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2000 Best Practice Awards

"Local" Winners: Maryland State Office


2000-143 Safe Communications Law Enforcement
Annapolis, Maryland
P. H. Croston (410) 267-8000

The Safe Communities Law Enforcement program is a partnership between the Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis (HACA) and select law enforcement officers from the Annapolis Police Department (APD) who employ community-oriented policing concepts to gain community trust - a critical ingredient to effective crime fighting. The Safe Communities team consists of two liaison officers who manage the program and coordinate activities between HACA and the APD, and ten officers who patrol HACA's ten public housing communities, investigate criminal activity, and engage in community activities to gain residents' trust and cooperation. As off-duty police officers under direct contract with HACA, they also serve as HACA's agents, giving them authority to take actions on HACA's behalf such as removing individuals banned from the communities. Officers respond to every complaint call from residents, and take advantage of those visits to meet and get to know residents. They participate in community events - e.g. coaching youth basketball teams and leading the community's drum and bugle corps. And they host training for residents and HACA staff on preventing crime in their communities.

2000-169 1000 in 2000
Annapolis, Maryland
P. H. Croston (410) 267-8000

The Housing Authority of the City of Annapolis (HACA) and its private sector partner, USinternetworking (USi), tripled HACA's resident computer training program with the target of awarding 1000 certificates to residents who achieved progressive levels of computer skills by end year 2000. USi provided computers, related equipment, software and Internet access for two new community computer centers, supplementing HACA's existing center. HACA provided the space in neighborhood community centers, computer teachers, security and work stations. This enabled HACA to hold two after-school training sessions at each location every week-day, as well as an adult session twice a week. USi also funds a home PC award program, providing a PC and Internet access each month to five students who show the greatest progress and promise. This is a powerful incentive for resident participation.

2000-175 MEOW (Museum Education on Wheels)
Annapolis, Maryland
P. H. Croston (410) 267-8000

MEOW brings into public housing neighborhoods science, math, language arts and expressive arts programs that help children learn through play. In July 1999, the Housing Photo: Participants in a MEOW "fashion show" ham it up.Authority of the City of Annapolis (HACA) partnered with the Chesapeake Children's Museum, a non-profit hands-on museum in Annapolis, to retrofit a HACA-owned school bus as a mobile learning center to rotate among public housing communities. Three facilitators lead bus visitors (most aged 5 to 14) through games and activities to promote problem solving, self-expression, practical applications of math, science experiments, sentence development and making poetry, and outside activities and crafts. The bus stops in six neighborhoods for two hours each, every week.

2000-396 Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc.
Baltimore, Maryland
LaVerne L. Brooks (410) 962-2520

In 1994, Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc., began testing compliance under the Fair Housing Law by sending people with disabilities to look at apartments at multifamily projects in Maryland. Funds for this testing were received from HUD under a 1994 FHIP grant when a tester found that Lions Gate Garden Condominiums first floor units were not accessible, Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc., sued Rommel builders of Baltimore, and Lions Gate Condominium Inc., in Odenton, Maryland in U.S. District Court. Similar cases have been filed throughout the country, both privately and by the federal government, but these cases were settled privately or by the federal government, and none had gone to court like this case.

2000-560 Brownlow-Bryon Homes
Baltimore, Maryland
Ruth E. Eger (410) 523-2150

Brownlow Byron Homes is an 8 unit group home developed by the Joseph Richey Hospice of Baltimore City as the Sponsor under the Section 811 Supportive Housing for the Disabled Program. The Sponsor donated two row historic for use as two group homes for 8 physically disabled persons. Only the front historic facade and side walls remain from the original structure, 8 bedrooms, a commercial kitchen, full sized elevator and wheelchair accessible showers were added. The project is designed to serve those with terminal diagnoses, which is typical of end-stage AIDS, but who may live beyond their life expectancy of six months or less. To live in the Hospice, residents require a medical diagnosis of terminal illness. There are a significant number of residents who come to the Richey Hospice and live beyond their expectancy and live a year or longer. Those residents can then be moved to the Brownlow Byron group homes which will free up the much needed hospice beds.

