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Hogan Administration Announces First State Housing Finance Bond Rating Upgrade in 40 Years

Hogan Administration Announces First State Housing Finance Bond Rating Upgrade in 40 Years

ANNAPOLIS, MD (February 19, 2020) – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development today announced that Moody’s Investors Service, a major credit rating agency, has upgraded the Maryland Community Development Administration’s Residential Revenue Bond Program. The upgrade took place in connection with the $130.75 million 2020 Series A (Non-AMT) and $9.25 million 2020 Series B (AMT) bond issuance.

“This upgrade demonstrates our commitment to solid fiscal management amid an unprecedented growth in our affordable homeownership program,” Governor Larry Hogan said. “Thanks to the hard work of our team at the Department of Housing and Community Development, we have one of the most effectively managed bond programs in the nation.”

The upgrade by Moody’s Investor Service to an Aa1 rating with Stable Outlook from an Aa2 rating is based upon the robust pace of first-time homebuyer loan originations over the last several years, and the expectation that increased bond issuance in 2020 will be used to purchase mortgage-backed securities, thereby reducing the portfolio’s overall exposure to whole loans and reducing risk within the program.

The rating upgrade comes shortly after the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s recent announcement that the Maryland Mortgage Program has reached $1 billion in reservations in 2019, representing more than 4,000 homebuyers. The Maryland Mortgage Program provides fixed-rate mortgages that are available with downpayment and closing cost assistance, tax incentives, and the nationally-recognized innovative student debt relief homeownership initiative, Maryland SmartBuy.

“Bond issuances generate critical funding for many of the department’s programs, particularly homeownership programs,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “This historic ratings upgrade will make these bond issuances more attractive to investors and potentially expand our resources to provide safe, sustainable mortgages to prospective Maryland homebuyers.”

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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



Video Release: Governor Hogan Celebrates Groundbreaking for Lexington Market Redevelopment

Video Release: Governor Hogan Celebrates Groundbreaking for Lexington Market Redevelopment

ANNAPOLIS, MD (February 18, 2020) – Governor Larry Hogan today participated in a groundbreaking ceremony marking the start of redevelopment of Baltimore’s historic Lexington Market, the longest operating public market in America. The governor was joined by Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt, Maryland Department of General Services Secretary Ellington Churchill, Jr., city officials, development partners, and local stakeholders.

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(Watch)

“The State of Maryland needs a strong Baltimore City, which is why our administration has been fighting for dramatic change here,” said Governor Hogan. “Today we are making our latest investment in the city with the redevelopment of this historic Lexington Market, which is another step in the revitalization and transformation of this city, and just one more way that we are continuing to change Maryland for the better.”

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The state has committed $6.85 million to the redevelopment of Lexington Market, including capital grants through bond bills authorized in the previous four Maryland General Assembly sessions and, most recently, a bridge loan through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Neighborhood BusinessWorks program, announced in January.

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“Neighborhood BusinessWorks traditionally provides gap financing to new or expanding small businesses, and it has been an incredibly effective program,” said Secretary Holt. “We are always looking to grow the program, and recently we have looked for more creative ways to use its resources, like this bridge loan, to support large, truly transformative projects like Lexington Market.”

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“Renovations to Lexington Market will benefit local businesses and the surrounding community,” said Secretary Churchill. “Our team looks forward to working with the project stakeholders to administer the state’s capital grant funds to help modernize the facility.”
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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



Governor Hogan Announces Record Milestone of $1 Billion in Mortgages Through Maryland Mortgage Program in 2019

Governor Hogan Announces Record Milestone of $1 Billion in Mortgages Through Maryland Mortgage Program in 2019
New High for State’s Flagship Homeownership Program

ANNAPOLIS, MD—Governor Larry Hogan today announced that the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Maryland Mortgage Program reached a record $1 billion in reservations for the program in 2019, representing more than 4,000 homebuyers. This is a 12-month period high for the history of the program. The Maryland Mortgage Program provides fixed-rate mortgages that come with downpayment and closing cost assistance, tax incentives, and student debt relief available through the popular Maryland SmartBuy initiative.

