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A New Canvas for Baltimore: Remington Revitalizes for the Future

In central Baltimore City, Remington is in the middle of a renaissance. With $50,000 in matching grants from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Remington Commercial Façade Improvement Program, local businesses have been able to continue moving toward a brighter future through exterior renovations. DHCD supported this project with a FY-2017 Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative (BRNI) award in the amount of $50,000 to the Central Baltimore Partnership.

In recent years, the historic neighborhood has had to contend with the issue of neighborhood blight. The Remington Commercial Façade improvement Program, which was facilitated by the Greater Remington Improvement Association in partnership with the Central Baltimore Partnership, provides matching grants to commercial properties in the area. This program intends to combat the decades of disinvestment for commercial properties in Remington. Grants were awarded in amounts up to $10,000, and recipients were required to provide 25 percent matching funds.

With these funds, businesses gain the ability to make upgrades to exterior painting, signage, lighting, and more that improve the appearance of the property and its immediate surroundings. This will allow Remington to continue growing and thriving, and will attract more businesses and homeowners to the area.

To date, five projects have been completed in the neighborhood. These include:

  • 29th Street Tavern (398 West 29th Street)
  • Sweet 27 (123 W. 27th Street)
  • B. Willow (220 W. 27th Street)
  • Khepera’s Kitchen (418 E. 31st Street)
  • Brown Rice Korean Grill (2404 N. Charles Street)

“A New Canvas for Baltimore” is a regular series covering Project C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise). Project C.O.R.E. will clear the way for new green space, new affordable and mixed use housing, and new opportunities for small business owners in Baltimore City. The initiative will generate jobs, strengthen the partnership between the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland and lead to safer, healthier and more attractive communities. For more information on Project C.O.R.E., visit http://dhcd.maryland.gov/ProjectCORE/



Hogan Administration Announces $3 Million Expansion of Maryland SmartBuy Program

Hogan Administration Announces $3 Million Expansion of Maryland SmartBuy Program
Will Offer More Opportunities for Homebuyers With Student Debt


Shady Grove, Md. (July 16, 2018) – The Hogan administration today announced that Maryland SmartBuy, a nationally-recognized program that assists first-time homebuyers burdened with student debt, will expand in August 2018. The expansion will allow participants to purchase any eligible home in the state while eliminating up to $30,000 in student debt. Currently, SmartBuy requires buyers to purchase select homes designated by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

“We are proud that Maryland continues to be home to one of the most highly educated populations in America, but the harsh reality many face today is that earning a college education often goes hand-in-hand with crippling college debt,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “This new $3 million expansion of SmartBuy will help young people buy a home, removing the student debt roadblock to homeownership and allowing for financial security.”

In his Fiscal Year 2019 budget, Governor Hogan approved a $3 million state appropriation for the program. This additional funding is expected to assist more than 100 homebuyers. Since its inception in late 2016, the Maryland SmartBuy program has helped homebuyers retire $1 million in student debt.

“We’ve already seen tremendous interest in the program, and buyers who want to participate in SmartBuy should get ready now,” said DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Make sure to talk to one of our certified SmartBuy lenders to get your documents in order and get prequalified for a loan, and visit our website to learn about eligibility requirements, such as homebuyer education and income limits.”

Mortgage loans will be provided through DHCD’s Maryland Mortgage Program, the state’s flagship homeownership assistance program for over 30 years. Traditionally, the program provides fixed-term mortgages, primarily to first-time homebuyers, along with downpayment and closing cost incentives.

The Maryland SmartBuy program has been profiled on the NBC Nightly News and in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Baltimore Sun, and other major media outlets.

For more information, visit the Maryland SmartBuy website at http://mmp.maryland.gov/SmartBuy.

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



Legal Notice – Updating Maryland’s Annual Plan

Under the guidelines established by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), notice is hereby given that the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) will hold a series of public hearings to develop its new draft Annual Plan update of the State’s Consolidated Plan.