2000-960 Lead Abatement Action Project
Baltimore, Maryland
Amy J. Spanier (410) 396-4530

The Lead Abatement Action Project is designed to prevent lead poisoning through cost-effective lead hazard reduction protocols. Baltimore City has been awarded four grants totaling $16.6 million since our first successful proposal in 1992. (Only the first three grants are specifically listed in the allotted spaces for HUD grant ID's and only the funds for these three are totaled under the Funding Sources portion of this nomination.) The combined grants are supporting hazard reduction in close to 1200 privately owned housing units in Baltimore. Priority areas for spending the hazard control dollars are communities at high risk for lead poisoning cases, including Baltimore's east and west HUD-designated Empowerment Zones. The Baltimore City Health Department is designated as he lead agency to administer the Lead Abatement Action Project, although the Department of Housing and Community Development is a critical partner in the implementation of this project. The Project targets pre-1950 housing for low-cost lead hazard treatments that will preserve affordable housing. It serves low-income households, primarily in distressed communities, where safe, up-to-code, inexpensive housing is scarce. Participants include home owner occupants, owners of low-income rental housing, and developers of home owner conversion projects. The predominant housing unit is a two or three story traditional Baltimore row home. Owners apply for grants to cover all (or, in the case of for-profit rental units, 80%) of the hazard reduction costs. Approval is often contingent upon the owner agreeing to upgrade the property to meet code, address plumbing problems, or repair structural problems. Once the property is found eligible, and the application accepted, the property is tested for leaded paint content using XRF analysis and dust testing. A scope of work is developed based on the XRF testing and additional risk assessment. The scope generally includes window replacement, stabilization of chipping or flaking paint, enclosure of leaded bath or kitchen walls, enclosure of floors and stairs to provide smooth, cleanable surfaces, adjustment of doors to reduce abrading surfaces, and specialized final cleans. Owners select lead-accredited, licensed home improvement contractors to perform the lead work for individual, eligible units. Once the contract is signed between the owner and contractor, the work can proceed. Work is monitored for quality and safety and approved by the project staff. The Lead Abatement Action project also provides assistance to occupants of treated houses. Community outreach staff assists families with relocation services, since the units must be temporarily vacated during the work period. Families are provided with moving and storage services, and reimbursement for daily living costs. They may stay in one of two safe houses supported by the Lead Abatement Action Project, and return once the work has been completed. Occupants are offered blood lead testing services for children under six years of age. Community outreach staff arranges for testing and accompanies families for testing. Results are forwarded to the family, the lead clinical program of the Health Department, and to the appropriate health care providers. The Lead Abatement Action Project educates individual owners and occupants during the course of lead work, and promotes compliance with local, state, and federal regulations concerning lead. Community-wide awareness initiatives are undertaken in partnership with our local advocacy organization, the Coalition To End Childhood Lead Poisoning. Major accomplishments of The Lead Abatement Action Project include the efficient distribution of grants to a large number of owners (as many as 200 completed units in some years); the remediation of serious lead hazards at relatively low cost; and the leveraging of private resources, largely from individual owners, to improve Baltimore's housing stock.

2000-1166 Maryland’s HotSpots/New Approach Grant
Baltimore, Maryland
Michael A. Sarbanes (410) 321-3521

