Community Legacy Grants Will Enhance, Revitalize Maryland Communities

CROWNSVILLE, MD (March 23, 2009) – Governor Martin O’Malley announced funding to revitalize local neighborhoods and business districts in communities all over Maryland. In the announcement, Governor O’Malley allocated $4.7 million in Community Legacy awards for 63 projects across the State.

“Even as we face an uncertain and challenging economic situation, we can work together to enhance the quality of life in neighborhoods and town centers all over Maryland,” said Governor O’Malley. “The Community Legacy program allows us to protect our priorities by investing in the economic sustainability and vitality of Maryland’s neighborhoods.”

The Community Legacy program is administered by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s (DHCD) Division of Neighborhood Revitalization. Its mission is to provide funding for local economic development activities that stimulate reinvestment and strengthen older communities through activities such as business retention and attraction, homeownership development and commercial revitalization.

“By working together with these local governments and nonprofit development organizations, these communities, many of them in transition, can move forward on much needed development and revitalization,” said DHCD Secretary Raymond A. Skinner. “Local businesses and homeowners will be able to use these grants to enhance their neighborhoods and Main Streets which will result in more vibrant communities all over Maryland.”

Community Legacy was established in 2001 to provide flexible revitalization resources that complement other Smart Growth programs. Community Legacy requires a multi-year plan with comprehensive revitalization strategies for “Community Legacy Area” designation. Eligible applicants are local governments, nonprofit community development organizations, and nonprofit community development financial institutions.

In awarding these grants, a number of reinvestment priorities are considered including helping older communities benefit from Maryland’s Base Realignment and Closure initiative, Transit-Oriented Development, connecting neighborhoods with job opportunities and building upon the success of the Main Streets program, including a new focus on residential opportunities near Main Streets.

A majority of the awarded projects are property acquisition and rehabilitation. Other initiatives include retail façade enhancements, operational support, economic development and mixed-use projects.

For details on individual Community Legacy Awards, please refer to the attached list.

    Highlights include:
  • $400,000 to Montgomery County for investment in target neighborhoods impacted by foreclosure;
  • $250,000 to Baltimore City for the revitalization of older shopping centers;
  • $375,000 to HIP in Prince George’s County for investment in target neighborhoods impacted by foreclosure;
  • $100,000 to Frostburg for a Main Street Revolving Loan Fund;
  • $100,000 to Cambridge for streetscape improvements on Pine Street.

The Community Legacy awards announcement is the second initiative Governor O’Malley has highlighted within a week to help revitalize communities across the State. On March 19, the Governor announced the allocation of more than $38.6 million to help local jurisdictions stabilize communities hardest hit by the foreclosure and subprime lending crisis. Through the Maryland Neighborhood Conservation Initiative (NCI), DHCD will distribute more than $18.9 million in grants to local jurisdictions. In addition, more than $19.6 million will be distributed directly to Baltimore City and Baltimore, Montgomery and Prince George’s counties by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development through the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program. The funding, which was authorized last fall by Congress through the Housing and Recovery Act of 2008, will add 509 new affordable workforce housing units and assist more than a thousand homebuyers.

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