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Be Prepared for Homeownership

Be Prepared for Homeownership

There’s a lot involved in buying a home. It takes months of planning and preparation. Here are some ways to get prepared for homeownership.

Take a homebuyer education class.
Homebuyer education can be a powerful tool for helping you get your financial footing when preparing for homeownership. A housing counselor can explain what documents you will need for the homebuying process. They can also help you make a budget and refer you to helpful, local resources.

For Maryland Mortgage Program loans, completing homebuyer education is a requirement. Classes can be taken in person or online. Beginning Oct. 1, loan recipients can take an online HUD-approved homebuyer education program for a loan associated with a HUD-approved product. Additionally, a homebuyer education program certificate approved in one county can be used in another county. For homebuyer education classes in your area go to

Get your finances in order.
Review your credit report to be sure it’s accurate. If there are discrepancies, get them taken care of before getting your loan. A lender, such as one of our state-approved Maryland Mortgage Program lenders, can help you get started with this step and tell you exactly which documents and information you need. For a list of approved lenders, go to

Develop a wish list and prioritize it.
Your dream home is out there. Creating a wish list and prioritizing it will help you identify the type of house you want and even location in which you want to live. Most homebuyers want certain features in the kitchen, living room, master bedroom, and baths. Do you want an open floor plan or an eat-in kitchen? Do you need a one- or two- car garage? Or is street parking fine? Do you need two bathrooms or will one suffice?

Location can make a difference in price and on your wish list. Define the area you want to live in by ZIP code or highlight the neighborhood you are interested in on a map. If you have children, you may want to live in a certain school district. Do you want to live near a park or is right in the middle of downtown better for you? Finalizing your needs and wants, before you go home shopping, can save you time, money, and patience.

The Maryland Mortgage Program can help you prepare for homeownership by connecting you with lenders to get you started. Go to for more information.

State of Maryland Awards $9.75 Million for Inner Beltway Revitalization

State of Maryland Awards $9.75 Million for Inner Beltway Revitalization

New Carrollton, MD (September 26, 2018) – The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development announced Fiscal Year 2019 awards for two revitalization programs that support redevelopment in communities within the Baltimore and Capital beltways. The $9.75 million in awards from the Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative and the National Capital Strategic Economic Development Fund will support 64 projects and leverage nearly $372 million in additional private, public and nonprofit investment.

“The Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative and the National Capital Strategic Economic Development Fund are designed to help communities capitalize on their existing assets to create and maintain vibrant and sustainable places to live, work, and play,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “These awards will support important projects that encourage neighborhood improvement and positive economic growth.”

Established in 2014, the Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative provides strategic revitalization investment Baltimore City and designated Sustainable Communities in the inner beltway region of Anne Arundel and Baltimore Counties. Local community development organizations receive the funding, which can be used for housing, small business, and a wide variety of other community redevelopment activities. The Fiscal Year 2019 awards will support 59 projects including: continuation of a home rehabilitation program in Brooklyn Heights and Arundel Village in Anne Arundel County; construction of a new facility in the Pigtown neighborhood of Baltimore to house a culinary arts training program to prepare adults for well-paying jobs in food service; a building improvement program to encourage and sustain small businesses in the Waverly Main Street District in Baltimore, and; supporting home repairs for low- to moderate-income elderly homeowners in the Dundalk community of Baltimore County.

Based on the Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative, the National Capital Strategic Economic Development Fund focuses on supporting revitalization within designated Sustainable Communities located between the Capital Beltway and the District of Columbia. The Fiscal Year 2019 awards are the first awards made through the fund and will support five projects including architectural and engineering services for the rehabilitation of Hillbrooke Towers, a 55-unit apartment complex near downtown Silver Spring in Montgomery County, and development of Palmer Park Meadows Townhomes to create nine affordable townhomes in the Palmer Park neighborhood of Hyattsville in Prince George’s County.

“Because of the Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative’s impact on communities within the Baltimore beltway, it provided a perfect model for the new National Capital Strategic Economic Development Fund,” said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “We hope this new program achieves the same type of success and generates the same kind of bipartisan support in cities, towns, and neighborhoods in the Capital region.”

