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First Lady Yumi Hogan Visits Baltimore Natural Dye Initiative

First Lady Yumi Hogan Visits Baltimore Natural Dye Initiative

Group photo with the First Lady at the dye farm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 



Governor Hogan Announces Drop in Homelessness Rate in Maryland

For immediate release:
June 26, 2019
Contact:
Shareese Churchill shareese.churchill@maryland.gov
410-974-2316

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

For more information about the Homelessness Solutions Program, visit: https://dhcd.maryland.gov/HomelessServices.

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Sell More With Maryland!

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

Sell More With Maryland!

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Matthew Heckles

Assistant Secretary, Division of Development Finance

Director, Community Development Administration

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development

301-429-7855

 

 



Governor Hogan Announces 4,000th Unit of Blight Marked for Elimination in Baltimore City

For immediate release:
June 13, 2019
Contact: Shareese Churchill, shareese.churchill@maryland.gov
410-974-2316

Governor Hogan Announces 4,000th Unit of Blight Marked for Elimination in Baltimore City
Effort Represents the Largest Coordinated Blight Removal in State History

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced the major milestone of 4,000 units of blight marked for elimination through Project C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise), a city-state partnership to revitalize Baltimore City. He was joined by Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt, Baltimore City Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young, state and local partner agencies, and community members for a Maryland Stadium Authority-managed demolition of blighted units in East Baltimore.

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“Today, we celebrate an incredible milestone through our transformative Project C.O.R.E. Initiative in eliminating 4,000 blighted units from Baltimore,” said Governor Hogan. “When we launched in 2016, we committed nearly $100 million to partner with the city for this historic multi-year initiative. All of these efforts are about taking our communities back, renewing hope and opportunity, and truly changing Baltimore City and Maryland for the better.”

The demolition at the 1700 block of North Bradford Street in Baltimore marked the 4,000th unit of blight released for demolition, deconstruction, or stabilization since the initiative was announced in 2016. The state has provided $75 million for blight removal activities, matched by more than $50 million from Baltimore City. This historic investment by the State of Maryland has triggered nearly $420 million in financing for revitalization efforts in Baltimore City through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and has leveraged an additional $1.8 billion in private, public, and philanthropic dollars.

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“Project C.O.R.E. has been an essential tool in our revitalization strategy,” said Mayor Bernard C. “Jack” Young. “This partnership has provided significant new resources for our community development work in Baltimore City. In addition, this effort has cleared the way for new green space, new affordable and mixed-use housing, new opportunities for small business owners, and new opportunities for our city to grow stronger.”

“Project C.O.R.E. is an unprecedented partnership that is serving as a national model for blight elimination,” said Secretary Holt. “We will continue to build upon the momentum we’ve already created to help revitalize Baltimore.”

For more information about Project C.O.R.E., visit: http://dhcd.maryland.gov/ProjectCORE/.

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Project C.O.R.E. Milestones: Removing 4,000 Units Of Blight

Project C.O.R.E. Milestones: Removing 4,000 Units Of Blight

“Fixing what is broken in Baltimore requires that we address the sea of abandoned, dilapidated buildings infecting entire neighborhoods. Together, we will transform these neighborhoods from centers for crime and drugs, to places our city, and our entire state, can be proud of. Working with the private sector to invest in projects like affordable housing, retail, and other new businesses will help ensure that Baltimore becomes a better place to live, work, and retire.”
–  Governor Larry Hogan, January 5, 2016

January 5, 2016: Governor Hogan Launched Project C.O.R.E.

  • Governor Hogan Announces Launch Of Project C.O.R.E., A $700 Million “Unprecedented” Project Focused On Eliminating Blight, Encouraging Redevelopment And Investment In Baltimore City. “Under the new plan, called Project C.O.R.E, the Maryland Stadium Authority will oversee the demolition of vacant structures jointly approved by city and state leaders. About $75 million in state dollars will go to demolition over four years with another $19 million coming from the city. In addition, the state plans to offer about $600 million in financing opportunities from the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development for redevelopment of the sites, including more than $150 million in the current fiscal year. The spending will go before the Maryland General Assembly and Baltimore City Council for approval.” (Luke Broadwater and Yvonne Wenger, “Gov. Hogan Announced $700M Plan To Target Urban Decay In Baltimore,” The Baltimore Sun, 1/5/16)

