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Department of Housing and Community Development

Hogan Administration Announces $15 million Available for Catalytic Revitalization Tax Credit

October 11th, 2022

Hogan Administration Announces $15 million Available for Catalytic Revitalization Tax Credit

Program Fills Financing Gaps for Redevelopment of Properties Formerly Owned by State or Federal Government

NEW CARROLLTON, MD (October 11, 2022) – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development announced today the second application round of the Catalytic Revitalization Tax Credit program, designed to rehabilitate properties formerly owned by the government for economic and community development purposes. Eligible applicants can apply for the up to $15 million tax credit starting on Monday, October 17.

“By bridging the funding gap to redevelop these properties that have often been sitting vacant for a long time, the program allows these large redevelopment projects to bring new life to properties, and in turn serve the communities that surround them,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “The adaptive reuse of buildings is one of many tools the department deploys to revitalize areas and foster economic growth.”

One project will be chosen to receive the state tax credit, which provides up to 20% of total eligible project costs, with a maximum credit of $15 million for costs in excess of $75 million. Credits may be claimed each year for the first five years after the project has been put into service.

Eligible projects must be a redevelopment of a property or building formerly owned by the state or federal government, including colleges or universities, K-12 schools, hospitals, mental health facilities, or military facilities or institutions, and is no longer in service.

Passed in the 2021 General Assembly session and signed into law by Governor Larry Hogan, Senate Bill 885 created the Catalytic Revitalization Tax Credit. The applicable properties usually have been vacant for a significant time and often require mitigation of a variety of environmental and health hazards.

The tax credit was a recommendation of a study conducted by the Maryland Department of Planning. It is designed to fill financing gaps between the cost of rehabilitation and the market-rate value of the redeveloped property. Proposed revitalization projects related to the rehabilitation of these government-owned properties must foster economic growth, job creation, affordable housing, or other community improvements and services.

The first credit was awarded to redevelop Warfield at Historic Sykesville, a historic mental health facility, and the surrounding area into a mixed-use community.

For more information about the Catalytic Revitalization Tax Credit, visit  https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Pages/Misc/CRTC-NOFA.aspx.

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Connect Maryland: Governor Hogan Announces Applications Open Today for $95 Million to Further Expand Broadband Access

October 6th, 2022

Connect Maryland: Governor Hogan Announces Applications Open Today for $95 Million to Further Expand Broadband Access

Internet Service Providers, Local Jurisdictions Can Apply for Grants to Connect Unserved and Underserved Areas

ANNAPOLIS, MD (October 6, 2022) — Governor Larry Hogan announced that applications open today for $95 million in funding to expand high-speed internet access across the state through Connect Maryland, an initiative to supercharge the state’s investment in broadband and address the digital divide. Through the program, an historic $400 million in funding has been dedicated to address broadband access in unserved and underserved communities.

“The State of Maryland is well on track to ensure every Marylander has access to broadband through the transformative Connect Maryland initiative,” said Governor Hogan. “As a result of our efforts to date, broadband is now available to well over 95% of Marylanders, this next round of funding will allow critical infrastructure to be built that simply would not be possible without this initiative.” The Connect Maryland Network Infrastructure Grant Program provides between $800,000 and $4.5 million to local jurisdictions or their Internet Service Provider partners to construct new broadband networks to service unserved households. The program requires matching funds.

Last year, Governor Hogan, Senate President Bill Ferguson, and House Speaker Adrienne A. Jones announced $400 million to ensure universal broadband access for Maryland, which includes a $300 million investment as part of a bipartisan budget agreement to allocate federal funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. 

“Under Connect Maryland, the state has been able to bring broadband access to a significant number of residents, as well as assist with digital equity initiatives,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “The concentrated effort of the Hogan administration to fund broadband infrastructure has helped connect tens of thousands of households.”

Applications for the grant funding opened today. Created by an executive order in 2017, the Office of Rural Broadband, housed in the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, was established to expand broadband capabilities statewide in underserved, rural areas of Maryland. Recognizing that there are different needs beyond rural areas and that different solutions may be needed, it was re-codified as the Office of Statewide Broadband in 2021, to ensure that all Maryland households that want broadband have access to it. 

To date, the Office has invested approximately $200 million dollars into broadband infrastructure and access projects and programs, and those efforts have provided high-speed internet access to an estimated 30,000 unserved households statewide. For more information about the Office of Statewide Broadband or to apply for a grant, visit: https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Broadband/.