The Consolidated Plan is a five-year planning document required by HUD that sets out overall Statewide goals and priorities for housing, community development, and economic development activities. Special emphasis is given under the Plan to provide assistance for extremely low, low, and moderate-income persons. In addition to being a planning document, the Consolidated Plan also serves as the State’s application to HUD for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG), HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), Housing Opportunity With AIDS (HOPWA) and the Housing Trust Fund (HTF). These funds are used primarily in the State’s rural areas, as many communities, including Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, Howard, Montgomery, and Prince George’s Counties, as well as the Cities of Annapolis, Baltimore, Bowie, Cumberland, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Hagerstown, and Salisbury receive their own funding directly from HUD.

In addition to the above, it should also be noted that the Consolidated Plan also makes it possible for DHCD, public housing authorities, local governments, nonprofit organizations, community action agencies, and others to apply for funding under HUD’s competitive grant programs. Local public housing authority Plans must be consistent with the State’s Consolidated Plan, and USDA Farmer’s Home housing programs and Federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits are also coordinated with the Plan. Lastly, while not directly covered by the Consolidated Plan, HUD funding allocations for the Section 8 Certificate and Voucher programs may be made in a way that enables jurisdictions to carry out their Consolidated Plan.

In developing its five-year Plan, the State determined it would focus its resources on four main priorities: Revitalizing Communities, Expanding the Supply of Decent Affordable Housing, Providing Homeownership Opportunities, and Reducing Homelessness. The Annual Plan update (which will be for the fourth year of the current Five Year Plan) will establish one-year goals for these priorities. It is for this purpose that we are holding public hearings – to gain input regarding how to carry out these goals in the coming year.

The draft Annual Plan has been written. It should be noted that HUD has changed the Annual Plan from a written document to a largely online tool using pre-filled data. DHCD has written a draft Annual Plan, using the new online system using the data that HUD has provided, and has opened a 30 day public comment period beginning July 5, 2018. A second set of hearings will be held beginning the third week in July. Written comments (by both email and standard mail) will also be accepted at the hearings, or may be submitted in writing through COB Sunday, August 5, 2018 (at the address listed below). The final version of the Annual Plan will be submitted to HUD on or around August 16, 2018.

The draft Annual Plan is available on-line on DHCD’s website at http://dhcd.maryland.gov/. It can be found under the “Publications” heading at the bottom of the website. In addition, copies of the draft Annual Plan 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 Annual Plan are also available by calling, writing, or e-mailing the address and phone numbers listed below.

The second set of hearings on the draft Annual Plan will be held at the following dates, times, and places:

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.
Caroline County Central Library
100 Market Street
Small Meeting Room
Denton, Maryland 21629

Thursday, July 19, 2018 at 10:30 a.m.
Fairview Branch Library
Study Room
Rt. 4 and Chaneyville Road
Owings, Maryland  20736

Friday, July 20, 2018 at 1:30 p.m.
Allegany County Office Complex
701 Kelly Road
Potomac Room 230
Cumberland, Maryland 21502

Monday, July 23, 2018 at 7:00 p.m.
Towson Library
320 York Road
Wilson Room
Towson, Maryland 21204

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.  Any questions or comments should be directed to me at the address, phone numbers, or e-mail listed below:

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
janai.streat@maryland.gov



DHCD to Host Micro Loan Information Session July 11

Baltimore business owners and entrepreneurs, join us on July 11 from 5-7 p.m. at Forno restaurant to learn how DHCD can assist your existing or prospective business and how successful business districts help community growth. To register for the event, click here

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



A New Canvas for Baltimore: Ambrose Kennedy Park Revitalizes Recreation in Johnston Square

Assistant Secretary Carol Gilbert (third from left) celebrates the grand reopening of Ambrose Kennedy Park. (Photo courtesy of Baltimore Mayor's Office)

Assistant Secretary Carol Gilbert (third from left) celebrates the grand reopening of Ambrose Kennedy Park.
(Photo courtesy of Baltimore Mayor’s Office)

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Assistant Secretary Carol Gilbert recently joined residents of the Johnston Square neighborhood in east Baltimore and state, city, and community partners to celebrate the grand reopening of Ambrose Kennedy Park. Located on a 1.75-acre site at the corner of East Eager Street and Harford Avenue, the park recently completed a $1.3 million restoration, supported in part by the Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative, a revitalization program administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). The Baltimore City Department Recreation & Parks and the Parks & People Foundation led redevelopment efforts for Ambrose Kennedy Park, and they hope its success will provide a model for the creation or preservation of future of neighborhood parks in Baltimore.

