordable rental housing industry in Maryland. Members include developers, contractors, lenders, investors, architects, engineers and property managers, as well as local governments, housing authorities, and community organizations. The coalition’s advocacy efforts have helped ensure continued budgetary support from Governor Hogan and the Maryland General Assembly for Rental Housing Works since its creation, including record-level funding in the Fiscal Year 2022 budget.

For more information about Rental Housing Works and the State of Maryland’s other rental housing finance programs, visit https://dhcd.maryland.gov.

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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



WALKTOBER Trails

WALKTOBER Trails

Marquis De Lafayette front entrance Statue

We’re back for the continuation of our Walktober blog series for the month of October. The Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and other Maryland agencies, including the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development have had a great opportunity to fund and support incredible walking trails throughout the state. Last week we introduced the Great Allegheny Passage located in Western, Maryland. This week we are trailblazing into Maryland’s Upper Eastern Shore on the Lafayette Trail located in Havre de Grace, Maryland. 

This trail is in Harford County and has been a part of the town since 1782. It was originally named after Marquis de Lafayette who was the last surviving French General of the Revolutionary War. His statue overlooks the entrance of the downtown Lafayette area greeting visitors and locals daily. This self-guided trail offers a continuous three-mile loop with over 800 historic structures in which visitors are allowed to walk, drive or ride a bike along a beautiful tree-lined street pathway. The trail has about 37 stops for historic information covering 57 different properties including houses and businesses of late famous citizens in that area. 

Havre de Grace was recognized as a Sustainable Community in 2012. Additionally, the City of Aberdeen, the Town of Bel Air and the community of Edgewood hold this distinguished recognition in Harford County. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Neighborhood Revitalization program has awarded and invested $1.5 million into the City of Havre de Grace. This funding allows the city’s elected officials and community leaders to focus on economic and social responsibilities for the community’s growth. Havre de Grace is not only a Sustainable Community, it is also a designated Main Street community in Maryland. Visitors can check out the Lafayette trail app called “DISTRX”. The app allows visitors to hear the voices of past Havre de Grace citizens in an audio format and provide illustrations of historical pictures of the area while enjoying the trail or tour. The tour is available by downloading the DISTRX app on iPhone and Android phones.

Once you complete this beautiful historic trail there are great family-owned restaurants in the town to check out and enjoy with friends or family. For a more romantic evening it is best to get food and enjoy the sunset off the river overlooking the Upper Bay.

Lafayette bridge overlooking the river






Governor Hogan Announces Housing Vouchers for Homeless Veterans in Cecil County

Governor Hogan Announces Housing Vouchers for Homeless Veterans in Cecil County

Work Begins On Second Phase Of Perry Point Veterans Village

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that HELP Veterans Village Phase II will receive 50 Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. 

“Marylanders who have proudly served our nation deserve the very best in care, and, for more than three years, HELP Veterans Village has provided that for our vulnerable veterans,” said Governor Hogan. “These vouchers will ensure further continuation of the Village’s high level of services and its important role in ending veteran homelessness in Maryland.”

These vouchers are made possible through a partnership between the Veterans Affairs (VA) Maryland Health Care System, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban 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 (VAMC).

The second phase of HELP’s Veterans Village features an additional 76 units of housing for at-risk and formerly homeless veterans through the rehabilitation of 20 historic houses, and 23 new construction duplex style housing. A newly constructed community building with recreation facilities will also be included as a part of the second phase. 

“HELP Veterans Village is a wonderful example of federal, state, local, and nonprofit partners working together to create a world-class facility to serve Maryland’s veterans,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “We are grateful for HUD’s continued support of the Village’s worthy mission.”

The project will expand on the recently completed Perry Point Veterans Village I, which underscores how Veterans Affairs Supportive Housing vouchers can serve as a powerful tool to rehabilitate and create newly constructed housing for veterans and their families, while serving as an economic development tool for the surrounding community. These veterans and their families receive safe, stable, energy-efficient homes 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.

Tenants selected for the project will be referred by the VAMC and will be required to meet the eligibility requirements for the HUD-VASH program. The Perry Point VAMC and the VA Maryland Health Care Systems will identify eligible Veterans and Veteran families to facilitate a streamlined application process with the principles of Housing First.

