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Affordable Housing

Hagerstown Gets Federal Grant for Affordable Housing, Development

Hagerstown will receive more than $770,000 in federal grants for affordable housing and community development work.

U.S. Sens. Ben Cardin and Chris Van Hollen, both D-Md., made the announcement Friday. Hagerstown’s grant of $771,221 was part of nearly $4 million in total awards for communities in Western Maryland, the senators announced.

The money Hagerstown received is its annual Community Development Block Grant award, according to an email sent Monday by Jonathan Kerns, the city’s community development manager, and Wes Decker, the communications officer.

They wrote that the city’s CDBG program focuses on “visible and impactful community development projects.”

“Activities are carried out to revitalize the city’s urban core, to enhance neighborhoods throughout the city, and improve the quality of life for all city residents,” the email states.

According to the email, some recent uses of that money include:

• The acquisition and renovation of vacant properties at 261 S. Prospect St. and 64 E. Franklin St. The homes are available for resale to low- or moderate-income homebuyers.

• The construction of crosswalks at Prospect Avenue/Forest Drive and at Salem Avenue/Linganore Avenue to enhance safety.

• The rehabilitation of the Potterfield Pool filtration system and pool building renovations.

• Construction of National Road Park, which occupies the space where an old market once stood at 806 W. Washington St. The property was acquired through a donation.

In a news release, the senators announced that the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Community Planning and Development allocated $2.4 million combined through the CDBG program for Cumberland, Frederick, Gaithersburg and Hagerstown.

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Fredrick also received more than $1.5 million through the Housing Opportunities for Persons With AIDS Program, which increases affordable housing for low-income people living with AIDS/HIV.

In addition, the state received more than $15 million in grants for jurisdictions across Maryland for low-income and emergency housing.

“Every Marylander — every American — deserves a safe and affordable place to call home,” Cardin said in the news release. “These federal funds target those who need it most — including the low and very-low income, people with HIV-AIDS and their families, and individuals experiencing homelessness — while giving local leaders freedom to address the problem in a way that makes the most sense for their communities.”

The CDBG program provides annual grants to states and local governments to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment, and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.

“These federal investments have a positive, real world impact on people across our state, including right here in Western Maryland. This is a successful targeted program to expand economic opportunity and to provide a hand-up to people struggling to make ends meet,” Van Hollen said.

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