The revitalized Ambrose Kennedy Park was supported by local community organizations including the Re-Build Johnston Square Neighborhood Organization, Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development (BUILD), and the 6th Branch. The park provides green space and recreation opportunities to more than 10,000 residents who live within a 10-minute walking distance of the park, and it is also accessible to individuals with disabilities. Many of the park’s new features enhance or capitalize on its existing assets. For example, the park’s popular pool is now complemented by a state-of-the-art splash pad. Other upgrade and new amenities at Ambrose Kennedy Park include:

  • Beautiful walking paths;
  • Flowering shade trees;
  • An open grass playing field;
  • New bathrooms;
  • Two new basketball courts, and
  • A combination rock climbing wall and amphitheater.

Funding for this $1.3 million project included a grant from the National Recreation & Park Association with additional support from partners including the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, ReBUILD Metro, the Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Baltimore Gas & Electric Company. DHCD provided Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative funding to help facilitate the acquisition and demolition of 18 vacant buildings to expand the park. The Initiative supports projects located in Sustainable Community Areas in Baltimore City and within the inner beltway areas of Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties. Since its creation, the Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative has proven to be a flexible and effective tool for a broad variety of revitalization and redevelopment efforts.

The revitalization of Ambrose Kennedy Park contributes to the ongoing redevelopment of the Johnston Square neighborhood, including efforts to expand homeownership and a rental opportunities near Greenmount Avenue and Chase Street. DHCD has supported these activities through BRNI and Project C.O.R.E. Project C.O.R.E. – or Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise – is a multi-year initiative to demolish Baltimore’s vacant properties. Serving as the lead agency for Project C.O.R.E., DHCD estimates 4,000 blighted units will be removed through FY 2019, and, so far, the agency has provided $33 million to 65 demolition and redevelopment projects that have leveraged nearly $570 million in additional nonprofit and private sector investment in support of the revitalization of Baltimore.

“A New Canvas for Baltimore” is a regular series covering Project C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise). Project C.O.R.E. will clear the way for new green space, new affordable and mixed use housing, and new opportunities for small business owners in Baltimore City. The initiative will generate jobs, strengthen the partnership between the City of Baltimore and the State of Maryland and lead to safer, healthier and more attractive communities. For more information on Project C.O.R.E., visit http://dhcd.maryland.gov/ProjectCORE/



10 Key Terms to Know Before Buying a Home


10 Key Terms to Know Before Buying a Home

It’s important to have a basic understanding of important real estate terms and concepts before you start your homebuying process. Here are a few key terms that can help make the experience a little less intimidating.

1. Buyer’s Agent (often known as the Selling Agent) – A real estate agent focused on making sure the buyer’s needs are met. This could include finding properties the buyer can afford and would want to live in, as well as helping the buyer determine a fair price for a property and negotiating on their behalf. Their responsibility is to the buyer.

2. Listing Agent (or Seller’s Agent) – A real estate agent focused on selling the property according to the terms the seller sets. This includes getting the best price for the property, negotiating terms, and managing the legal transaction. Their responsibility is to the seller.

3. Earnest money deposit or good faith money – A deposit made to a seller indicating the buyer’s good faith in an arrangement. Earnest money allows the buyer additional time when seeking financing. Earnest money is typically held jointly by the seller and buyer in a trust or escrow account.

4. Private mortgage insurance (PMI) – When a homebuyer offers less than a 20 percent down payment, generally they will have to purchase private mortgage insurance, commonly known as PMI. This insurance reimburses a mortgage lender if the buyer defaults on the loan and the foreclosure sale price is less than the amount owed the lender (the mortgage plus the costs of the sale). For conventional loans, this is purchased through private mortgage insurers. VA, USDA and FHA also charge a fee to insure their loans.

5. Escrow – Money held by a mortgage company to pay property tax and insurance during the term of the mortgage or money held by a third-party on behalf of transacting parties.

6. Seller’s concession – Money given back to the buyer at closing to cover stated costs. This can include items such as lender processing fees, attorney’s fees, transfer taxes, title insurance costs, inspection fees and more.