September 2016: Project C.O.R.E. Demolition Began

  • Two Separate Sites In East And West Baltimore Were Demolished Under Project C.O.R.E., Marking The Beginning Of The First Phase Of Project C.O.R.E. “In partnership with the Maryland Stadium Authority and Baltimore City, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development recently kicked off blight elimination activities under Governor Larry Hogan’s Project C.O.R.E. initiative. In September, demolition of two separate sites in east and west Baltimore took place, marking the official launch of Project C.O.R.E.’s first phase.” (Press Release, “A New Canvas For Baltimore: Project C.O.R.E. Demolition Begins In Baltimore City,”Maryland Department Of Housing And Community Development, 10/12/16)

December 9, 2016: Announced Demolition Of Madison Park North Apartments, Additional $16 Million In Demolition Grants For 30 Projects

  • Governor Hogan Announced That “Murder Mall” Would Be Demolished Under Project C.O.R.E.; Property Will Be Transformed To Include New Housing And Retail. “Demolition crews were poised to begin tearing down the Madison Park North apartments in Baltimore Friday morning, but the crowd that had gathered to celebrate the occasion wasn’t cooperating. Onlookers surged toward Gov. Larry Hogan and other speakers, jostling for a glance at the list of the first 30 neighborhood projects to receive grants through the state’s Project CORE demolition program. Organizers pleaded with the people to move back… Hogan was in Baltimore Friday to announce nearly $16 million for 30 projects, including the redevelopment of the Madison Park North site.” (Natalie Sherman, “Maryland Announces $16 Million In Demolition Grants In Community Projects,” The Baltimore Sun, 12/9/16)

October 4, 2017: Hogan Administration Celebrated Over 1,000 Blighted Units Removed Through Project C.O.R.E.

  • Governor Hogan Announced That Through Project C.O.R.E. Over 1,000 Blighted Units Were Removed And That Over $570 Million In Private And Nonprofit Sector Investments Had Been Leveraged. “Gov. Larry Hogan says more than 1,000 blighted, vacant properties have been removed in Baltimore. In a partnership with the city, Hogan said Wednesday 1,154 units have been demolished and 32 have been stabilized for a total of 1,186 units of blight removed through the end of fiscal year 2017…Hogan also says the state has announced winners of nearly $15 million in awards for Project C.O.R.E. demolition and redevelopment funds. Since the initiative started, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has made 65 awards totaling more than $33 million and leveraging nearly $570 million.” (“Hogan: More Than 1,000 Blighted Properties Removed In Baltimore,” Associated Press, 10/4/17)

October 26, 2017: Governor Hogan Announced Walbrook Mill Redevelopment Project

  • Governor Hogan Announced A Plan Under Project C.O.R.E. To Redevelop Walbrook Mill In West Baltimore To Transform The Area To Include New Housing And Retail Options, As Well As Dedicated Space For Future Workforce Development Opportunities. “Walbrook Mill, a five-acre abandoned lumber yard in close proximity to Coppin State University, will be redeveloped in phases, beginning with today’s demolition of a blighted warehouse building… The plan for the site, at full build out, is to include approximately 140 affordable and market rate rental apartments and townhomes, 9,000 square feet of North Ave commercial and retail space, and includes the rehabilitation and reuse of approximately 32,000 square feet of existing lumber warehouse space to be dedicated to workforce development opportunities.” (Press Release, “Governor Larry Hogan Kicks Off Walbrook Mill Redevelopment At Project C.O.R.E. Celebration,” Office Of The Governor, 10/26/17)

March 27, 2018: Governor Hogan Announced The Latest Phase Of Project C.O.R.E.

  • The Latest Phase Of Project C.O.R.E. Designates 500 Properties That Are Considered To Be Contributing Factors To Violent Crime For Priority Demolition. “A new phase of Project C.O.R.E. was announced Tuesday. Project C.O.R.E is a plan to revitalize Baltimore. It includes demolishing vacant and condemned buildings and replacing them with green spaces or redevelopment. The plan was established two years ago. Tuesday Governor Larry Hogan and Mayor Catherine Pugh announced the project’s newest phase which includes expediting the demolition of more than 500 buildings designated as contributing factors to violent crime.” (“500+ Properties To Be Demolished In Baltimore,” WMAR, 3/27/18)

