This month our Partner Spotlight shines on Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD) and the programs, services and assistance the organization makes available to neighborhoods and businesses of Frederick.
1. Describe the basic services DHCD provides to Maryland Communities and it's citizens and businesses.
Through funding and technical assistance, our department works with local governments, nonprofit organizations, community groups and businesses to enhance existing neighborhood resources, support economic development, provide public services and infrastructure, and improve the quality of life for residents.
The department's portfolio of small business lending programs (such as Neighborhood BusinessWorks) provides gap financing and other business growth tools to new and expanding small businesses and nonprofit organizations throughout the state.
DHCD's home-buyer assistance programs offer mortgage loans as well as down payment and closing cost assistance to eligible home-buyers with low-to moderate-income. We have programs to rehabilitate single family housing to improve basic livability, weatherization assistance and housing financing programs for persons with special needs. The department offers multifamily finance programs for the construction and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing units for low- to moderate-income families, senior citizens and individuals with disabilities.
2. Please share any new revitalization or commercial incentive programs DHCD may have rolled out recently.
The nominations of 149 Opportunity Zones across Maryland were announced by the DHCD and the Maryland Department of Commerce as part of the Opportunity Zone program, a nationwide initiative administered by the U.S. Treasury created under the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. The program provides federal tax incentives for investment in distressed communities over the next 10 years. Areas designated as Opportunity Zones will be able to reap the benefits of capital gains to help redevelop under-served communities.
3. Are there any upcoming events or news about DHCD services to announce?
Later this summer the department will be announcing more than $50 million in neighborhood revitalization grants to support communities across the state.
4. Can you provide local statistics for The City of Frederick with the work DHCD has done as a partner with The City?
Since fiscal year 2015, the Maryland Mortgage Program has closed on 333 first-time homebuyer loans for a total investment of more than $93 million. In the last four years, DHCD has funded 6 multifamily projects for a total investment of more than $153 million creating or preserving nearly 700 units of affordable housing. Also during that time, the Division of Neighborhood Revitalization has funded more than 40 projects and programs such as the Downtown Facade Program and improvements to Carroll Creek for a total investment of nearly $5 million generating a total investment of more than $32 million in public and private funds.
5. Frederick is a designated DHCD Sustainable Community and Priority Funding area. How do these designations help promote revitalization and business development?
The Sustainable Communities program provides access to a comprehensive set of revitalization resources, creating a revitalization "toolbox" for local governments. Currently, there are 13 programs across 6 state agencies that support the development and prosperity of Maryland’s Sustainable Communities. Programs range from grants that support brick and mortar community development projects to loans and tax credits that support small business development and job creation.