7. Home inspection – A visual examination of a dwelling, performed for a fee, which is designed to identify and describe the condition of the home at the time of inspection as well as identify observed material defects. It is generally ordered by the buyer after their offer is accepted by the seller and before closing.

8. Home appraisal – A property appraisal is an estimate of a property’s market value conducted by a third-party certified or licensed appraiser. Value is based on such factors as location, amenities, structural condition and recent sales of similar local properties.

9. Pre-approval – A preliminary review of a borrower’s qualifications to determine how much they might be able to borrow. It is not a commitment to lend the buyer money, however.

10. Debt-to-income ratio – The sum of monthly debt payments divided by your monthly gross income before taxes and other deductions are subtracted. The acceptable ratio will vary by mortgage and lender. However, the number usually ranges between 40-50%.

If you’ve found these tips helpful, be sure to check out our homebuyer education programs at http://mmp.maryland.gov/Pages/Homebuyer-Education.aspx.



5 Steps to Buying a Home: Tips on how to find and finance your dream home

June is National Homeownership Month, and many people are entering the market hoping to purchase their very first home, but don’t know where to start. Here is a list of steps to help.

Step 1: Start early
You probably already have an idea of the area in which you want to live. Make a list of needs and wants related to your dream home. Do you need four bedrooms or is this simply a want? Do you need a two-car garage or will parking on a driveway suffice?

Improve your credit score as much as you can. Be sure any lingering old debts, no matter how small, have been paid off. Get your credit reports and make sure all old, paid, or settled debts are accounted for.

Continue or start saving for closing costs and a down payment. The Maryland Mortgage Program offers help with both.

Create a list of questions for each stage of the process including the closing process. Your real estate agent and lender should be able to address your questions and concerns.

Step 2: Determine how much you can really afford
Lender recommendations vary significantly based on factors such as if you plan to make a 20% down payment and the amount of debt you have. Talk to one of our expert network loan officers who can help you understand eligibility, program selection, available down payment and closing cost assistance initiatives.

Create a budget that includes your monthly mortgage payment, taxes, private mortgage insurance (PMI), utilities, yard care and upkeep, as well as annual expenses associated with homeownership.

Step 3: Work with professionals
While Internet research can be very helpful, working with real estate and banking professionals can ensure a smooth process and offer opportunities to save additional money.

A good real estate agent will know your neighborhood and have access to information and technology which can help you achieve your dream home goals. Ask for referrals from friends, co-workers, and within your community.

Get pre-approved by your lender. Pre-approval means you have been approved for a specific loan amount (usually for a particular time frame such as 90 days) but it does not mean you are pre-approved for a loan. Not only will getting pre-approved help you know what you can really afford, in most cases, it can help you close your loan faster. This can be a benefit when submitting your offer to sellers since they generally want to sell their house and go to closing as soon as possible. Final loan approval happens after the appraisal is done and the loan is matched to your property. Connect with our approved lenders by visiting http://mmp.maryland.gov/Pages/Find-A-Lender.aspx.

Step 4: Shop for a home and make an offer
Remember that list of needs and wants we discussed in Step 1? Now is the time to use it. Develop a checklist of all the homes you visit. It’s hard to remember everything, so take pictures or videos with your smartphone to help you remember each house. Be sure to evaluate the neighborhood as well and take notes. Visit the home you want to make an offer on at different times of the day (and night) to check out parking, traffic patterns, and other activity that can vary from time to time.

Step 5: Get ready to move in
After your offer is accepted, you’ll want to get a home inspection, get the home appraised, and finalize your loan. Your lender and real estate agent should continue to help you through each of these stages. At closing, you’ll sign a lot of paperwork. Your earlier research can help you through this final stage. Lastly, start packing – you’re now ready to move into your dream home!



Keeping The Bradford Apartments Affordable Through Energy Efficiency

Rent can be a large part of a family’s income. Outdated and inefficient building systems can result in high energy bills for residents. At the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, we’re focused on helping families find and keep affordable housing.

Recently The Bradford apartments located in Hagerstown, Maryland and built in 1974, received help from our Multifamily Energy Efficiency Improvement and Housing Affordability (MEEHA) Program which helps fund energy efficient measures. Nearly 200 previously energy-burdened families at The Bradford now benefit from reduced utility bills, helping to keep their homes affordable. The retrofit resulted in $56,000 in annual cost and environmental savings for the residents.