July 2, 2018: Grand Reopening Of Ambrose Kennedy Park

  • “Long-Neglected” Park In Baltimore City’s Johnston Square Received Improvements As A Result Of Project C.O.R.E. Investments. “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.” (Press Release, “A New Canvas For Baltimore: Ambrose Kennedy Park Revitalizes Recreation In Johnston Square,” Maryland Department Of Housing And Community Development, 7/1/18; Fern Shen, “A Long-Neglected Park In Johnston Square Is Finally Getting An Upgrade,”Baltimore Brew, 10/25/17)

October 22, 2018: Roberta’s House Groundbreaking

  • Through Project C.O.R.E, Roberta’s House, A Grief Support Center Received $500,000 For The Acquisition And Demolition Of Vacant And Blighted Properties Located In The Area. “There’s a new center coming to Baltimore to help families of homicide victims. City and community leaders gathered in east Baltimore Sunday for the groundbreaking of the Roberta’s House Bereavement Center. The 22,000 square foot facility will offer grief support services and programs to families impacted by violence.” (Alexa Ashwell, “New Center To Help Victims Of Violence,” Fox Baltimore, 10/21/18; Maryland Department Of Housing And Community Development, 2/23/18)   

November 1, 2018: Northwood Commons Groundbreaking

  • A Year Prior, Lt. Governor Rutherford Announced The State’s Financial Support For Redevelopment Of Northwood Commons Through Project C.O.R.E. “More shopping is on the way for Morgan State University students and other residents in the northeast Baltimore area. Ground was broken today on what will become Northwood Commons, replacing the existing Northwood Plaza Shopping Center. The new shopping venue will include a Barnes & Noble college bookstore along with a number of restaurants. The Morgan State University Public Safety Department will also have an office there.” (Bryna Zumer, “Groundbreaking Held For Revamped Northwood Shopping Center,” Fox Baltimore, 11/1/18)

November 1, 2018: Restoration Gardens II Ribbon Cutting

  • Restoration Gardens II, The Second Permanent Housing Facility In Maryland For Homeless Youth Received Project C.O.R.E. Funds. “The  developer of Maryland’s first and only permanent housing facility for homeless youth will soon build another 42 units of supportive housing for some of Baltimore’s most vulnerable residents. With the help of $400,000 from the department’s FY17 Project C.O.R.E. funds, Empire Homes Inc. will begin site preparations for Restoration Gardens 2, to be located on the 4200 block of York Road in the Pen Lucy neighborhood. These new apartments will support Restoration Gardens 1, a 43-unit facility catering to the same population that opened in the Park Heights neighborhood in 2010.” (Press Release, “A New Canvas For Baltimore: Restoration Gardens 2 Will Provide Haven For Homeless Youth,” Maryland Department Of Housing And Community Development, 4/12/17; Maryland Department Of Housing And Community Development)

June 13, 2019: Governor Hogan Announced That 4,000 Blighted Units Will Be Removed Through Project C.O.R.E.

  • In Addition To The Removal Of 4,000 Blighted Units, Under Project C.O.R.E.:
    • $100 Million Has Been Spent By The State On Demolition Of Blight
    • $420 Million Has Been Provided By The State In Direct Financing For Revitalization And Housing Programs
    • $1.8 Billion Has Been Leveraged In Private, Public, And Philanthropic Dollars Into Baltimore City Neighborhoods (Maryland Department Of Housing And Community Development)

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College Park City-University Partnership Homeownership Program Hits 50th Homebuyer Milestone

COLLEGE PARK CITY-UNIVERSITY PARTNERSHIP PRESS RELEASE
Contact: Eric Olson
240 416-3184; Eolson@collegeparkpartnership.org

College Park City-University Partnership Homeownership Program Hits 50th Homebuyer Milestone
Employees living in College Park a key success of 2020 University District Vision

COLLEGE PARK, MD – The College Park City-University Partnership has closed its 50th loan in College Park. The Program, funded through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Community Legacy program and matching grants from the City of College Park and the University of Maryland, is a tremendous success.

The Partnership’s Homeownership Program, funded by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development and matching grants from the University of Maryland and the City of College Park, provides $15,000 in down payment and closing cost assistance, structured as a 10-year forgivable loan, to full-time, benefits-eligible UMD employees and full-time City of College Park employees choosing to live in College Park. The Program undergirds a larger effort to make College Park a top-university community as outlined in the University District Vision 2020; including a more walkable and vibrant Baltimore Avenue, founding and success of College Park Academy, a greener community, the incoming Purple Line and more. It is designed to increase homeownership in College Park, reduce commutes, and contribute to our local economy, which are all goals outlined in the University District Vision 2020.