For more information about the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s housing finance, energy-efficiency, and homeless service programs, visit https://dhcd.maryland.gov



WEATHERIZATION MONTH

WEATHERIZATION MONTH

What is the Weatherization Assistance Program and why should you care? This program was created in 1976 by President Gerald Ford who signed the Energy Conservation and Production Act into law. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development maintains the program for Maryland’s residents.  The program supports the increase of energy efficient homes owned or occupied by low-income families, helps reduce their total residential energy expenditures, and improves their overall health and safety.  

This week we are focusing on understanding energy efficiency and the benefits that can help low-income families. A key takeaway with the Weatherization Assistance Program is that it not only helps families save an average of $283 per year, but it also partnered with the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program. That program provides heating and cooling assistance to over six million low-income families each year! It plays a crucial role in supporting the health and safety of households nationwide by keeping their utilities fully operational. These two federal programs, on average, help reduce heating bills by 30%, natural gas consumption by 18%, and electricity by 7%. Typically, low-income families are affected by high home energy costs forcing them to pay from their gross annual income 16.3% more than other households’ annual income who spends 3.5%. 

This month on our blog we are highlighting 45 years of success for the Weatherization Assistance Program by featuring different benefits Maryland residents can witness from the programs in multiple ways. For more information, and if you are an eligible applicant, visit our Weatherization Assistance Program page at https://go.usa.gov/xMGDz

 

 



WALKTOBER Trails

WALKTOBER Trails

 

Asphalt Trail through Great Allegheny Passage

Bridge connection from Maryland through Pennsylvania.

What is WALKTOBER? Walktober is when the Maryland Department of Transportation (MDOT) and other Maryland agencies, including the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, promote and host public events spotlighting Maryland pedestrians’ safety, health, and commuting options in current walk programs and initiatives. Our department has had a unique opportunity to help fund some great trails throughout the state which will allow you to participate in Maryland’s most popular exercise – walking! This month on our blog, we will feature some trails and areas in Maryland that we have helped support over the years. This week, we focus on a trail located in Western Maryland called the Great Allegheny Passage.

The Great Allegheny Passage, located in Allegany County,  connects the city of Frostburg to the neighboring city of Cumberland. Originally known as Allegheny Trail Alliance and opened in 2007,  this trail offers 150 miles of biking, hiking, fishing, mountain biking, horseback riding and it is also wheelchair accessible. The biggest attraction for this trail is the ability to travel off-road for 334 miles all the way from Washington, D.C., to Pittsburgh, PA! The pathway is covered with asphalt, concrete, crushed stone, and gravel which is perfect for outdoor activities for everyone and biking opportunities with beautiful scenery. Visitors can explore nine miles past the Frostburg area and discover the trail shares a 900-foot Brush Tunnel with the train. Although recommended to avoid entering the tunnel with the noisy and smokey train, westbound travelers will experience a steeper grade in the 24 miles they have to reach the tunnel from Cumberland called the Big Savage Tunnel. Most people walk or ride their bikes on this trail in warm weather, however, this trail is also known for cross-country skiing and snowshoeing which are popular wintertime pursuits. 

Through our  Neighborhood Revitalization grants and loans, the department has proudly invested approximately $2.59 million since 2015 near this trail to help support Frostburg and Cumberland communities. Both the City of Cumberland and the City of Frostburg are part of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Sustainable Communities as well as designated Main Street Maryland communities. Sustainable Communities, like Frostburg and Cumberland, have developed frameworks for promoting environmentally, economically and socially responsible growth and development in existing older communities. Frostburg updates the public on local trail conditions, as well as opportunities for dining, lodging, and shuttle services. Visitors can check the GAP website (gaptrail.org) for updates and more information.

After a nice workout on this beautiful long trail, there are a couple great food spots nearby the park to regain your energy. There are a few cafes nearby offering unique blends of coffee as well as breakfast items only available if you check out the Frostburg and Cumberland area and the beautiful scenery of the Great Allegheny Passage. 

Forest Trail in Great Allegheny Passage










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