Since 2009, the department’s energy efficiency programs have saved Maryland customers more than $4 billion in energy costs. There are additional benefits:

• Improves the lives of residents by reducing energy bills
• Provides capital to local contractors
• Reduces our state’s overall energy usage

Our Deputy Director of the Community Development Administration, John Maneval, is featured in this informational video. For more information on our programs, call 301-429-7400 / 1-800-756-0119 or email customerservice.dhcd@maryland.gov.

 



Governor Larry Hogan, Maryland Agencies Supporting Howard County Disaster Assistance Center

For immediate release:
May 29, 2018
Contact:
Shareese Churchill shareese.churchill@maryland.gov
410-974-2316

Governor Larry Hogan, Maryland Agencies Supporting Howard County Disaster Assistance Center
State, Local Agencies Stand Ready to Assist Ellicott City Residents and Businesses

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today announced that state agencies will join with local agencies to staff a Disaster Assistance Center for those in Howard County impacted by the recent flooding emergency. Howard County opened the center at noon today at the Howard County Department of Community Resources and Services Ellicott City 50+ Center, located at 9401 Frederick Road in Ellicott City, Md.

“This is a difficult time for many of our citizens in Howard County, and our administration is committed to helping provide the necessary support and assistance as they begin to recover from this devastating event,” said Governor Hogan. “Our state agencies will continue to work in partnership with Howard County to ensure residents and business owners have access to the resources they need.”

The Disaster Assistance Center will help provide a one-stop resource center so affected residents and businesses can begin recovering from the storm. The center will be open until 8:00 PM today, Wednesday through Friday from 10:00 AM to 8:00 PM, and on Saturday and Sunday from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

The Maryland Emergency Management Agency is coordinating state support. Below is a list of the state agencies that will be present and the services they will be able to provide to those seeking assistance:

Maryland Insurance Administration

  • The Maryland Insurance Administration is available to assist consumers with any insurance issues or questions. Consumers may call (800) 492-6116 for assistance. Information on the claims process is also available at www.insurance.maryland.gov and on their Facebook page – www.facebook.com/MDInsuranceAdmin.

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development

  • The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will be on site to provide information on emergency lending and grant programs to support businesses, individuals, and families who require rental assistance, along with homeowners and landlords that need help with repairs.

Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation

  • The Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning will be on site to assist dislocated employees with information on connecting to employment opportunities.
  • The Division of Unemployment Insurance will be on site to provide information and assist individuals who are unemployed as a result of the flood.
  • The Division of Labor and Industry is prepared to assist both employers and employees in remaining safe in the aftermath of the storm. The Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) unit will have personnel on site for consultation assistance.
  • The Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing will offer information on obtaining replacement licenses. The Maryland Home Improvement Commission (MHIC) will provide information to assist consumers in protecting themselves and their homes after experiencing flood damage.

Maryland Department of Human Services

  • The Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) has deployed staff, including IT staff, to the Ellicott City Service Center.
  • DHS is sending tablets and wireless routers to support their local Department of Social Services workers.
  • DHS provided a representative to the State Emergency Operations Center and will continue to provide representation over the next 24-48 hours.
  • As with any emergency, the DHS Howard County Department of Social Services is ready to assist with emergency economic benefits such as food (as approved by the state and federal offices) and counseling services.
  • The DHS Howard County Department of Social Services will assist as navigators of local and state resources for those who are displaced or in imminent need of both economic and non-economic resources.
  • DHS continues to support all statewide communication efforts, relaying information regarding resources and support to any Marylander or visitor impacted by the devastating floods.
  • DHS is prepared to provide staffing or resource support for sheltering as requested by the local jurisdiction.

State Department of Assessment and Taxation

  • If real property has been damaged by the storm, residents may qualify to have their property assessments reduced. Once it is safe to do so, SDAT assessors will identify affected areas and notify residents to apply for the reduction. Applications are currently available on SDAT’s website. Maryland residents can complete the application and email it to their local SDAT Assessment Office. A list of all SDAT offices with contact information can be found here.
  • If you are a resident or business owner in Ellicott City whose real property has been damaged, please contact the Howard County Assessment Office by calling 410-480-7960 or emailing sdat.how@maryland.gov.
  • If property owners qualify to have their property assessments reduced, SDAT will coordinate with local governments to ensure any corrected tax bills or refunds are issued in a timely manner.