For a full list of award winners, visit: Fiscal Year 2019 Awardee List.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Sara Luell, Director of Communications,, 301-429-7803

DHCD to Host Business Lending Information Session October 30

Baltimore business owners and entrepreneurs, join us on Tuesday, October 30 from 10 a.m.-1 p.m. at City Garage to learn how DHCD can assist your existing or prospective business and how successful business districts help community growth. To register for the event, please RSVP to

State of Maryland Launches Redesigned Affordable Rental Housing Locator

State of Maryland Launches Redesigned Affordable Rental Housing Locator provides free searching and listing for tenants and landlords

New Carrollton, Md. (September 12, 2018) – Today, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development launched a new version of its free, Web-based affordable rental housing locator,, the first major redesign of the locator website since its debut in 2008. enables landlords and property owners to list and advertise their affordable rental units at no cost. Potential tenants receive free access to those listings and can tailor their search for housing to include information on accessibility, neighborhood amenities, and other features.

“Under Governor Larry Hogan’s leadership, the state’s investment in affordable rental housing has reached unprecedented levels, creating or preserving more than 15,000 units,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “The other side of that equation is providing easy access to that housing for Marylanders who need it, and this overhaul of will improve customer service and help more working families, seniors, and individuals with special needs find a safe, decent, and, most importantly, affordable place to call home.” currently features more than 103,000 housing units registered statewide, which can be searched free and anonymously. With the redesign, the site will now provide information about affordable units currently under construction, enabling potential tenants to apply for housing in advance. The redesign includes a cleaner, more modern look, as well as mobile-responsiveness.

In addition to online technical support and a toll-free, multilingual call center for customer service, also provides live webinar trainings upon request for service and property providers, housing and social caseworkers, and agency and property staff. The service features information about local resources for rental, legal, energy, veterans assistance and supportive housing for persons with disabilities. also features an array of reporting tools for housing professionals assisting with tracking and compliance under programs like the Low Income Housing Tax Credit.

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MEDIA CONTACT: Sara Luell, Director of Communications,, 301-429-7803

Hogan Administration Announces Fiscal Year 2019 Community Development Block Grants

Hogan Administration Announces Fiscal Year 2019 Community Development Block Grants

More than $8 million awarded for public development projects


NEW CARROLLTON, MD (September 5, 2018) – Governor Larry Hogan today announced Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) awards for Fiscal Year 2019. The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development will administer $8,162,455 in CDBG awards for 17 community development and infrastructure projects in 12 counties.

“The program is an important and flexible tool that can help our counties and municipalities reach their specific revitalization goals,” said Governor Hogan. “These worthy projects will address critical needs and change Maryland’s communities for the better.”

The national CDBG program was enacted into law by Congress as part of the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) program has supported developing viable communities, providing decent housing and suitable living environments, and expanding economic opportunities, principally for persons of low and moderate income for 40 years. The program remains a vital source for Maryland’s counties, cities, and towns in devising solutions to prevent physical, economic, and social deterioration in lower-income neighborhoods and communities and to maintain public infrastructure.

The CDBG Program is comprised of two parts. The Entitlement Program is managed by HUD and provides federal funds directly to larger, metropolitan counties and cities. The States and Small Cities Program provides federal funds to the states who then distribute funds to more rural counties, cities and towns.

The program has always proved a versatile tool in supporting a wide variety of development goals. The Fiscal Year 2019 awards will assist diverse projects including: regional sewer system improvements in Allegany County; development of a Head Start and daycare facility in Cecilton (Cecil County); construction of a community center for senior citizens in St. Michaels (Talbot County), and; supporting the continuation of an afterschool program serving approximately 80 children in Hancock (Washington County).

“CDBG has been a vital catalyst for neighborhood revitalization, infrastructure improvements, and economic development in Maryland for over 40 years,” said Secretary Holt. “Maryland is grateful for its partnership with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the CDBG program, which has proven to be an important resource to help improve our communities and the quality of life for their residents.”

During the Hogan administration, the Maryland Department of Housing has administered approximately $33 million in CDBG assistance for 94 projects in 43 counties and municipalities throughout Maryland. 

For a complete list of awards, visit the FY2019 CDBG Awards awards list.