“Homeownership is the backbone of strong communities,” said Governor Hogan. “Our administration has been focused on growing this program to ensure more young people and hardworking families are able to put down roots in the great State of Maryland.”

The Maryland Mortgage Program’s attractive interest rates have helped drive demand for this record-breaking year. Additional factors for this success include product changes, improvements to operations, and an aggressive marketing strategy, including the rollout of program-specific FacebookTwitter and Instagram accounts. The program’s business development team has helped grow the program from 80 participating lenders last year to 118 lenders that borrowers can now choose from. A partnership with the state association, Maryland REALTORS, as well as local associations statewide has resulted in a greater awareness of the program among homebuyers.

“We have dramatically increased production, meaning more residents are using these great benefits to secure a future here in Maryland,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “The majority of the Maryland Mortgage Program’s resources come from the sale of bonds, not the state’s budget, so this highly successful program is funded and managed with virtually no cost to Maryland’s taxpayers.”

Secretary Holt marked the milestone at the department’s annual event honoring its top-performing partners in Annapolis. The program recognized top-producing lenders and loan officers, as well as the top individual real estate agent and companies. For a list of award winners and photos from the event visit here.

The Maryland Mortgage Program has been the state’s flagship homeownership program for more than 35 years. Under the Hogan administration, the Maryland Mortgage Program has provided over $2.8 billion in mortgages to more than 13,000 Marylanders and eliminated more than $11 million in student debt for first-time homebuyers. For more information, visit http://mmp.maryland.gov.

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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: Notice of Public Hearing – Residential Rental Housing Projects

NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING CONCERNING ISSUANCE OF BONDS OR OTHER OBLIGATIONS TO FINANCE RESIDENTIAL RENTAL HOUSING PROJECTS

The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, will conduct a public hearing at 12:00 PM on Thursday, February 13, 2020 concerning issuance of bonds or other obligations to finance residential rental housing projects. For more information, visit: https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Documents/TEFRA/2020/Notice-01-30.pdf.



A New Canvas for Baltimore: Housing on Henneman Avenue Complements Hoen Building Restoration

A New Canvas for Baltimore: Housing on Henneman Avenue Complements Hoen Building Restoration

Officials cut the ribbon on Henneman Avenue

On a brisk January day, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt joined partners from the city and the Housing Development and Neighborhood Preservation Corporation to celebrate the ribbon cutting for several historically rehabilitated rowhomes in east Baltimore. The recently remodeled homes are the first group to be rehabilitated out of approximately 20 blighted properties along Henneman Avenue that were acquired by the Housing Development and Neighborhood Preservation Corporation through Baltimore’s Vacants to Value program. The department provided $500,000 for the acquisition and pre-development of seven properties through the Community Legacy program and Governor Larry Hogan’s Project C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise) initiative.

The Housing Development and Neighborhood Preservation Corporation seeks to fully renovate the homes while preserving the historic architectural elements of the properties and modernizing the interiors for 21st century living. The basements of the homes will be excavated to add additional legal ceiling heights and more square footage, and new appliances will be installed. The properties will receive a historic tax credit from the city through the Commission for Historical and Architectural Preservation. A portion of the homes will target middle income earners and will be sold at below market prices.

The remodeled homes will provide housing opportunities that complement the renovation of the nearby Hoen Lithograph building. After sitting vacant for 35 years, local stakeholders launched efforts to redevelop and repurpose the grand, historic building to create a safe gathering place for the community. A local nonprofit, Strong City Baltimore, is already serving as the Hoen building’s main anchor tenant and providing services through their adult learning center. After full build-out, the Hoen building will offer additional businesses and services including a café, event space, a bookstore, and a workforce incubator that will offer job training and employment opportunities for community members. The department has provided $2.5 million in Project C.O.R.E. funding for the Hoen building’s renovation and stabilization of some neighboring vacant units, and the project has attracted more than $3.6 million in state investment.