Maryland Department of Disabilities

  • Maryland Department of Disabilities has deployed accessibility kits containing a variety of assistive technology to ensure that survivors have equal access to communication and services.
  • Our dedicated Constituent Outreach Department is monitoring disability related requests and is available via phone, online, and social media. Staff are available to provide referrals, references, and coordination for cases involving families and individuals with disabilities.
  • Requests for equipment loans can be made through the service center.

 

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UPDATE: Governor Larry Hogan Announces Statewide Flood Response Efforts

For immediate release:
May 28, 2018
Contact:
Shareese Churchill shareese.churchill@maryland.gov
410-974-2316

UPDATE: Governor Larry Hogan Announces Statewide Flood Response Efforts
State Resources Available For Ellicott City, Impacted Areas; Governor Urges Marylanders to Avoid Damaged Areas, Heed Local Authorities’ Instructions

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan has directed Maryland state agencies to coordinate and work together to keep Marylanders safe and informed following yesterday’s severe weather, which included extensive and persistent rain, major flooding, and power outages in multiple locations throughout the state. Ellicott City in Howard County was particularly devastated by this weather event, which also included significant flooding in Southwest Baltimore County, Baltimore City, and Annapolis.

Governor Hogan declared a statewide State of Emergency on Sunday, May 27, which enables the state to efficiently coordinate support and provide additional assistance to all local jurisdictions experiencing flooding conditions. The governor is urging Marylanders to avoid the Ellicott City area while crews perform rescue operations and work to assess the damage left by the floods to begin the recovery process.

“We are heartbroken to see the devastation that occurred yesterday in Ellicott City, and the serious flooding in multiple jurisdictions across our state” said Governor Hogan. “State agencies have been working around the clock to coordinate resources, begin assessing damages, and clean up debris, mud, and damaged infrastructure.”

“If you want to help, my message is very clear: put your safety first, stay out of flooded areas, heed all warnings, and call 911 in the event of an emergency. The state stands with all impacted areas and will provide all possible resources in support of recovery efforts.”

The following actions and operations are being undertaken by state agencies to respond to the storm and assist those affected by the flooding and severe weather conditions:

Maryland Emergency Management Agency

  • On Sunday, MEMA elevated the State Response Activation Level to help efficiently coordinate assistance and support for local emergency management offices.
  • MEMA is supporting Howard County and other jurisdictions’ requests for assistance and fulfilling needs as requests come in.
  • MEMA is coordinating with neighboring states for support and has collaborated with parts of Maryland and Virginia to organize an Incident Management Team to support operations in Howard County.
  • MEMA is facilitating conference calls with state agencies and local partners to maintain situational awareness and coordination.
  • MEMA Executive Director Russ Strickland is in Ellicott City today working with Howard County Office of Emergency Management.

Maryland State Police

  • Superintendent Colonel William Pallozzi immediately contacted Howard County Police Chief Gary Gardner and offered assistance.
  • A Maryland State Police Mobile Field Force was activated bringing more than two dozen state troopers to work perimeter security around Ellicott City, including members of the State Police Motorcycle Unit who are patrolling on all-terrain vehicles.
  • Troopers from the Special Operations Division are staffing the Howard County Emergency Operations Center as well as the State Emergency Operations Center in order to ensure any requests for State Police assistance are addressed immediately.
  • Maryland State Police Aviation Command crews are on standby to assist with any requested aerial support.
  • During the storm, troopers responded to areas of high water, including the outer loop of I-695 between I-70 and Washington Blvd., where three feet of water required the highway to be temporarily closed.

