Cambridge Main Street – Bringing new life to downtown Cambridge MD

Cambridge Main Street is a community and economic development non-profit working for downtown Cambridge. The organization is experiencing a revival of support centered around it’s mission to revitalize the core of the city. Once a thriving commercial hub where shoppers came to large downtown department stores like Leggett’s, Sear’s, Montgomery Ward and more, the organization has been working with new property owners and tenants to re-imagine a new downtown economy. Now the home to an established foodie scene, and capitalizing on the vibrant music & cultural history, the organization is working on new projects centered around re-branding the downtown as a destination, working with downtown businesses to pool resources for marketing and promotions, and leading the way in new flagship events to attract new energy and attention and foot traffic to the downtown. The organization is also working on projects focused on creative placemaking and beautification that create a vibrant public space, helping residents and visitors feel welcome and helping to keep them around downtown longer and more frequently.

The photo is from Taste of Cambridge event from the summer 2017.


Southern MD Tri-County Community Action works to alleviate poverty in Southern MD

Southern Maryland Tri-County Community Action Committee, Inc.  (SMTCCAC, Inc.), located in Hughesville, Maryland, was established as a private non-profit corporation in 1965.  Under the laws of the State of Maryland and the federal government, SMTCCAC is the designated agency to combat poverty and serve individuals and families who have low-incomes residing in Charles, St. Mary’s and Calvert counties.  Our mission— “ to provides services for eligible citizens that alleviate the causes and conditions of poverty, promote upward mobility and enrich the quality of life”. Service programs include:  Head Start, Housing Counseling , Career Training/Commercial Driver’s License,  Maryland Energy Assistance, Emergency Food Assistance, Adult Medical Daycare, Senior Companion and Affordable Rental Housing.  In 2016, services were provided to 21,800 consumers. To address the issues of self sufficiency the agency operates with a budget of about $8.5 million  dollars.



Allegany County Human Resource Development Commission improves lives by addressing community conditions

The Allegany County Human Resources Development Commission is a non-profit Community Action Agency which strives to eliminate social and economic barriers to promote individual and community stability through services, advocacy and collaboration.  Since 1965, HRDC has played a critical role in assisting low-income and elderly residents of Allegany County meet their basic needs.  Through the agency’s’ thirty-two programs and dedicated, caring staff, HRDC is continuing to meet its mission by improving lives and addressing community conditions.

Some examples of the important work include:

Construction of a 20,000 sq/ft LEED Gold Facility for HRDC’s Administrative Offices that has been the impetus for the revitalization of the former central business district.


Acquisition of vacant property that was renovated to serve as a Job Training Center


Acquisition of a vacant industrial laundry facility to serve as a Head Start and Early Head Start Center


Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake provides safe, decent, affordable housing throughout Central Maryland



Seeking to put God’s love into action, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake brings people together to build homes, communities, and hope. Since its inception in 1982, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake has partnered with more than 700 families in Baltimore City, and Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties to make their dream of homeownership a reality.

As Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake has expanded over the years, it has grown from rehabilitating or building one individual house at a time to focusing on revitalizing entire neighborhoods. With so many Central Maryland homes in need of repair, especially within Baltimore City, Habitat Chesapeake now rehabilitates houses as part of our greater effort to transform entire communities. Rehabbing homes throughout a neighborhood helps to build strong community relations between all neighbors. Habitat Chesapeake coaches and encourages homebuyers to become a vital part of their community through participation in community associations and other activities.

Habitat for Humanity does more than build houses – it partners with homebuyers, volunteers, donors, businesses and community organizations to transform lives and rebuild communities. Through Homebuyer Academy classes and investment in “sweat equity” hours volunteering on the construction site, homeowners learn the skills necessary to successfully own and maintain a home for the rest of their lives. These individual homeowners become part of a larger group that works to bring change and new life to communities. Through community planning and neighborhood engagement, Habitat Chesapeake encourages the growth of healthy communities throughout Central Maryland.