Since the Homeownership Program was launched in summer 2015, 50 homes have been purchased (9 being former rental properties and 10 coupling with the City’s New Neighbor Grant program), bringing 122 residents and upwards of $17.6 million in home sales. 68 percent are first-time homebuyers and over half indicated they would walk, bike or use public transit to get to work.

“Downpayment and closing costs are often a barrier to homeownership, but our cooperative efforts have now helped 50 university and city employees purchase a home in College Park,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt.” These engaged, invested homeowners will support the community’s positive growth, and the State of Maryland is proud to partner with the City of College Park and the University of Maryland for this highly successful initiative.”

“This milestone shows that our joint investments are transforming College Park into an attractive community in which to live and raise a family,” said University of Maryland President Wallace D. Loh. “Together we’re sparking a renaissance of College Park.”

“The positive effects of this program on the economic, social and environmental landscapes of College Park continue to be felt – and will be for years to come. We look forward to the Program’s continuing success into the future,” said College Park Mayor Patrick Wojahn.

Thanks to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, the City of College Park, and the University of Maryland, more University and City employees are living near their work in College Park. This is a critical goal of both the City of College Park and the University of Maryland.

“More and more UMD faculty and staff are moving to College Park,” said Senator Jim Rosapepe, Chair of the Partnership. “They see what we all see: it’s becoming a top 20 college town.”

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For information on the program, please visit: www.collegeparkpartnership.org/homeownershipprogram

To read about the homebuyers, visit: https://collegeparkpartnership.org/homeownershipprogram/homebuyers/



Planting Event Launches Baltimore Natural Dyes Initiative

On April 25, volunteers and partners planted 765 Black-Eyed Susans at the Parks and People Foundation 9-acre LEED Platinum headquarters and campus in west Baltimore.  The event was a milestone in the Baltimore Natural Dyes Initiative, a multi-agency pilot project to create the area’s first natural dye farm and processing site. The initiative will support urban farming, economic opportunities, community redevelopment, international relations, and the arts in Maryland.

Group photo in front of gardenThe project will employ two part-time farmers and provide raw materials and educational opportunities for college students at the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA).  Annually, the initiative will introduce and engage more than 500 Baltimore City youth and countless visitors to the project through Parks and People educational programs. High school interns enrolled in Parks and People’s Branches program will help the farmers plant and maintain the farm as an introduction to careers in agriculture.

The funding partners, providing a combined $300,000 to support the pilot project, include the Maryland Department of Commerce through the Maryland State Arts Council, theVolunteers planting the garden Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (providing $100,000 through the Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative), the Maryland Agricultural and Resource-Based Industry Development Corp. (MARBIDCO), and the Baltimore Development Corp. Additional key partners include the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA), which is developing a curriculum to teach and better understand the natural dyeing process, promote the benefits of natural dyes, and engage those that may be interested in using the dyes for artistic or commercial applications as well as the Parks and People Foundation, which is serving as the host site for the farming operation.

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



Maryland Opportunity Zone Information Exchange Wins National StateScoop50 Award

Maryland Opportunity Zone Information Exchange Wins National StateScoop50 Award

Project is recognized as State IT Innovation of the Year

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (May 7, 2019) – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Maryland Opportunity Zone Information Exchange was recently recognized as the State IT Innovation of the Year at the StateScoop 50 awards, beating out more than 40 other nominees from across the country.

The annual StateScoop 50 Awards honor the best and the brightest who make state government more efficient and effective. The awards, which were presented on May 5 at a reception in National Harbor, Md., honor state government information technology and cybersecurity executives, industry influencers, up-and-comers and innovative projects.

The first comprehensive resource of its kind in the nation, the Maryland Opportunity Zone Information Exchange is an interactive, geographic information system website featuring projects and businesses in the 149 Opportunity Zones throughout Maryland and serves as the State of Maryland’s core tool to facilitate Opportunity Zone investment. The exchange is open to the public and provides the latest information on Opportunity Zone activity for investors, fund managers, property developers, new or expanding businesses and local stakeholders, including, most importantly, a comprehensive list of the state and local incentives available in specific Opportunity Zones.