Governor Hogan Announces New Application Round for Opportunity Zone Microgrants

October 3rd, 2022

Governor Hogan Announces New Application Round for Opportunity Zone Microgrants

Funds to Assist Growing Small Businesses Located in Designated Opportunity Zones

ANNAPOLIS, MD (October 3, 2022) – Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the third application round of Opportunity Zone Microgrant Funding will open tomorrow, Tuesday, Oct. 4, allowing eligible small businesses seeking to expand within designated Opportunity Zones to apply for microgrants ranging from $50,000 to $100,000. The Opportunity Zone Microgrants will be distributed through the Neighborhood BusinessWorks program administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD).

“Throughout my administration, we have used every tool at our disposal to support and grow small businesses in our state, including promoting the tax incentives and redevelopment potential provided by Maryland’s designated Opportunity Zones,” said Governor Hogan. “Initiatives like these microgrants continue our efforts to spur investment and create jobs in communities that are primed for revitalization.”

Maryland has 149 designated Opportunity Zones, and each of Maryland’s 24 jurisdictions has at least one designation. The first two rounds of Opportunity Zone microgrant funding have invested $1 million in 20 businesses across the state.

Eligible for-profit businesses must demonstrate plans for growth and meet the following criteria:

  • Have secured a matching contribution equal to or greater than the grant request amount;
  • Be located at an eligible location in an Opportunity Zone in Maryland;
  • Employ between two and 50 full-time equivalent employees;
  • Generate annual revenue between $300,000 and $5 million, and;
  • Be in good standing with the Maryland State Department of Assessments and Taxation (SDAT).

Applications for the third round of funding will open tomorrow and will close based on the availability of funds. DHCD encourages businesses to apply quickly as applications will be reviewed on a first come, first served basis.

Potential applicants can check if their business is in an eligible location with the Maryland Opportunity Zone Information Exchange’s Incentive Lookup Tool.

To visit the Information Exchange or find more details on Opportunity Zones in Maryland, visit dhcd.maryland.gov/OpportunityZones.

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Re-Fund The Police: Governor Hogan Announces Applications Now Open For Additional Community Safety Works Grants

September 28th, 2022

Re-Fund The Police: Governor Hogan Announces Applications Now Open For Additional Community Safety Works Grants

$10 Million in Funding Through Re-Fund The Police Initiative to Support Local Crime Prevention and Security Upgrades 

ANNAPOLIS, MD (September 28, 2022) — Governor Larry Hogan today announced that applications are now being accepted for the state’s second round of grant funding for the Community Safety Works program. Administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) as part of the governor’s Re-Fund The Police Initiative, Community Safety Works offers up to $10 million in funding for the implementation of crime prevention strategies through physical design improvements, operational activities, community services, blight removal, and increased property maintenance. 

“Community Safety Works is an important component of our our Re-fund The Police Initiativeproviding resources to local business owners and community organizations for crime prevention efforts in neighborhoods across the state,” said Governor Hogan. “This additional $10 million in funding will help residents and other stakeholders who are actively trying to make their communities safer and more secure.”

Improvements include:

  • Auto and pedestrian circulation upgrades to slow traffic so that streets are walkable and pedestrian friendly;
  • Improving opportunities for “eyes on the street,” by removing barriers to sight lines, opening closed spaces, and renovating public spaces to draw regular visitors and family activity;
  • Reinforcing community ownership by cleaning and beautifying streets, sidewalks, signage, and parks; 
  • Official surveillance tools such as lighting, cameras, organized local resident patrols or staffed security patrols, and community policing initiatives developed in consultation with local law enforcement; and
  • Street outreach to interrupt and prevent illegal activities and violence.

“Community Safety Works is an initiative that engages local leaders to create partnerships and plans to protect their families, friends, and patrons,” said DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “These grants are already positively impacting communities across Maryland, and this second round will further support measures like security upgrades and community watches.”

Applications for the second round of funding are open as of noon today. For more information about Community Safety Works and this round of funding, please visit dhcd.maryland.gov/Communities/Pages/csw/.

