Maryland revitalization dollars go ‘all across the state of Maryland’
More than 200 initiatives that promote Maryland’s economic growth and community development will receive nearly $63 million for redevelopment projects, Gov. Larry Hogan’s office announced.
All 23 counties and Baltimore City received awards through one or more of six state revitalization programs administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), according to the announcement on the governor’s website.
The programs include the Strategic Demolition Fund, Project C.O.R.E., Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative, National Capital Strategic Economic Development Fund and Community Legacy.
“These projects and initiatives support responsible redevelopment that is driven by local partnerships,” Hogan said in the announcement. “Our state revitalization programs spur economic growth in Maryland’s diverse and vibrant communities, attracting additional public, private, and nonprofit investment while improving quality of life for residents.”
Business expansion and retention, streetscape improvements, homeownership and home rehabilitation incentives, commercial improvement programs, community facilities, mixed-use development, and demolition activities are among the projects supported by the six programs.
Maryland had $63 million in revitalization funds available that was sought by more than 300 applicants. Funds were distributed to sustainable projects in targeted areas that experienced economic downturns.
“Those plans would be a multi-year strategy across many different categories, like housing and transportation, and economic development, and recreation. And then our funds would annually help those communities implement those plans,” Carol Gilbert, assistant secretary for the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), told The Center Square.
Gilbert called attention to recent achievements, including by Project C.O.R.E., which she called “one of the greatest successes.”
“Project C.O.R.E. is a prime program the Governor developed in 2015 in the wake of the civil unrest in Baltimore,” Gilbert said. “And that has grown into quite a robust program, targeted in Baltimore City for removing blight and creating new opportunities for investment.”
Fifteen projects will receive a total of $15.4 million through Project C.O.R.E.
The Baltimore Regional Neighborhoods Initiative targets older city and suburban neighborhoods. The BRNI finds suburban and urban communities with business districts that need renewing. More than $12.3 million was awarded to 70 projects to support redevelopment in the Baltimore Beltway.
Another $10 million in grants and loans went to hospitals and institutions of higher learning to fund 18 community-development projects in disinvested areas, the governor’s office said. The funding will be dispersed through the Seed Community Development Anchor Institution Fund (Project SEED).
Project SEED helps institutions that are considered anchors of a community or those focused on the health of the community reinvest in their communities, Gilbert said. One project in historic Jonathan Street in Hagerstown, which is considered a “food desert,” will get a grocery store by Horizon Goodwill Industries.
The National Capital Strategic Economic Development Fund provided $7.2 million for 28 projects in communities in and around the Capital Beltway; another $5.5 million awarded by Community Legacy went to 56 projects in designated Sustainable Communities throughout Maryland.
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