Maryland's HotSpot Anti-crime Initiative of the Maryland Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention has created neighborhood-based, local partnerships of community residents, local police, probation, and prosecutors to fight crime in high crime neighborhoods. These HotSpot partnerships are a perfect match for the neighborhood partnerships required to be formed by applicant HUD-assisted multifamily communities under the New Approach to Anti-Drug Program. By partnering with Maryland's HotSpots, HUD-assisted apartments can more easily obtain necessary data, such as baseline crime statistics, because these are already being tracked by the HotSpots. The HotSpots have the potential to help the competitive position of the New Approach applicant by allowing them to join an existing partnership which can demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed program design in reducing crime, a competitive factor under the New Approach NOFA. The New Approach applicant may also be able to take advantage of the existing community outreach and support which has resulted from the HotSpot partnership. The HotSpot partnerships have resulted in the identification of local government officials with an established crime-fighting responsibility who are eager to help sponsor and develop the New Approach application. In addition, the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention has been an active partner in the New Approach process. A Project Manager and a Community Builder from the Maryland HUD Office have met with the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention prior to the NOFA period to explain the New Approach grant process and how the partnership between New Approach applicants and HotSpots could be mutually beneficial. Representatives of the Office of Crime Control and Prevention attended the Chesapeake Multifamily Hub's New Approach DEG training sessions presented by Project Managers in Fiscal Years 1999 and 2000. In both years the Governor's Office provided a staff person to work directly with New Approach applicants to improve their applications. In 1999, prior to the Fiscal Year 2000 NOFA period, a Community Builder staffed an information booth at a statewide HotSpots convention and helped a Office of Crime Control and Prevention staff person prepare a presentation on the New Approach program. As a result of the involvement of the Governor's Office of Crime Control and the Maryland HotSpot program, five (5) New Approach Grants were awarded to HUD-assisted apartments in HotSpot communities for a total of $866,191in New Approach funds in Fiscal Year 1999.

2000-1268 Maryland’s Homewonership Demonstration
Baltimore, Maryland
LaVerne L. Brooks (410) 962-2520

This demonstration home mortgage financing program is available to persons with disabilities desiring to purchase existing homes in Maryland. At least one borrower must be disabled, and he or she is required to complete a homebuying counseling program. A home inspection is also required, and the interest rates of the loans range from 0% to 5%, fixed rate. The maximum loan amount to purchase a home is $100,000, and the term of the loan can be up to 40 years. The minimum cash contribution is $500.00 and the entire amount can be given as a gift. Mortgage Insurance is not required, and the families income must be below 55% of the statewide median income which is currently $35,365.

2000-1403 Live Near Your Work Program
Baltimore, Maryland
John N. Papagni (410) 209-5807

Launched in July 1997 as part of Governor Parris Glendening's Neighborhood Conservation and Smart Growth initiative, the Live Near Your Work (LNYW) employer-assisted housing program provides a cash incentive for employees to live near their work place in targeted neighborhoods across Maryland. The goal of LNYW is to strengthen neighborhoods through home ownership - using home ownership as a tool for revitalization. Participating employees receive a $3,000 grant for down payment or closing costs associated with the purchase of their home. LNYW is a partnership among the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), local governments and Maryland Businesses and institutions. Wen the program opened in 1997, 21 employers participated. Today seven local jurisdictions and 45 employers participate. Applications are ongoing.

2000-1548 Baltimore Coalition to End Predatory Lending
Baltimore, Maryland
Ken Strong (410) 327-1626