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Governor Hogan Announces Nearly $32 Million In Affordable Rental Housing Awards

September 27th, 2022

Governor Hogan Announces Nearly $32 Million In Affordable Rental Housing Awards

More Than 1,300 High Quality, Energy-Efficient, Affordable Units To Be Created Or Preserved

ANNAPOLIS, MD (September 27, 2022) – Governor Larry Hogan today announced nearly $32 million in project awards through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) 2022 application round for federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC) and state Rental Housing Funds. Funds have been awarded to 12 projects as part of the competitive round. Nine additional noncompetitive awards were made through the Multifamily Bond Program, bringing the total awards to 21. These awards will result in the creation or preservation of 1,340 high quality, energy-efficient, affordable rental units.

“During our administration, the State of Maryland has provided financing and tax credits to create or preserve an unprecedented more than 28,000 affordable rental units,” said Governor Hogan. “The projects selected in this year’s application round will further expand affordable housing opportunities for Maryland’s working families, seniors, and individuals with disabilities.”

Awards are determined through competitive application rounds held by DHCD. The department received 21 applications in this round. These applications requested approximately $23.7 million in state Rental Housing Funds and $30.1 million in federal LIHTC. DHCD will administer tax credits valued at nearly $17 million, as well as $15 million in state Rental Housing Funds. The awarded projects are distributed between nine counties and Baltimore City. 

Over the last eight years, the administration has advanced the production and preservation of affordable housing in innovative ways. Since 2019, a number of applications have combined the competitive 9% tax credits with noncompetitive 4% tax credits issued by DHCD. 

“The creativity and dedication of our team has helped our financing tools go further to house more people and create even more positive economic impact in Maryland,” said DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Each project financed creates more jobs and adds to the tens of thousands of units preserved.”

The 2022 application round was the first managed by DHCD using the new version of the Qualified Allocation Plan for LIHTC and Multifamily Rental Financing Program Guide, which were revised in 2021 and signed by Governor Hogan earlier this year. Department staff worked closely with multifamily housing developers and advocates on these revisions.

View the full list of awardees here.

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LEGAL NOTICE: DRAFT 2021 Consolidated Plan Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER)

September 2nd, 2022

Notice is hereby given that the State of Maryland has opened a 15-day public comment period on the Draft 2021 Consolidated Plan Annual Performance and Evaluation Report (CAPER).

The Consolidated Plan is a planning document required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and is prepared by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD). It covers a five year period and is designed to coordinate Federal, and to a lesser extent State, resources to provide decent housing, economic opportunities, and an acceptable living environment for Maryland citizens. The Plan is updated every year during the five year period through an Annual Action Plan, and includes a series of one year goals toward meeting the overall five year goals of the Plan.

Maryland’s Consolidated Plan covers the State’s non-entitlement jurisdictions. Entitlement jurisdictions are those that receive funding directly from HUD, including Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, Howard, Montgomery and Prince George’s Counties, and the Cities of Annapolis, Baltimore, Bowie, Cumberland, Frederick, Gaithersburg, Hagerstown, and Salisbury prepare their own Consolidated Plans and are not covered by the State plan.

As part of the Consolidated Planning process, the State submits a CAPER to HUD which describes the progress the State has made in carrying out the one-year goals contained in the five year Plan. DHCD has completed the third year of the five year Plan that ended June 30, 2022, and the draft CAPER details the progress DHCD made toward its housing and community development goals in the last year.

DHCD is interested in public input and comment on the draft CAPER. We will take written comments (via email) on the report from September 6, through COB September 20, 2022, at the address listed below. In addition, we will hold two virtual public meetings on the CAPER. These real-time virtual public hearings will take place on:

First Hearing: 2021 CAPER
Tuesday, September 6 · 11:30am – 12:30pm
Google Meet joining info:: https://meet.google.com/ncg-gphm-ehf
Or dial: ‪(US) +1 225-434-0390‬ PIN: ‪718 605 256‬#

Second Hearing: 2021 CAPER
Wednesday, September 7 · 6:30 – 7:30pm
Google Meet joining info: https://meet.google.com/fer-fyht-wxv
Or dial: ‪(US) +1 513-839-2752‬ PIN: ‪323 319 388‬#

The State will make every effort to accommodate those with disabilities by providing the meetings in both audio and visual format. Persons requiring a translator should request one at least three days prior to the virtual hearing they plan to attend. A video link is enclosed if you wish to attend in a video format. Any questions or comments should be directed to the address or e-mail listed below:

The draft Performance Report will be available online on DHCD’s website on September 6th at https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Pages/ConsolidatedPlan.aspx