Project C.O.R.E. is a multi-year partnership between the state and Baltimore City to eliminate vacant properties and blight to create green space and responsible, responsive community revitalization. The state has provided $75 million, which has helped facilitate the removal or stabilization of more than 4,000 blighted units. This historic investment has also been supported with more than $420 million in additional department financing for important projects which has leveraged an additional $1.8 billion in private, public, and philanthropic dollars.

 



Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Releases Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report

Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Releases 

Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report

NEW CARROLLTON, MD (January 24, 2020) – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) today released its Fiscal Year 2019 Annual Report. The department generated an economic impact of nearly $4 billion for the state, including $72 million in state and local taxes. Approximately 18,300 full-time equivalent jobs with $951 million in wages and salaries were created by Housing and Community Development’s projects and activities.

The department continued its historic level of investment in affordable rental housing during Governor Larry Hogan’s administration. In Fiscal Year 2019, DHCD awarded more than $44 million in state funds and federal tax credits to 15 affordable rental housing projects. These projects will result in the creation or preservation of 1,837 high quality, energy efficient affordable rental units, the largest number of units financed in a single application round. The department also provided nearly $550 million in mortgages and approximately $10 million in down payment assistance for homebuyers through the Maryland Mortgage Program.

Neighborhood BusinessWorks provided strong support for small businesses in Maryland through investment in Maryland’s 149 designated Opportunity Zones. The division of Neighborhood Revitalization invested $89 million for redevelopment projects in 512 communities across the state. In Baltimore, Project C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise) reached the milestone of more than 4,000 blighted units marked for removal, clearing the way for green space, housing, and small businesses. 

For more information on the department’s activities in Fiscal Year 2019, read the full report here: https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Documents/PressReleases/DHCD_Annual-Report_2019.pdf.

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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 Five Year Consolidated Plan

LEGAL NOTICE

Updating Maryland’s Five Year Consolidated 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 as it develops its new Five Year 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.

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 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 Shelter Grants (ESG), Housing Opportunity With AIDS (HOPWA) and National Housing Trust Fund (HTF) funds. At this time, it is unknown how much DHCD expects to receive in CDBG funds, HOME funds, ESG funds HOPWA funds for the State’s Rural Program; HOPWA funds on behalf of Montgomery and Frederick Counties or HTF funds.  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 prepare their own Consolidated Plans and receive their own funding directly from HUD.

In developing its previous Consolidated 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. It is to this purpose that we are holding public hearings; staff from the above-mentioned programs will be present to hear your thoughts – to develop new goals, change, retain and/or modify the State’s previous goals, or develop other policies and procedures affecting housing and community development activities. The State will also be updating its Analysis of Impediments (AI) as part of the Consolidated Plan process.

At this point, nothing has been written for the draft Consolidated Plan. These hearings are to gather initial input from the public about what should be in the new Five-Year Plan.  DHCD will then write a draft Plan, which will be released for 30 days of public comment (including written comment) at the beginning of April.  After the public has had several weeks to review the draft Consolidated Plan, a second set of hearings will be held in April.  Additional comments and suggestions will be received at this time, with the final version of the Plan submitted to HUD on or around May 15, 2020.