Ken Strong, Executive Director of the South East Community Organization (SECO) in Baltimore City, convened the Coalition to respond to a significant number of victims of Predatory Real Estate practices. The Coalition included representatives from community organizations, nonprofit, city agencies, representatives of federal elected officials, and Community Builders from the Maryland State Office and from Headquarters FHEO. The Coalition's concerns included both the impact on the individual victims and the impact which the practices were having on city neighborhoods in transition. The predatory real estate practices at their most extreme consisted of speculators obtaining dilapidated houses at low prices, making cosmetic repairs at most, selling them to unqualified purchasers at prices far in excess of the properties' values, increasing the first mortgage to an amount above the buyers agreed price, and making the mortgage at a high number of points and a high interest rates. In order to sell these mortgages to the subprime market the seller would create a seller takeback mortgage without the buyer's knowledge or signature to make the subprime lenders believe they had a mortgage at 60 percent of value. In reality, the first mortgage was several times the home's value, the buyer did not have the ability to make even the first mortgage payments, and the homes were unlivable. The Coalition identified material assistance for the victims, including alternative housing. It recruited housing counselors to work with the victims to determine their needs. The Coalition worked with the victims' lawyer to get the subprime lenders to realize that their mortgage was greatly inflated and would never be paid and to agree to reduce their mortgage to an amount that would be in line with the homes' values and within the ability of the buyers to pay and to obtain funds to do needed repairs. The Coalition recruited representatives of HUD's Inspector General, the US Attorney, the Maryland Attorney General, and state legislators to become aware of the problem. The US Attorney has obtained indictments against several of the sellers and an appraiser using mail fraud statues. The Maryland Attorney General reportedly has cases under investigation. The Maryland Department of Labor and Licensing has disciplined an appraiser. As a result of the Coalition's efforts, state legislators held several hearings on needed new laws, although the legislature failed to require all appraisers to be licensed. The Coalition also claimed that HUD Homes were being used in some "flipping" schemes. Flipping occurs when a property is resold within a short time at a greatly inflated price and has not received the extensive rehabilitation needed to justify the increase in price. "Flipping" per se: buying low and selling high, is not illegal. However, there are problems with both ends of the transaction. Flippers use scare tactics to convince elderly homeowners that properties are going down in value and the flipper will buy the house for immediate cash. Often the seller could have sold the house for more through a
conventional listing and sale. Neighborhoods that are undergoing racial transition are frequently the targets of these practices. The home is then sold to unsophisticated buyers at an excessive price with the aid of a fraudulent appraisal. The Coalition also contended that FHA mortgages were being made to poorly qualified buyers or for amounts in excess of a home's true value. The Coalition's efforts attracted the attention of Senators Sarbanes and Mikulski, who convened a hearing in Baltimore on the practices, at which Coalition leaders and victims testified. Senator Sarbanes was interested how the abuses were facilitated by the subprime secondary loan market. Senator Mikulski was interested in the role of FHA. Alerted by the Coalition, Secretary Cuomo and top HUD staff meet with the Coalition leaders and imposed a moratorium on foreclosures and created a national Task Force on Predatory Lending. The task force included several of the leaders of the Baltimore Coalition to End Predatory Lending. At a national task force hearing in Baltimore, at which leaders of the Coalition again testified, the FHA Commissioner announced a series of reforms to FHA procedures designed to ensure FHA borrowers were benefiting from all loss mitigation options and would not lose their home due to inability to pay a mortgage based on an inflated appraisal. In addition, the task force announced Baltimore could apply for $5 million in address the impacts of predatory real estate practices.

2000-1964 Empower Baltimore Management
Baltimore, Maryland
Diane L. Bell (410) 783-4400

Empower Baltimore Management Corporation pursues the vision for change developed by a partnership of community residents, businesses, institutions, and government as outlined in Baltimore's Empowerment Zone application. The application envisioned the following: *Community mobilization among Zone residents to achieve a profound and lasting change in the Empowerment Zone neighborhoods. *Transformation of Zone areas into neighborhoods of choice. *Creation of safe drug-free environments, in which all residents may lead productive lives. *Increase homeownership and affordable housing for all. *Integrated community services and resource system. Employment opportunities for all Zone residents. *Enhance education and training opportunities for Zone residents to become self-sufficient and upwardly mobile. EBMC's fundamental and underlying purpose of its strategy is to provide enhanced opportunities and readiness for employment of Zone residents based on the plan established in the Empowerment Zone application. In order to achieve the goals, through a partnership of community, public and private partners the torch was lit, and Empower Baltimore Management Corporation was born. EBMC's Mission is to foster sustained economic opportunities within the Empowerment Zone and to build communities in ways that give residents greater access to and readiness for those opportunities. EBMC's Vision is to stimulate business development, facilitate job readiness and training, reduce crime, increase public safety, provide opportunities for homeownership and entrepreneurship, encourage community and business partnerships, and ultimately transform EZ neighborhoods in to neighborhoods of choice locations for living, working and operating businesses. EBMC's Values are to encourage community involvement and leadership in planning, program development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Zone initiatives. To promote fiscal accountability and ethics in the oversight and expenditure of Zone funds, and to establish quantifiable goals and measurement of results.