Bernice Mensah
Director, Housing and Economic Research Office
Acting Senior Housing Policy Analyst
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
7800 Harkins Road Lanham,
Maryland 20706
(301) 429-7446 or Maryland Relay for the Deaf at 1 (800) 735-2258
bernice.mensah@maryland.gov


GOVERNOR’S VIDEO RELEASE: Governor Hogan Announces Funding For Major Little Italy Security Improvements

August 24th, 2022

GOVERNOR’S VIDEO RELEASE: Governor Hogan Announces Funding For Major Little Italy Security Improvements

Administration to Expedite $250K For Vehicle Tag Readers, Police-Accessible Cameras, and Reflective Paint

Future Budget Funding Will Make Little Italy Part of Waterfront Partnership

ANNAPOLIS, MD (August 24, 2022) – Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the State of Maryland will move forward with more than $500,000 in critical investments to help the Little Italy community in Baltimore City make much-needed security upgrades as it works to make the historic neighborhood safer for visitors and businesses.

The governor made the announcement during a visit to Little Italy that included lunch at Cafe Gia and a walk around the neighborhood with community leaders. He was joined by Maryland Senate President Bill Ferguson, who advocated for the funding.

“Little Italy is a proud community with a storied history, but violent crime threatens to make it less safe and welcoming. We can’t let that happen,” said Governor Hogan. “All of these security upgrades will help bolster law enforcement’s ability to make the neighborhood safer, and give more peace of mind to the people who live, visit, and work here. I want to thank the leaders of the Little Italy Neighborhood Association for their tireless efforts and President Ferguson for his partnership, and I encourage everyone to come visit Little Italy.”

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“Little Italy is a cornerstone of Baltimore City, and I’m pleased to see this significant investment in the safety and security in one of our historic neighborhoods,” said President Ferguson. “I want to thank the governor for his leadership and welcome all Marylanders to come and enjoy the important cultural gem that is Baltimore’s Little Italy.”

Earlier this month, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development met with representatives of the Little Italy Neighborhood Association to discuss these funding requests.

Initiatives that funding will be expedited for this year through neighborhood safety grants include: 

Vehicle Tag Readers: $130,000
Vehicle tag readers will be installed at key intersections, including President and Pratt Streets, to help identify and apprehended suspects in Little Italy and surrounding downtown arteries.

Police-Accessible Cameras: $83,000
A network of strategically placed cameras will be installed on the police network to make it easier for law enforcement to effectively monitor trouble spots in real time. This will be a combination of cameras placed at President and Pratt Streets to monitor this major East-West thoroughfare with clear, high resolution pictures. Pole cameras will also be installed at all North-South and East-West corridor access points to provide police with street-level data to/from neighboring communities and highways.

Street Intersection Reflective Paint: $40,000
The entrance streets to Little Italy will be painted at major intersections to provide safer, clearer crosswalks for vehicle and pedestrian traffic from tourists and residents.

Initiatives that the governor will direct future budget funding for include: 

Creating a Business Improvement District and Extending the Waterfront Partnership to Little Italy: $250,000
The state will commit funds to help Little Italy create a Business Improvement District that receives safety services from the Waterfront Partnership – similar to surrounding neighborhoods. At present, the Waterfront Partnership includes Inner Harbor, Harbor East, Harbor Point, and Fells Point.

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Governor Hogan Announces Maryland’s State Small Business Credit Initiative Programs Now Open

August 23rd, 2022

Governor Hogan Announces Maryland’s State Small Business Credit Initiative Programs Now Open

Three Agencies Partnering to Expand and Enhance State’s Business Lending and Investment Programs

ANNAPOLIS, MD (August 23, 2022) – Governor Larry Hogan today announced Maryland programs funded by the State Small Business Credit Initiative (SSBCI) are open. Up to $198 million in federal small business relief is being administered by three state agencies: the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Maryland Department of Commerce, and the Maryland Technology Development Corporation (TEDCO). These agencies will use funds to expand and enhance nine existing state business lending and investment programs.

“The State of Maryland’s small business programs are proven and effective, providing critical relief during the pandemic and supporting strong economic growth during our ongoing recovery,” said Governor Hogan. “This additional funding will ensure Maryland continues to remain open for business by supercharging these programs to increase capacity and better serve entrepreneurs and small businesses, especially those creating jobs and other opportunities that fuel the revitalization of disinvested communities.”