Maryland Department of Transportation

  • Six state roads remained closed this morning, including four from yesterday’s storms and two from earlier storms. Several other roads were closed on Sunday evening.
  • State Highway Administration (SHA) CHART crews were deployed across every district last evening through this morning, with at least two crews on patrol in all seven districts. Three CHART units were dedicated to Ellicott City area to manage closures and response.
  • The Office of Materials Technology arrived in Ellicott City this morning to begin evaluating pavement repairs required on MD144.
  • USDOT’s Federal Highway Administration has reached out to MDOT SHA to discuss the possibility of applying for Emergency Relief Funding. MDOT SHA’s Office of Maintenance will continue discussions with Federal Highway Administration and Howard County.
  • The Motor Vehicle Administration is prepared to work with law enforcement and local authorities to identify vehicles impacted by the flood and ensure they are processed appropriately. MDOT MVA requests that anyone who needs to obtain a lost driver’s license or identification card should contact our call center at 410-768-7000.

Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulations

  • The Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Workforce Development and Adult Learning will provide job search services at the Columbia Workforce Center on a daily basis to assist all dislocated employees in connecting to employment opportunities. We will reach out to the local workforce director and will work alongside the local American Job Center to get job services to those affected by the flood in an expedited manner.
  • The Columbia Workforce Center has staff and computers available to assist individuals with applying for unemployment. The Center is also prepared to provide any re-employment services needed to the residents of Howard County. The Columbia Workforce Center is located at 7161 Columbia Gateway Drive, Columbia MD 21046 and can be reached by phone at 410-290-2600.
  • The Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Unemployment Insurance is prepared to assist individuals who are unemployed as a result of the disaster in Ellicott City.
    • Claims for unemployment insurance benefits can be filed over the phone or online. Claim Centers take claims by telephone only every Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
    • Individuals may file a claim by phone by calling 410-853-1600 or 1-877-293-4125 (toll free in MD only). Individuals may file a claim by online by visiting www.mdunemployment.com and clicking on “Apply for Unemployment Benefits.”
    • Claimant Information Service is available to answer questions about unemployment insurance benefits at 410-949-0022. Callers from Maryland but outside of the Baltimore area can call 1-800-827-4839.
  • The Maryland Department of Labor’s Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing will provide: Expedited printing or proof of licensing if licenses are damaged or inaccessible; Pamphlets that explain the importance of hiring licensed individuals to perform home repairs and electrical, plumbing, and HVAC work; and Representative(s) to explain or answer questions as needed.
  • The Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) unit can assign personnel to the disaster site for consultation assistance. We can also offer a supply of safety glasses and personal protective equipment including vests, gloves, and hard hats. The Maryland Occupational Safety and Health’s (MOSH) emergency phone number to report a workplace accident or fatality is 1-888-257-6674.
  • The Safety Inspection Unit can provide final inspections of affected equipment such as elevators, boiler and pressure vessels and the railroad line. To reach the Safety Inspections Unit immediately, please call the emergency phone number at 410-767-2990 or e-mail: dldlisafetyinspection-dllr@maryland.gov.

Department of Housing and Community Development

  • The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is deferring payments due on current loans for Ellicott City businesses that participated in the 2016 Maryland Business Recovery Loan Program and have been affected by the May 27, 2018, flooding.
  • DHCD is activating emergency lending and grant programs to support businesses, individuals and families who require rental assistance, and homeowners and landlords that need help with repairs.

Maryland Energy Administration

  • Maryland Energy Administration and the Maryland Public Service Commission continue to monitor, support, and coordinate with the Maryland utilities on their storm mobilization, restoration and public safety efforts.

Maryland Department of Health

  • The agency stands ready to support sheltering operations as requested, support requests for additional sanitarian staff for food service facilities, and support recovery operations and mental health needs as requested.
  • The Deputy Secretary for Public Health Services, Dr. Howard Haft, met with the Howard County Health Officer Sunday evening.

Maryland Department of Disabilities

  • The Department will continue to provide the following programs, services, and constituent support: an inventory of assistive technology available for temporary loan, 11 portable ramps of varying lengths available for temporary loan and access to other ramps around the state, and durable medical equipment for loan through our partners.
  • The Department coordinates reimbursement programs for personal care attendants for those previously approved and qualified for this program, coordinates affordable housing programs for people with disabilities, provides referrals and coordination for cases involving families and individuals with disabilities and may expedite certain loans for assistive technology.
  • The Department continues to provide subject matter expertise and information accessibility support to local jurisdictions and state agencies, along with document remediation, website testing, and rendering social media messages for universal access for agencies supporting the response and recovery.