2000-2099 The Willows Preservation Prepayment
Glen Burnie, Maryland
Larry Loyd (410) 222-6208

The Willows is a 352 unit project insured under the Section 221(d)(3) below-market interest rate program, constructed about 20 years ago. On March 19, 1999, the owner of the Willows gave HUD the required notice of their intent to prepay the mortgage. Enactment of the Housing Opportunity Program Extension Act on March 28, 1996 by Congress reinstated the contractual right of owners to prepay the mortgage on Section 236 and 221(d)(3) "preservation eligible" projects. The property does not have any tenant or project based subsidy when the notice to prepay was submitted. The Anne Arundel County Housing Authority (AACHA) assisted the HUD Baltimore Multifamily Program Center in processing Section 8 preservation vouchers to cover the difference between the existing family's current rents and the new increased rents that would be charged by the owner after the prepayment. The rents on a Section 221(d)(3) are required to be affordable, but as is typical of preservation prepayments, the owners are converting their projects in high market rent areas to market rents. This causes a rent burden on the families, who are paying generally between 30 and 50% of their income for rent. The purpose of these preservation vouchers are to shield the families from the rent increase effective date of June 1, 1999. The AACHA was contacted immediately upon HUD receiving the owner's notice to prepay and mobilized immediately to help the existing residents. The AACHA conducted resident meetings, coordinating their efforts with the owner and management company. The owner's rent increase took effect on June 1, so the AACHA had less than 4 months to conduct income certifications for all eligible families, perform housing quality standards (HQS) inspections on all of the units, and sign paperwork (HAP Contracts) with the owner on behalf on all eligible families so that the vouchers would be in place on June 1, 1999. The AACHA exhibited extreme professionalism and proficiency in working on this assignment. Early in the process the owner was very skeptical about accepting vouchers, but the AACHA was able to pursuade the owner to accept families with vouchers, allowing them to lease in place.

2000-2277 Bolton House Apartments/Risk Sharing Program
Baltimore, Maryland
Victoria S. Davis (301) 562-1689

Bolton House Apartments is a 260-unit property located in Baltimore City, constructed in 1976 and financed through the HUD 236(b) loan program with Maryland’s Community Development Administration as its lender and the Maryland Housing Fund as its credit enhancer. The program pays an annual fixed amount to CDA to subsidize the difference between the true interest rate on the note and a 1% interest rate. The Interest Reduction Payment (IRP) from HUD for Bolton House is $373,569 annually which continues for 17 more years. The payment enables the rents to stay affordable to low income residents. The property is home to 36 tenant based Section 8 certificate holders from Baltimore City and has a RAP Subsidy contract for 104 units. In 1996, the property became eligible for prepayment and the owner intended to sell the property and could convert the property to market rate. The current rents are close to $200 below the comparable market rents To avert the loss of the affordable housing stock, Mid City Urban, an area developer entered into a contract of sale to purchase and preserve the project.. The financing includes a new bond issue so that the property can be refinanced with additional debt, split the IRP from the original note, so that the original note is recast (even though the original note is maintained) and pay interest on the entire debt at the new Bond rate. The debt structure includes a Tax Exempt Bond amount of $8,525,000, at 6.50% interest for a 30 year term. The 236 IRP is removed and reattached to the tax exempt bond debt (new debt) which allows the IRP to remain in place for 17 more years. The mortgage is split into two parts, one supported by the IRP subsidy over an 18 year term, and the remaining debt to be supported with net operating income over a 30 year term. HUD and CDA share the risk under the FHA Risk Sharing Program, whereby HUD takes 50% of the Risk and CDA would also take 50% of the risk. Both parts of the mortgage are insured under the Risk Sharing Program. The project is also receiving 4% tax credits, and 156 of the units will be affordable at 60% of the median and 104 of the units (under the RAP contract) will remain affordable at 50% of the median.