We are at a unique crossroads in Baltimore and throughout Central Maryland – the need for affordable housing grows greater and so does our determination and commitment to do more.  With its recent merger with Habitat Sandtown, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake’s reach continues to expand. Construction forecasts for the next three years include work in the Sandtown, Woodbourne-McCabe, Mt Winans and Orchard Ridge communities in Baltimore City, as well as properties in Anne Arundel, Baltimore and Howard counties.

Construction Costs

To keep the cost of building durable and energy-efficient homes as low as possible, Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake relies on volunteers to assist the construction staff and subcontractors on the build sites and partners with a number of organizations in order to purchase quality construction materials at discounted rates.


Once construction is completed and homebuyers move into their homes, it is important that home operation and maintenance costs remain affordable. To keep these bills low, each home is built with energy efficient materials and standards in mind. This improved functionality helps lower monthly bills and also reduces the carbon footprint of each Habitat home.

Find out more at

Ocean City Development Corporation revitalizes downtown Ocean City

cd week_oc mainstreet building


The Ocean City Development Corporation (OCDC) was incorporated in 2000 as a nonprofit organization and is a 501(c) (3) charitable organization.  The OCDC is charged with revitalizing downtown Ocean City.

The OCDC targeted the area from 4th Street to the Inlet for its original revitalization efforts, but has expanded this area to 17th Street.  In March 2012 the OCDC absorbed the Boardwalk Development Association (BDA) and has now moved its programs onto the Boardwalk.  This area is also classified as a Sustainable Communities Area (2013), and a Main Street Maryland community (Inlet to 4th Street in 2012) by the State of Maryland.  Ocean City does not have an historic district, but the downtown area operates under two sets of design standards that were developed by the OCDC.  All new construction and renovation are required to adhere to these design standards that have been approved and codified by the Town of Ocean City.

The OCDC is involved in a variety of activities in the downtown area ranging from implementing several grant programs (Façade Improvement, Green Building, Roof, Fence, and Business Assistance), public art projects, management of seasonal employee housing, design and site plan review, capital improvement projects, land acquisition, and special events.

The OCDC receives funding from the Town of Ocean City, Worcester County, grants, membership dues, housing management services, annual golf tournament, parking lot management, and donations.  All of its public art projects are funded through private contributions.  It also has access to the Town of Ocean City’s Inlet Parking Lot Trust Fund which is used for downtown capital projects and land acquisition.

The OCDC website is:

1405 Baltimore Ave.  before 1405 Baltimore Avenue. after

1401 Baltimore Avenue before                                                 1401 Baltimore Avenue after


Arundel Community Development Services impacts multiple areas in Anne Arundel County

Arundel Community Development Services, Inc. (ACDS) is a private, nonprofit corporation established in 1993 by Anne Arundel County, Maryland, to create and retain affordable housing opportunities and to ensure the efficient delivery of community development services to those most in need.  ACDS staff consists of professionals dedicated to improving the quality of life for low and moderate income residents and those with special requirements, such as the homeless, the elderly and the disabled.  We search out and manage federal, State, and local government funds, as well as private resources, bringing a private sector mentality to the management of public funds.  Our success stems from creative partnerships with local governments, private developers, nonprofit organizations and community groups.  We have taken the expertise we have gained in this field over 20 years as a nonprofit serving Anne Arundel County and begun to offer our services to other local jurisdictions in the region seeking help in administering similar programs. The ACDS mission is to:

  • revitalize declining neighborhoods through the targeting of joint public and private investment;
  • preserve and increase the supply of affordable housing for both tenants and owners through comprehensive property rehabilitation programs;
  • promote homeownership through financial support, homebuyer education and construction of affordable units;
  • ensure housing for those with special needs, including the homeless, the elderly, and the physically and mentally challenged;
  • enhance the quality of life in low income communities by providing community facilities and services to children, youth and families, and supporting job training and placement; and
  • preserve our rich cultural history through wide ranging restoration efforts.