MEDIA CONTACT: Sara Luell, Director of Communications,, 301-429-7803

DHCD to Host Micro Loan Information Session September 19

Baltimore business owners and entrepreneurs, join us on Wednesday, September 19 from 6-7 p.m. at Lexington Market to learn how DHCD can assist your existing or prospective business and how successful business districts help community growth. To register for the event, please RSVP to

Hogan Administration Announces Awards for Affordable Rental Housing

For immediate release:
August 30, 2018
Shareese Churchill

Hogan Administration Announces Awards for Affordable Rental Housing
21 Projects Across the State Will Create or Preserve Approximately 1,147 Units; $47 Million in State and Federal Funding Will Leverage Over $94 Million in Private Sector Capital

ANNAPOLIS, MD – The Hogan administration today announced funding recipients for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s most recent application round for federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits and state Rental Housing Funds. Twenty-one projects will receive awards for the new construction and rehabilitation of approximately 1,147 affordable rental units, including 167 units to be specifically set aside for individuals with disabilities. The projects awarded will receive more than $16.6 million in state Rental Housing Funds and over $30.2 million in federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits, leveraging more than $94.5 million in private sector capital.

The awards allocation for this competitive round focused on enhancing the Baltimore region’s total affordable housing stock and continuing the high level of production established under the leadership of Governor Larry Hogan. Since 2015, financing made available through the state and Maryland’s allocation of federal tax credits has resulted in the creation and preservation of more than 15,000 units of affordable housing.

“Our administration remains committed to ensuring that our hardworking families, seniors, and Marylanders with disabilities have access to opportunities and a better quality of life,” said Governor Hogan. “Affordable housing is critical to the wellbeing of our citizens, and these awards will help those most in need have a place to call home.”

Awards are determined through competitive application rounds held annually by the department. For this latest competitive round, the department received 44 applications for projects in Maryland. The department received the greatest number of applications in the history of the program and is awarding the largest number of projects in a single competitive application round.

“The awarded projects in this round are going to make a real difference for all Marylanders looking for new, quality, affordable housing,” said Housing Secretary Kenneth C. Holt. “In addition, these projects will create jobs and spur economic growth in these communities.”

The 21 awarded projects are distributed between 10 counties and Baltimore City. Notable projects include: Main Street Apartments, a 70-unit project located steps away from Rockville Town Center in Montgomery County; the Reserve at Somerset Commons Phase II in Princess Anne which will add 54 units for families to the existing 75 units constructed in Phase I; Chautauqua Park West, a 77-unit, mixed-income family development in Garrett County that will provide project-based rental allowance for 54 units; and 520 Somerset Apartments, part of a two-phase 197-unit project that will be part of the master plan for redevelopment of Oldtown and adjacent areas in Baltimore City.

For a list of awardees, see Affordable Rental Housing Awardees 2018.


Main Attractions: Salisbury’s Revitalization Sets the Stage for National Folk Festival

Maryland’s Eastern Shore is a vast expanse of farmland surrounded by water. Its largest city, Salisbury, sits at the beginning of the Wicomico River. Known as the “capital of the Eastern Shore,” this Main Street Maryland community takes the best of the shore’s rural living and combines it with a vibrant downtown that is currently undergoing a renaissance of its own, evident in its status as the new home of the National Folk Festival.

As the city undergoes a physical revitalization, which includes upgrades to infrastructure and facade improvements, Laura Soper, the city’s Director of Business Development, credits its recognition as a Main Street Maryland community in 2001 with helping to revive a faltering small business community downtown. Receiving that designation, Soper said, “really brought the focus back to our small businesses.” The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has invested in some of these successes, including $50,000 in Community Legacy funds for FY17 that brought interior and exterior improvements for commercial buildings located in the city’s Downtown Historic District. The city also received $100,000 from the same program in FY18 for the installation of new streetlights.