Since its launch, the Maryland Opportunity Zone Information Exchange has received overwhelmingly positive feedback from users, and the Exchange has been presented at several national conferences. Additionally, the Maryland Opportunity Zone Leadership Task Force, chaired by Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, has held regional summits across the state to present the Exchange to local stakeholders. Currently, the Information Exchange lists 96 projects totaling $12 billion of capital investments, comprising 29,000 housing units and 45 million square feet of commercial development throughout Maryland’s 149 Opportunity Zones.

For more information about Opportunity Zones and to visit the Maryland Opportunity Zone Information Exchange, visit http://dhcd.maryland.gov/OpportunityZones.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

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

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



Legal Notice: Updating Maryland’s Annual Plan

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 (the Department) 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 the Department, 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 fifth year of the current Five Year Plan) will establish one-year goals for these priorities.

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. The Department 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 Tuesday, May 7, 2019. Hearings will be held beginning the third week in May. Written comments (by both email and standard mail) will also be accepted at the hearings, or may be submitted in writing through COB Wednesday, June 5, 2019 (at the address listed below).  The final version of the Annual Plan will be submitted to HUD on or around June 11, 2019.

The draft Annual Plan is available on-line on DHCD’s website at http://dhcd.maryland.gov/Pages/default.aspx. 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 emailing the address and phone numbers listed below.

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

Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 7:00 p.m.
Towson Library
320 York Road
Wilson Room
Towson, Maryland 21204

Tuesday, May 21, 2019 at 11:30 a.m.
Fairview Branch Library
Study Room
Rt. 4 and Chaneyville Road
Owings, Maryland 20736

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 at 10:30 a.m.
Caroline County Central Library
100 Market Street
Small Meeting Room
Denton, Maryland 21629

Friday, May 24, 2019 at 1:30 p.m.
Allegany County Office Complex
701 Kelly Road
Potomac Room 230
Cumberland, Maryland 21502

All of the hearing rooms are accessible to persons with disabilities. Persons requiring a translator should request one at least three days prior to the hearing they plan to attend.  Any questions or comments should be directed to me at the address, phone numbers, or email listed below:

Ms. Ja’Nai C. Streat
Senior Housing Policy Analyst
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
7800 Harkins Road
Lanham, Maryland 20706
(301) 429-7445 or Maryland Relay for the Deaf at 1 (800) 735-2258
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Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Hosts Inaugural Maryland Youth Homelessness Symposium

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Hosts Inaugural Maryland Youth Homelessness Symposium

Two Day Event Connects Service Providers and Local Governments

Youth Homeless Symposium Panel Image

During the State of the State Agency Panel at the inaugural Maryland Youth Homelessness Symposium, state agency representatives discuss important strategies each agency is implementing to address the issue of youth homelessness. (From left to right): Valerie Ashton-Thomas, Maryland State Department of Education; Pat Flanigan, Maryland Department of Juvenile Services; Temitope Owoeye, Maryland Department of Human Services; Erin Roth, Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation; and Stuart Campbell, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development.

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (May 3, 2019) – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development this week kicked off the inaugural Maryland Youth Homelessness Symposium, held May 1-2 at the Westin Hotel in Annapolis.

“Homeless youth are a critically under-noticed and under-served demographic of a population that is already marginalized,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt during the opening program. “I hope our work together over the next two days helps all of us to better understand strategies to serve this population and to build the capacity of local organizations to do so.”

Through the work of the Youth REACH initiatives supported by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, it is estimated that there are between 1,000-1,500 unaccompanied youth and young adults under the age of 25 experiencing homelessness in Maryland. The Hogan Administration has increased the focus of addressing youth homelessness by setting aside funds for youth-specific programs. In Fiscal Year 2020, Governor Hogan included an additional $1 million of funding to address this need. The Governor’s new funding allocation significantly expands the department’s ability to support innovative services to homeless youth.

The department sponsored the inaugural Maryland Youth Homelessness Symposium in conjunction with the University of Maryland School of Social Work’s Institute for Innovation and Implementation. Attendees included representatives from a wide range of State and local government agencies and nonprofit service providers, as well as youth who are experiencing or have experienced homelessness directly. Topics focused on removing barriers to housing, education, family reunification, and employment for youth, as well as strategies to better connect affected individuals to resources.

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MEDIA CONTACTS:

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

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



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