ACDS is currently under contract with Anne Arundel County and the City of Annapolis to administer federal housing and community development funds, and with the State of Maryland to serve as a local administrator of Special Loan Programs.  In addition to overseeing the general administration of federal, State and County housing and community development funding, ACDS directly operates homeownership and foreclosure prevention counseling programs, a property rehabilitation program, an accessibility modifications program, group home and single family acquisition and rehabilitation programs, and a down payment and closing cost assistance program.  ACDS also actively works as a nonprofit developer to acquire and rehabilitate distressed homes in targeted neighborhood revitalization areas for sale or rent to income eligible households, as well as developing newly constructed units as affordable homeownership opportunities.  ACDS staff actively manages a portfolio of over 45 residential rental units, while ensuring tenants meet current income eligibility requirements as required by project funding sources. In addition, ACDS manages the Continuum of Care (COC) homeless planning process on behalf of Anne Arundel County, including preparing the County’s annual application for funding and administering approximately $2 million in COC funding for over 14 homeless programs each year.

Homes for America celebrates 20 years of providing quality affordable housing

Corner House Exterior


Homes for America (HFA) is a nonprofit housing developer and owner of affordable rental housing headquartered in Annapolis, Maryland. Co-founded by Nancy Rase, HFA’s President and CEO, and Trudy McFall, Chairman of the Board, the organization has just celebrated its 20th anniversary. HFA is particularly proud that all of its communities are top quality, service enriched, and serve large numbers of very low income residents and persons with disabilities.

The following are the highlights of HFA’s 20 years of accomplishments:

Created 71 service enriched housing communities, provided 5,500 apartment homes in 4 states.

Worked with 28 development partners

  • 14 for profit entities
  • 14 nonprofit organizations and housing authorities

Employed 14 property management, 19 architectural, and 16 construction firms.

Secured over $500 million to fund HFA affordable housing communities

  • Over $300 million in public and private funding from 27 federal, state and local funders, 19 private lenders, and 5 foundations
  • Over $212 million in tax credit equity from 9 syndicators.

Providing $2 million in funding annually for resident services at HFA communities.

Created ownership and rehabilitation homes for 87 low and moderate income homeowners.

Received 28 awards for outstanding work from national, regional, state and local entities.

Find our more about Homes for America at


HIP HOMES program strengthens communities in Prince George’s County

HIP HOMES is a single family acquisition rehab program developed by the Housing Initiative Partnership, Inc. in Prince George’s County.

Housing Initiative Partnership, Inc. (HIP) is an innovative green developer based in Prince George’s County.  HIP’s mission is to remove blight, revitalize communities, create housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income people, and improve the quality of life in the neighborhoods we serve.  HIP is also a HUD-certified housing counseling agency providing foreclosure counseling and first-time homebuyer counseling services as well as financial capability training through its Bounce Back program.  HIP has developed over 270 affordable apartments, renovated 60 homes for sale to first time homebuyer’s and counsels over 2,000 clients every year in pre-purchase, foreclosure prevention and financial capability.

In response to the foreclosure crisis in Prince George’s County, HIP has expanded its HIP HOMES program.  With this program, HIP purchases vacant, often foreclosed, dilapidated homes and substantially renovates them to Energy Star standards.   They take the worst homes on the street and transform them into the nicest homes.  HIP aggressively replaces all the systems, including mechanical, electrical and plumbing as needed, installs significant insulation and air sealing, update kitchens and baths, lighting fixtures, flooring, and installs Water Sense fixtures.   HIP’s signature design feature is a front porch, which not only improves the curb appeal of the home, but encourages residents to spend more time in front of their homes getting to know their neighbors.  HIP takes great pride in driving through its communities and seeing neighbors replicating these porches, a true sign of change and neighborhood investment.

HIP works primarily inside the Beltway in Prince George’s County.  Much of its work has been targeted to the Palmer Park neighborhood in Landover as well as Suitland through the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.  Homes are sold to first-time homebuyers earning 80% or less of median income.  In addition to being income qualified, homebuyers must complete HUD-certified homebuyer education and meet one-on-one with one of HIP’s counselors to ensure they are truly ready for the joys and challenges of homeownership.

Pictured here is the before photo of a duplex on Hylton Street in Seat Pleasant, Prince George’s County, and the finished product.

7243 & 7241 Hylton St -- After
7243 & 7241 Hylton -- Before

Mary Maryland

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