One of the largest indicators of Salisbury’s success is its selection as the home of the National Folk Festival, which the city will host from 2018 to 2020. The National Folk Festival travels to a new city every three years, and Salisbury was selected out of 30 cities that applied in April 2017. The free festival is expected to attract as many as 150,000 people during its three-day run from September 7-9, 2018, and will also generate up to $30 million a year for the local economy.To make it successful, the city has been working with neighboring towns and counties to ensure adequate accommodations for visitors. A new outdoor stage, the Riverwalk Amphitheater, was also constructed to serve as one of the main stages for the festival; the amphitheater is complemented by a newly-installed fountain in the Wicomico River. “The economic impact is huge,” Soper said. “It’s going to ripple all across the region, and it’s really going to put Salisbury on the map.”

Soper considers the city’s defining charm for visitors to be its blend of the best of rural and city living, a sentiment that many other Salisbury residents and business owners share, as well as a large part of what attracted the organizers of the National Folk Festival to the city. The city is rich with parks and other “hidden gems,” Soper said, and it’s just as easy to find serenity in solitude as it is to find a bustling crowd of people enjoying a festival or a night on the town. “It’s still got that hometown feeling, but there’s also that urban sense driving the downtown revitalization,” Soper said. Salisbury’s other biggest asset is her personal favorite, the friendliness of its people. “We have an extremely generous and caring community, and that’s what always sticks out to me. There’s always people there to help someone in need. …Salisbury is very proactive. They’re caring, they’re helping, and so really, it’s the people.”

“Main Attractions” is a regular series highlighting Main Street Maryland communities. Main Street Maryland is a comprehensive downtown revitalization program created in 1998 by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. These communities receive assistance for improving the economy, appearance and image of their traditional downtown business districts. For more information on Main Street Maryland, visit

Hogan Administration Awards More Than $3.2 Million in Strategic Demolition Funding

For immediate release:
August 27, 2018
Shareese Churchill

Hogan Administration Awards More Than $3.2 Million in Strategic Demolition Funding
Announcement Made at Groundbreaking for Indian Head Velocity Center

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt today announced Strategic Demolition Fund awards for Fiscal Year 2019 at the groundbreaking ceremony for the Velocity Center, a planned technology hub in Indian Head, Maryland. During his remarks, the Secretary announced $3,285,000 in awards for 13 projects in nine counties.

The Strategic Demolition Fund supports site acquisition and demolition of derelict buildings and redevelopment to spur economic and community revitalization. The department had received 30 applications requesting nearly $10 million in funding. Funding for demolitions in Baltimore City is provided through the Hogan administration’s Project C.O.R.E. initiative, which has provided $33 million to support demolition projects in the city to date.

“This program and these grant awards exemplify our administration’s dedication to improving our communities,” said Governor Photo of Indian Head Velocity Center GroundbreakingLarry Hogan. “We are committed to providing opportunities for neighborhoods across the state to rehabilitate or demolish blighted structures, in order to help them revitalize and flourish for years to come.”

“Removing older, unused properties to create the necessary space for neighborhood revitalization can often be a challenge for some communities,” said Secretary Holt. “The Strategic Demolition Fund assists with this critical need, providing a clean slate for positive redevelopment.”

Joined by Maryland Department of Commerce Secretary Mike Gill, Secretary Holt announced a $550,000 Strategic Demolition Fund award to the Charles County Chamber of Commerce Military Alliance Council for the demolition of the former Ely’s supermarket building to make way for the new Velocity Center. A partnership between the College of Southern Maryland, the Naval Surface War Center, and private investors, the Velocity Center will include a research center, technology incubator and education facility. The 20,000 square foot facility will contain features such as a cybersecurity laboratory and space for the university’s robotics team.

“The state’s support for the CSM Velocity Center helps to advance Indian Head’s progress toward becoming a center of world-class energetics and technology,” said Secretary Gill. “It’s another example of how Commerce, DHCD, and other state agencies have worked together to help the town grow and evolve. We’re very pleased to see this project move forward.”