Created by Congress in 2010, SSBCI received a $10 billion allocation as part of the American Rescue Plan Act. Maryland was the first state in the nation to submit its SSBCI deployment plan to the United States Treasury Department and was one of the first five states to be approved. The nine programs funded by SSBCI will support businesses with limited opportunities for growth whether due to the pandemic or historic disinvestment. Maryland’s statewide SSBCI initiatives will target communities and areas with a high concentration of small, micro, and Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individual (SEDI) businesses to support ongoing state investments in underserved communities.

Neighborhood BusinessWorks. DHCD will deploy up to $103 million and disburse the funds through three Neighborhood BusinessWorks program initiatives. The program provides financing to new and expanding small businesses impacting and operating within Maryland’s designated Opportunity Zones, Priority Funding Areas, and Sustainable Communities and Community Development Financing Institution (CDFI) Investment Areas. The Neighborhood BusinessWorks Loan to Lender initiative directly supports CDFI revitalization and investment efforts, providing funds for them to re-lend to local small businesses. The Neighborhood BusinessWorks Loan Participation Program assists eligible businesses with working capital and real estate acquisition. The Neighborhood BusinessWorks Venture Loans initiative supports strategic businesses with high potential job growth.

“Neighborhood BusinessWorks has provided more than $70 million in capital to small businesses under Governor Hogan’s leadership,” said DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “These additional resources and new program initiatives will leverage the program’s successful partnerships and processes to assist new and expanding businesses in cities, towns, and communities throughout Maryland.”

Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority. The Maryland Department of Commerce will deploy up to $45 million through two Maryland Small Business Development Financing Authority (MSBDFA) programs. Created in 1978 to promote the viability and expansion of Socially and Economically Disadvantaged Individual-led businesses, MSBDFA is now available to small businesses that are unable to obtain adequate business financing on reasonable terms. In particular, the program has become a well-established resource to support the growth of minority and women-owned businesses through a network of government agencies, local economic development organizations, banks, and private equity companies, as well as numerous business associations, chambers of commerce, and local professionals.

“The MSBDFA program is an important finance tool in helping underserved small businesses owners and their communities throughout our state,” said Maryland Commerce Secretary Mike Gill. “This federal funding has the potential to help numerous entrepreneurs in Maryland and provide the much-needed business assistance they have been seeking. We are grateful for this additional financing and look forward to helping our business community continue its economic recovery.”

TEDCO Programs. TEDCO will deploy up to $50 million and will allocate the funds into four existing programs targeting technology-based Maryland businesses and entrepreneurs. Three programs—the Venture Equity Fund, Venture Capital Limited Partnership Equity program, and Seeds Funds Equity program—are primarily focused on venture capital and startup funding. The fourth, the Social Impact Fund, provides investment and support to entrepreneurs who demonstrate economic or social disadvantage. Through these four programs, TEDCO will continue to leverage its relationships with top-tier technology companies, entrepreneurs, and investors in the state while collaborating with universities, regional business accelerators and incubators, and other organizations.

“I want to first thank DHCD for their leadership in ensuring Maryland was one of the first states to receive approval,” said TEDCO CEO, Troy LeMaile-Stovall. “These SSBCI funds will help TEDCO accelerate our mission of empowering early-stage technology innovation and entrepreneurship. Our $50M will be used to fund four programs—Venture Equity Fund, Venture Capital Limited Partnership Equity program, Seed Funds Equity program and the Social Impact Funds—all of which help innovators and entrepreneurs achieve their dreams and scale.”

For more information about the nine Maryland business assistance programs supported by SSBCI and how to apply, visit http://open.maryland.gov/ssbci.

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GOVERNOR’S PHOTO RELEASE: Governor Hogan Kicks Off Four Days of Events on Eastern Shore With Stops in Cecil, Kent, and Caroline Counties

August 17th, 2022

GOVERNOR’S PHOTO RELEASE: Governor Hogan Kicks Off Four Days of Events on Eastern Shore With Stops in Cecil, Kent, and Caroline Counties

Makes Stops Ahead of Final Maryland Association of Counties Summer Conference as Governor

ANNAPOLIS, MD (August 17, 2022) – Governor Larry Hogan today kicked off four days of events and announcements on the Eastern Shore with stops in Cecil, Kent, and Caroline Counties ahead of his last Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) Summer Conference as governor.