2000-2322 Grahams Park
Easton, Maryland
Don E. Bibb (410) 822-5358

The Graham's Park project is a culmination of a three phase revitalization effort by the Town of Easton and the residents of the east-end neighborhood. It consists of 12 single family homes, all three bedroom, two story houses with all the amenities both by design and quality construction. Each house will be of 2x6 wall construction with wall to wall carpet, ceramic flooring (bath & kitchen), central air, gas heat, all appliances (refrig., range, dishwasher, washer & dryer, microwave), solid wood cabinets, solid core doors, gas fireplaces, double hung vinyl windows, fiberglass exterior doors, 25 year architectural shingles, "Wolverene" vinyl siding, "trex" deck porches, vinyl porch rails, brick steps, paver sidewalks, landscaping, period style lighting and vinyl picket fencing just to mention a few items. The design objectives that help make this project unique are: The sense of community and place by design open space which gives and encourages neighborly interaction. Creating a Park at the heart of the community which will allow residents and guests a place to gather and interact while children play on the play equipment. We gave note to the hierarchy of public to private space through the process of the house and park creation (bedrooms in back, living space in front, front porches and entry, the half hidden patio, the picket fence, the neighborhood promenade and finally the Park). We integrated the house and lot by creating a zero or minimal setback where necessary to accomplish and help shape the positive outdoor space. Each home has a generous front porch with recessed lighting to allow use as an outdoor living room. we created edges with fences and landscaping. Each lot is comprised of mostly low picket fencing with some taller privacy fences to help differentiate the public and private realms and shape the outdoor space to insure that it is positive. The final accent will be the visible entry point from the Rails To Trails into the community.

2000-2384 Baltimore Repair and Maintenance Study
Baltimore, Maryland
Mark R. Farfel (410) 955-3864

The Lead-Based Paint Abatement and Repair & Maintenance (R&M) Study in Baltimore conducted by the Kennedy Krieger Research Institute (KKRI) was initiated to assess the effectiveness three different lead hazard control treatments in high risk urban dwellings over a five year period. The treatments used are considered temporary or "interim controls" as opposed to the complete abatement of all lead-based paint. Because of the expense, it is not realistic to completely abate lead-based paint and any associated hazards (e.g., lead contaminated soils) in inner city housing. If laws were passed requiring property owners to completely abate lead-based paint in older urban housing, there’s a real danger that the laws would be ignored, or that the property would be abandoned, resulting in a further reduction in the already inadequate pool of low income housing. It is therefore critical to identify which combination of less expensive, interim control treatments are effective in controlling lead-based paint hazards for a reasonable period of time, in high risk, urban housing. This information is needed if HUD is to achieve its goal of increasing the pool of safe and affordable housing. The KKRI research team followed five different groups of houses over the study period; the three treatment groups, and for comparison purposes, a group of modern urban homes with no lead hazards, and a group of homes which had previously received complete abatements of lead-based paint hazards. The study homes were visited every six months for the collection of dust samples for lead analysis, visual inspection of treatments, sampling of blood from any young children in residence, and administration of a brief survey. In order for this type of study to succeed, it is necessary to retain as many of the properties, and their residents, for the length of the entire study as possible. A sufficient number in each of the study categories is needed so that it is possible to detect differences in the effectiveness of the treatments when the data are analyzed upon study completion. This is especially difficult in neighborhoods such as those in Baltimore where this study was conducted. High turnover rates in low income rental housing is common and residents and property owners must often deal with multiple social and economic problems (e.g., unemployment, crime, substance abuse). The Office of Lead Hazard Control is nominating this project as a best practice because the practices employed in this study to retain participants should be replicable in research in other cities and communities. This project is also an excellent example of cooperation between various levels of government and between non-governmental organizations during both planning and implementation.