The first set of hearings on the development of the new Consolidated Plan will be held at the following dates, times, and places:

Tuesday, January 28, 2020 at 7:00 PM
Towson Library
320 York Road
Wilson Room
Towson, Maryland 21204

Wednesday, January 29, 2020 at 11:30 AM
Caroline County Central Library
100 Market Street
Small Meeting Room
Denton, Maryland 21629

Thursday, January 30, 2020 at 10:30 AM
Fairview Branch Library
Small Meeting Room
Rt. 4 and Chaneyville Road
Owings, Maryland 20736

Friday, January 31 at 1:30 PM
Allegany County Office Complex
701 Kelly Road
Potomac Room
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 e-mail listed below:

Mrs. Ja’Nai Streat
Senior Housing Policy Analyst
Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development
7800 Harkins Road
Lamham, Maryland 20706
(301) 429-7445 or Maryland Relay for the Deaf at 1 (800) 735-2258
janai.streat@maryland.gov

 

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Hogan Administration Announces $3 Million to Revitalize Baltimore’s Historic Lexington Market

Hogan Administration Announces $3 Million to Revitalize Baltimore’s Historic Lexington Market
Neighborhood BusinessWorks loan will support three months of construction

NEW CARROLLTON, Md. (January 7, 2020) – Governor Larry Hogan today announced a $3 million bridge loan through the Department of Housing and Community Development’s Neighborhood BusinessWorks program for the revitalization of Baltimore’s historic Lexington Market. The loan will support three months of construction work for the estimated $38.5 million redevelopment project. The Neighborhood BusinessWorks bridge loan will also enable the Lexington Market project to meet certain financing requirements to secure additional New Market Tax Credit resources.

“We are proud to support the revitalization of the historic Lexington Market, which will create hundreds of jobs and support the long-term wellbeing of the surrounding community,” said Governor Hogan. “This transformative project draws upon the market’s rich legacy and points to a bright future for downtown Baltimore.”

Founded in 1782 and described by many as the longest operating public market in the country, Lexington Market was the locus of community, culinary, and social life in Baltimore. However, since the 1960s, the area surrounding the market began to deteriorate with the neighboring communities experiencing significant economic disinvestment. The redevelopment plan will rehabilitate the existing East Market building, reopening Lexington Street for pedestrians, and constructing the South Market building as a modern interpretation of the original 1900s-era market sheds.

“Redevelopment projects of this scale require a great deal of planning and a lot of different sources of financing, and we are proud to be a partner in the revitalization of Lexington Market,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “This redevelopment will breathe new life into this historic landmark, re-establishing it as a vital thread in the fabric of Baltimore while creating jobs and enriching the quality of life for city residents.”

The first phase of the Lexington Market project will create 250 construction jobs. The new South Market will add approximately 40 new merchants, creating 200 jobs, including both full- and part-time positions that will be available to community residents. The new Lexington Market will focus on a healthy mix of both staple foods like produce, meats, and dairy, as well as prepared foods. A wide range of pricing will be available, and SNAP and FSP benefits will be accepted as forms of payment to embrace the low-income community that has relied on Lexington Market for their shopping needs for generations.

The Neighborhood BusinessWorks program provides gap financing to new and expanding small businesses located in Priority Funding Areas and Opportunity Zones across the state. During Governor Hogan’s administration, Neighborhood BusinessWorks has provided more than $40 million to over 170 small businesses or projects that support small businesses. Neighborhood BusinessWorks was also instrumental in aiding small business recovery following the civil unrest in Baltimore in 2015 flooding in historic Ellicott City in 2016 and 2018. Other recent program loans have assisted biotechnology companies, restaurants, and retail establishments. For more information about the program, visit: https://dhcd.maryland.gov/business/.

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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



New Video Series Premieres Highlighting Neighborhood BusinessWorks Investment

New Video Series Premieres Highlighting Neighborhood BusinessWorks Investment
Program has provided more than $40 million to small businesses during Hogan administration

NEW CARROLlTON, MD (December 19, 2019) – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development launched a new promotional video series highlighting projects supported by the Neighborhood BusinessWorks program. The new videos present testimonials from business owners and developers who received funding about their positive experiences with the program. Neighborhood BusinessWorks  provides gap financing to small businesses located in Priority Funding Areas and Opportunity Zones across Maryland.