Maryland Insurance Administration

  • The Administration is available to assist consumers with any insurance issues or questions. Consumers may call (800) 492-6116 for assistance. Information on the claims process is also available on our website www.insurance.maryland.gov and on our Facebook page www.facebook.com/MDInsuranceAdmin.

Maryland Department of Commerce

  • Commerce immediately reached out to the Howard County Economic Development Authority (HCEDA) to offer assistance and was advised that HCEDA has a team in place, ready to respond once emergency personnel have completed their work.
  • Funding previously provided by Commerce to the Department of Housing and Community Development, through the Small, Minority and Woman-Owned Business Program (VLT program) may also be available to assist businesses in recovering from the flood.

Maryland Department of Information Technology

  • The Maryland.Gov state portal was updated on Sunday with information from the Governor’s Office regarding the State of Emergency declaration.

Department of Natural Resources

  • The Natural Resources Police has officers stationed at the Ellicott City command post and in the field working in tandem with the Maryland State Police. All-terrain vehicles and boats are on scene and being deployed as needed.
  • The Maryland Park Service advises that the Avalon Area (including Avalon, Glen Artney and Orange Grove) of Patapsco Valley State Park (South Street/Route 1 in Elkridge extending to Ilchester Road south of Ellicott City) will be closed Memorial Day, and is expected to remain closed over the next several weeks. Bikers, hikers and other patrons are asked to access other park areas. The ongoing construction project to remove the Bloede Dam will take about two weeks to recover. The Patapsco Valley State Park site lost two bridges and a couple pieces of equipment, but there appears to be no damage to the new work.
  • The Wildlife and Heritage Service is offering tracked utility task vehicles and personnel for assistance in and around Ellicott City; they are also monitoring potential impacts to land and wildlife management areas.
    The Chesapeake and Coastal Service will offer assistance to the county, state and city during the recovery stage to incorporate adaption and resiliency strategies to mitigate against future floodingimpacts to the community and infrastructure.
  • The Maryland Forest Service advises those affected by the recent weather event to hire only Maryland Licensed Tree Experts to trim branches and remove damaged and downed trees. Only licensed tree care professionals can lawfully perform this work in Maryland. Click here to find a licensed expert in your area.
  • The Resource Assessment Service is collecting post-storm water quality samples today at four sites: Gunpowder River, Patuxent River, Little Patuxent River and Manokin Branch.

Department of General Services

  • DGS maintains an emergency resource list of 100+ vendors that are ready to serve during a state of emergency.
  • DGS can coordinate with our fellow state agencies to provide access to any vehicles in our DGS fleet or in other state agency fleets, including any trucks or four wheel drive vehicles, for usage by local or state agencies whose fleet may have been negatively affected by this flooding emergency.
  • DGS, as the agency of record for the Federal Surplus Property Program, DGS can work with our federal partners, including FEMA and GSA, to secure a variety of surplus items.
  • DGS can work with our fuel supply contractor Mansfield Oil and with our state fueling sites to coordinate the delivery of additional fuel to emergency assistance vehicles if such assistance is needed.
  • DGS has a designated MEMA resource team procurement officer ready and willing to report on site to assist in utilizing the emergency resource list, as well as an offsite procurement officer available to provide additional emergency support.
    Ellicott City Multi-Service Center will be open for regular business on Tuesday, May 29th.

Department of Agriculture

  • If anyone is concerned about livestock affected by the flood, they should call MDA’s animal health office, 410-841-5810.

Department of Human Services

  • The Maryland Department of Human Services (DHS) provided a representative to the State Emergency Operations Center and will continue to provide representation over the next 24-48 hours.
  • As with any emergency, DHS’s Howard County Department of Social Services is ready to assist with emergency economic benefits such as food (as approved by the state and federal offices) and counseling services.
  • DHS’s Howard County Department of Social Services will assist as navigators of local and state resources for those who are displaced or in eminent need of both economic and non-economic resources.
  • DHS is prepared to provide staffing or resource support for sheltering as requested by the local jurisdiction.
  • DHS continues to support all statewide communication efforts, relaying information regarding resources and support to any Marylander or visitor impacted by the devastating floods.

Note: This press release has been updated to reflect additional state agency actions.

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