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Bog Turtle Brewery, Cecil County. The governor’s first stop was at Bog Turtle Brewery in Rising Sun. Bog Turtle Brewery is a recipient of Project Restore funding, a successful economic recovery initiative that provides financial incentives for small businesses and commercial developers to revitalize vacant retail and commercial space. This funding is helping Bog Turtle Brewery expand its facilities to a nearby property where they will be able to grow their services. More than 350 businesses have received Project Restore grants across the state, and last month the governor announced a second round of applications.

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Gillespie and Son, Kent County. Initially started as a small in-farm concrete block operation in 1922, Gillespie and Son has since grown to a more complex operation that offers ready mix concrete, and concrete and precast products to Maryland and surrounding states. During his visit, Governor Hogan presented a citation in celebration of the company’s 100th anniversary.

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Bartenfelder Farms, Caroline County. Governor Hogan was joined by Department of Agriculture Secretary Joe Bartenfelder for a visit to Bartenfelder Farms in Preston. A family farming operation since the early 1900’s, Bartenfelder Farms has always been in the produce business, and they also grow wheat, beans and corn.

MACo Summer Conference.
 Tonight in Ocean City, Governor Hogan will hold a Thank You Event at Seacrets with conference attendees and invited guests, before addressing the conference’s opening session tomorrow morning.

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Governor Hogan Announces Expansion of Landmark SmartBuy Initiative To Help More Homebuyers

August 15th, 2022

Governor Hogan Announces Expansion of Landmark SmartBuy Initiative To Help More Homebuyers

Up to $50,000 In Student Loan Debt Can Now Be Eliminated
New Down Payment and Closing Cost Loan Option Added
Program Helps Borrowers Eliminate Existing Student Debt And Achieve Financial Security

ANNAPOLIS, MD (August 15, 2022) — Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has expanded the state’s landmark SmartBuy initiative to address rising housing market prices. To help manage purchase costs, homebuyers can now eliminate up to $50,000 in student loan debt—up from $30,000. The program has also added an additional down payment and closing cost loan option for lower income borrowers.

“As the country continues to deal with an inflation crisis, we are again taking steps to provide relief to Marylanders,” said Governor Hogan. “Our SmartBuy initiative—the first of its kind in the country—has established a national model for removing persistent roadblocks to homeownership and financial security, and this expansion will allow us to help even more families.”

Up to $50,000 In Student Debt Payoff Assistance. Through the SmartBuy 3.0 product, buyers purchasing an eligible home through the Maryland Mortgage Program can receive either 15% of their home purchase price or $50,000 in student debt payoff assistance—whichever is lower.

“As interest rates increase and demand drives housing prices up, the State of Maryland is always looking for innovative ways to help make homeownership affordable,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Launched more than five years ago, SmartBuy was the first government mortgage program in the nation to specifically address student loan debt, which is a significant barrier for many potential homeowners.”

More Options for Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance. SmartBuy borrowers with income at or below 50% of the average median income have a new option of receiving a 6% down payment and closing cost assistance loan. All SmartBuy borrowers continue to have the option of $6,000 or a 4% down payment and closing cost assistance loan.

These enhancements to SmartBuy 3.0 are additional ways the Maryland Mortgage Program is making homeownership more affordable. Other new products and enhancements offered for Fiscal Year 2023 include:

  • Base down payment assistance has been increased from $5,000 to $6,000.
  • HomeStart is a new loan product for borrowers with income below 50% AMI to assist them with a 6% down payment and closing cost assistance loan.
  • HomeAbility, for homebuyers with disabilities, to provide increased funding and a flexible loan structure.
  • Montgomery Homeownership Program VII reopens for the seventh year in a row and will offer up to $25,000 in down payment assistance, in partnership with Montgomery County.

During the Hogan administration, the Maryland Mortgage Program has provided over $5.1 billion in mortgages, $121.7 million in down payment assistance, and $25 million in student debt relief.

The Maryland Mortgage Program offers a wide variety of mortgage products specifically tailored to make homeownership affordable and sustainable, including flexible government and conventional loans that come with various levels and forms of down payment and closing cost assistance and attractive interest rates for both first-time and repeat homebuyers, conventional refinancing and even student debt relief. To learn more and find out which product is right for you, visit mmp.maryland.gov and contact a participating lender.

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