“Small businesses create jobs and contribute significantly to Maryland’s positive economic growth. That’s why one of Governor Larry Hogan’s top priorities is establishing and fostering a business-friendly climate in our great state,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “Since 2015, Neighborhood BusinessWorks has roughly tripled the amount of small businesses it assists on a yearly basis, and we hope these new videos educate and encourage new and expanding businesses to explore the program’s flexible and proven financing.”

Recently, Governor Hogan announced that Neighborhood BusinessWorks surpassed the milestone of more than $40 million in lending to over 170 small businesses since January 2015. The program was instrumental in aiding small business recovery following the 2016 and 2018 historic flooding in Ellicott City. Other recent loans have assisted biotechnology companies, restaurants, and retail establishments. The first videos in the new promotional series highlight two Baltimore businesses: the Lillie May Carroll Jackson Charter School and Union Collective.

Lillie May Carroll Jackson Charter Schoolhttps://youtu.be/rTG8EKGibzg

Opened in 2015, the Lillie May Carroll Jackson Charter School is an all-girls, public charter, middle school in Baltimore. The school was created through a unique public-private partnership between Roland Park Country School and the Baltimore City school system. Named after the African American activist, civil rights leader, and  director of the Maryland National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the Lillie May Carroll Jackson Charter School offers a supportive 21st century learning environment providing rigorous academic course work, character development, and leadership opportunities. Neighborhood BusinessWorks gap financing supported acquisition and construction of the school building. 

Union Collectivehttps://youtu.be/T3AhAvJSO0A and https://youtu.be/gDV_Rjh6tKc

After five years powered by a great product and passionate customers, Union Craft Brewing had outgrown their facility in Baltimore’s Woodberry neighborhood. Less than a mile away, Union found their ideal location, a gigantic warehouse near both public transportation and the interstate. After securing financing through the Neighborhood BusinessWorks program, they partnered with six like-minded businesses to transform the repurposed warehouse and create Union Collective, a modern day maker center. Anchored by Union’s production brewery and taproom, Union Collective and its local businesses are reinvigorating manufacturing in Baltimore with a thoughtful, civic-minded approach that supports the local community.

For more information about Neighborhood BusinessWorks, including information on how small businesses can apply, visit https://dhcd.maryland.gov/Business/.

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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



Governor Hogan Announces Homelessness Prevention Awards for Carroll, Cecil, and Charles Counties

Governor Hogan Announces Homelessness Prevention Awards for Carroll, Cecil, and Charles Counties
$1.4 Million Awarded For Three Counties

ANNAPOLIS, MD (December 16, 2019) — Governor Larry Hogan today announced $1.4 million to assist Maryland’s homelessness prevention efforts through the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Development Block Grant program (CDBG).

“We have made significant progress to reduce homelessness in Maryland by enhancing the way we administer essential resources to those in need, and by partnering with dedicated programs and organizations across our state,” said Governor Hogan. “Our administration will continue working hard to ensure the safety and security of our most vulnerable citizens.”

The department is awarding grants to nonprofits in three different counties to support their fight against homelessness, including:

“Thanks to Governor Hogan’s commitment, we have seen a historic reduction in homelessness throughout our state,” said Maryland Housing Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “These awards will help counties sustain this momentum as winter approaches and there is greater need for resources.”

Earlier this year, Governor Hogan announced that overall homelessness has been reduced by more than 9% since 2017, according to data from the 2019 Point-in-Time Count. The number of chronically homeless individuals dropped by nearly 15% and veterans experiencing homelessness declined by nearly 9%. 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.

In Fiscal Year 2020, the state’s housing department allocated nearly $7.8 million in CDBG funding by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In addition to the homelessness awards, CDBG funding is being used for previously announced community development and infrastructure projects and special projects across the state.

For more information on Maryland’s homelessness reduction initiatives, visit: https://dhcd.maryland.gov/HomelessServices/.

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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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