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Maryland Receives $5 Million in Additional Funds from Obama Administration

Third Round of NSP Funds will be used stabilize neighborhoods, diminish blight

BALTIMORE (September 9, 2010) – Governor Martin O’Malley acknowledged the award of $5 million in additional funding to Maryland communities by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The grants announced today represent a third round of funding through HUD’s Neighborhood Stabilization Program (NSP) . In addition to the $5 million awarded to Maryland, Prince George’s County, hardest hit among Maryland jurisdictions, will receive $1.8 million from HUD.

“Maryland is fortunate to have a great partner in the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development,” said Governor O’Malley. “These funds will be put to good use in hard hit areas of Maryland such as Prince George’s County, Montgomery County, Baltimore City, Baltimore County and others that have suffered the highest numbers of foreclosures in the past several years.” “The Neighborhood Stabilization Program helps to increase and stabilize home values, create new jobs and produce more affordable housing.”

To date, there have been two other rounds of NSP funding: the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) provided $3.92 billion and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Recovery Act) appropriated an additional $2 billion. Like those earlier rounds of NSP grants, these targeted funds will be used to purchase foreclosed homes at a discount and to rehabilitate or redevelop them in order to respond to rising foreclosures and falling home values. Today, 92 cents of every dollar from the first round of NSP funding is obligated – and is in use by communities, buying up and renovating homes, and creating jobs.

Maryland received $26.7 million under NSP1 in September 2008. It went to 17 grantees around the state to do a variety of eligible activities of which most were used to assist homebuyers to purchase foreclosed houses in hard hit neighborhoods. “In Maryland, we have been able to create stable housing opportunities by helping people purchase foreclosed houses,” said Secretary of Housing and Community Development Raymond A. Skinner. “This has enabled us to make communities more stable through the tried and true application of good housing and community development principles. Providing both homeownership and affordable rental housing opportunities makes for more stable and sustainable neighborhoods. Maryland is a good steward of the federal money being awarded under the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.”

State and local governments can use their neighborhood stabilization grants to acquire land and property; to demolish or rehabilitate abandoned properties; and/or to offer downpayment and closing cost assistance to low- to moderate-income homebuyers (household incomes not exceed 120 percent of area median income). In addition, these grantees can create “land banks” to assemble, temporarily manage, and dispose of vacant land for the purpose of stabilizing neighborhoods and encouraging re-use or redevelopment of urban property. HUD will issue an NSP3 guidance notice in the next few weeks to assist grantees in designing their programs and applying for funds.

NSP 3 will take full advantage of the historic First Look partnership HUD announced with the National Community Stabilization Trust last week. First Look gives NSP grantees an exclusive 12-14 day window to evaluate and bid on properties before others can do so. By giving every NSP grantee the first crack at buying foreclosed and abandoned properties in these targeted neighborhoods, First Look will maximize the impact of NSP dollars in the hardest-hit neighborhoods – making it more likely the properties communities want to buy are strategically chosen and cutting in half the traditional 75-to-85 day process it takes to re-sell foreclosed properties.

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The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development works with partners to finance housing opportunities and revitalize great places for Maryland citizens to live, work and prosper. To learn more about DHCD’s programs, visit www.mdhousing.org.

News updates also are available by following DHCD on Twitter (www.twitter.com/MDHousing) and Facebook (www.facebook.com/marylandhousing).

For more information:

Erlene Wilson
Director, Office of Communications and Marketing
410-514-7704
wilson@mdhousing.org

Rosa Cruz
Deputy Director, Office of Communications and Marketing
410-514-7712
cruz@mdhousing.org

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