St. Mary's County Asked To Support Two Housing Grants

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St. Mary's County Asked To Support Two Housing Grants

Lexington Park, MD - 4/30/2012

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By Dick Myers

The St. Mary’s County Commissioners will be asked to approve submission of two grant applications for workforce housing projects in the county. The applications will be to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG). The program has more than $4 million available state-wide for funding in the upcoming fiscal year.

The applications, if approved by the commissioners, will be made by the county on behalf of the Housing Authority of St. Mary’s County (HASMC) and Patuxent Habitat for Humanity.  Total grant request for the two projects will be approximately $700,000. Both projects are intended to preserve workforce housing in the county.

The HASMC project would allow Spring Valley Apartments to continue to offer reduced rentals for 103 of their 128 units. The property owner is due for a project refinancing and $515,000 would be used to pay off debt and thus allow them to provide reduced rents. Spring Valley is nestled in a residential community off Route 235 between Pax River’s gates 1 and 2. Spring Valley is operated by Humphrey Management, which manages more than 6,000 rental units in Maryland, Virginia and Pennsylvania.

The Patuxent Habitat for Humanity application will allow them to move two houses slated for demolition as part of the FDR Boulevard project to their property in Patuxent Park. Since those two houses each have large detached garages, the net result would be the creation of four new workforce houses next to the Chief’s Build projects on Habitat-owned land. The county now owns those two houses and they are currently being rented on a month-to-month basis.

Monies from the state grant program come from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Maryland agency administers the funds in close cooperation with the Maryland Department of Business and Economic development. The grant program is designed to assist units of general local government with activities directed toward neighborhood and housing revitalization, economic development, and improved community facilities and services.

A public hearing was held last week on the proposals, but only two members of the press showed up. The programs were explained by HASMC Executive Director Dennis Nicholson, and Robin Finnacom, represented the Habitat board.

The request for support from the commissioners will be made at their May 15 meeting. Deadline for submitting the application is May 17.

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