The FY19 Strategic Demolition Fund awardees are:

Allegany County

  • City of Frostburg, Center Street Redevelopment – Part II, $200,000
  • City of Frostburg, Au Petit Rehabilitation – Part II, $75,000

Anne Arundel County

  • Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis, Newtowne 20 Redevelopment, $350,000

Caroline County

  • Town of Denton, Southern States Property Demolition, $100,000

Carroll County

  • Episcopal Housing Corporation, West End Place, $100,000

Charles County

  • Charles County Chamber of Commerce Military Alliance Council, Inc., Ely’s Property, $550,000

Dorchester County

  • County Council of Dorchester County, West End Historic Property Preservation, $20,000
  • County Council of Dorchester County, Thomas Holliday Hicks Mansion Preservation, $40,000
  • Eastern Shore Land Conservancy, Packing House, $350,000

Kent County

  • Town of Chestertown, Chestertown Business Campus, $500,000

Talbot County

  • Town of Oxford, Oxford MEWS Demo and Historic Stabilization, $175,000

Washington County

  • City of Hagerstown, Urban Improvement Project, $500,000
  • Town of Williamsport/Washington County, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park Headquarters Relocation, $325,000

TOTAL- $3,285,000

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Governor Larry Hogan Attends Ribbon Cutting for HELP Veterans Village at Perry Point VA Medical Center

For immediate release:
August 23, 2018
Shareese Churchill

Governor Larry Hogan Attends Ribbon Cutting for HELP Veterans Village at Perry Point VA Medical Center
Project Creates 75 Housing Units for Homeless Veterans

ANNAPOLIS, MD – Governor Larry Hogan today participated in a ribbon cutting for the HELP Veterans Village located at the Perry Point VA Medical Center. The governor was joined by Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt, officials from the Veterans Affairs (VA) Maryland Health Care System and HELP USA, as well as veterans and community stakeholders. Located in Cecil County, the new facility features 75 newly renovated and newly constructed units of energy-efficient housing for at-risk and formerly homeless veterans.

“The brave men and women who will be served by this community have earned the very best care and support and that is exactly what they will receive at HELP Veterans Village at Perry Point,” said Governor Hogan. “This is a shining example of what can be accomplished when the state, local, and federal governments work together with nonprofits in the private sector, and it is just one more way that together, we are changing Maryland for the better.”

Governor Larry Hogan gives remarks at the ribbon cutting for HELP Veterans Village.

Developed by HELP USA, a national homeless services and low-income housing nonprofit, HELP Veterans Village is ideally situated because of its close proximity to a full range of VA support programs and services at Perry Point, including individual case management. The village also provides residents convenient access to the local community’s transportation resources.

“HELP USA has been working on this project for almost a decade and we are excited to have reached the finish line,” said David Cleghorn, Senior Vice President of Real Estate Development at HELP USA. “As we speak, formerly homeless veterans are living in brand-new homes surrounded by clinical support and services from the VA, case management from HELP USA, and most importantly by each other, a group of like-minded veterans beginning their new lives. This project shows what is possible when people from the public and private sectors work together and refuse to give up.”

“Providing affordable housing on the Perry Point VA Medical Center campus allows veterans to live close to the wide range of VA supportive services they need to live full, healthy and productive lives,” said Dr. Adam M. Robinson, Jr., director of the VA Maryland Health Care System. “It’s truly an honor for us to be able to serve the men and women who have worn the cloth of our nation in this way.”

The State of Maryland supported HELP Veterans Village through several Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development programs and resources, including short-term and long term bond financing, 4 percent Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, a Rental Housing Works loan, and energy-efficiency funding that enabled the village to install a solar panel array to achieve net zero energy consumption. The department will also administer 75 project-based VA Supportive Housing Vouchers from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

Governor Larry Hogan celebrates the ribbon cutting for HELP Veterans Village.

“HELP Veterans Village is just one example of the Hogan administration’s ongoing efforts to prevent homelessness in Maryland,” said Secretary Holt. “We will continue to work with government, local, and nonprofit partners to connect those in need with appropriate housing, services and support.”

“No man or woman who has honorably served our country should go without a safe and permanent place to call home,” said Maryland Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary George Owings. “On behalf of the Department, I would like to thank HELP USA as well as our federal, state, and local partners for making this project possible.”

Since its founding in 1986, HELP USA has built Low-Income Housing Tax Credit properties and developed over 2,000 units of transitional and permanent housing in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. Additional financing for HELP Veterans Village comes from philanthropic support from The Home Depot Foundation, The Citi Foundation, and Northrop Grumman.

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