2000-2412 HotSpot Homeownership Initiative
Crownsville, Maryland
William J. Manahan (410) 514=7535

This program complements the State of Maryland's "Smart Growth" initiative. Its focus, which is two-fold, includes: stabilizing neighborhoods by placing an emphasis on homeownership and creating a community atmosphere that is not conducive to crime. Letters were sent to 15 HotSpot communities, or areas that statistically have a high percentage of criminal activity, inviting them to apply for an allocation of four percent funds to develop a strategy to promote home ownership in their HotSpot communities. The total amount available was $4 million and each area could apply for up to $500,000. Eight of the nine jurisdictions that applied were each awarded the maximum $500,000. One HotSpot area was awarded State funds, which require no mortgage insurance, instead of tax-exempt mortgage revenue bond funds because mortgage insurers would not insure loans in the area due to the high investor-owned concentration. Applications were evaluated based on the community's overall revitalization strategy, including public/private partnerships, financial leveraging, readiness to proceed, commitment to other funding, and promotion of economic diversity. The proposals selected include purchase/rehabilitation/resale by local jurisdictions/non-profits, purchase of existing homes, and new in-fill construction. Partners provided additional incentives for home purchases in the HotSpot communities, such as closing cost and down payment assistance, leveraged and/or forgivable loans and funds for crime control. There was a coordination of federal, State and local resources to fund the crime control measures, which included community mobilization, policing and probation, juvenile intervention, youth prevention, Crime Prevention Through Environmental Design (CPTED), and community prosecution and community support for addiction recovery. Federal funds administered through the Governor's Office of Crime Control and Prevention are/were given to the local jurisdictions with the caveat that they would have to match the funds with cash or in-kind contributions. Homebuyer education is mandatory for all loans under this initiative. Home inspections are required on all existing homes (substantially rehabilitated homes are exempt). The loans are/were made through the existing statewide lender network for the State of Maryland's tax-exempt mortgage revenue bond program. Basic FHA underwriting guidelines are/were also applied. To participate, a homebuyer obtains a contract of sale (contingent upon receiving financing under the HotSpot Homeownership Initiative) on a home in one of the eligible areas and then applies for a mortgage through a participating lender.

2000-2628 Monastery Gardens
Baltimore, Maryland
James R. Majors (410) 396-5562

This is an exemplary local project which involved a close public-private partnership using private funds, two separate State of Maryland funding sources, low-income housing tax credits, a contribution of land from the City [leased to the Housing Authority of Baltimore City (HABC), then subleased to the Mutual Housing Association], public housing operating subsidies, and Federal HOME funds. In addition, a portion of the development cost was provided by a Housing Impact Fund loan from Fannie Mae; repayment of principal for that portion of the loan used for this project was made using a future allocation of HOME funding. Mutual Housing Association of Baltimore, a not-for-profit corporation, acted as the developer for the project, which involved the new construction of 37 townhouses on property formerly occupied by Public School #71. The project was a carefully-orchestrated activity whcih included private funding, LIHTCs, land contributed by the City throguh the housing authority, and two sources fo funding from the State. In addition, HUD gave pre-award cost approval for the project, allowing the City to use Fannie Mae loan proceeds for certain costs and then repay Fannie Mae out of subsequent HOME allocations. This enabled the project to move forward quickly without sacrificing the time schedule for other projects.

2000-2827 City of Baltimore Neighborhood Design Center
Baltimore, Maryland
Carol Gilbert (410) 233-9686

The Neighborhood Design Center is one of the oldest, and arguably the best, non-profit design center in the nation. Utilizing a cadre of volunteer architects, landscape architects, planners, graphic designers, and engineers, the Neighborhood Design Center provides a wide range of planning and design services to low- and moderate-income neighborhoods in Baltimore City. The Neighborhood Design Center recently moved its offices into a former City library that had been vacant for over 18 years. The building was rehabilitated at a cost of $750,000 (including $140,000 from a CDBG grant, $100,000 from a State grant and the balance from corporations and foundations). The building also serves as a community meeting space and a technology information center for neighborhood leadership development. For many years, the Neighborhood Design Center has received an annual CDBG allocation, currently $62,000, to help underwrite its operating costs. This contribution is less than one fifth of the group's annual operating funding.

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Content Archived: April 20, 2011

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