Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford, Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and DHCD Secretary Kenneth C. Holt announce the “Maryland Grand Slam in Baltimore City” initiative at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on Sept. 2. (Photo DHCD)
On Sept. 2 Lt. Governor Boyd Rutherford along with Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake and Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) Secretary Kenneth C. Holt announced the “Maryland Grand Slam in Baltimore City” initiative at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
“Maryland Grand Slam will help us change Maryland for the better by giving hardworking families the extra boost they need to get into the home of their dreams,” Governor Larry Hogan said in a statement. “A strong housing market is key to a strong economy. This initiative will help more families become homeowners and will improve our economy.”
Maryland Grand Slam is a $3 million program, funded by both the City and the State, aimed at building stronger communities in Baltimore City through homeownership. According to the DHCD Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) website, the program ” will help an estimated 400 homebuyers increase their purchasing power through the Maryland Mortgage Program, the state’s premier home loan product.” Per the website the “Maryland Grand Slam in Baltimore City” comes with four major benefits to homebuyers:
- An interest rate 0.25% below the regular Maryland Mortgage Program Rate.
- $5,000 for down payment assistance in the form of an outright grant from the state. (The Hogan administration has allocated $2 million from Maryland’s rainy day fund for this initiative.)
- $2,500 grant for down payment and closing cost assistance from the City of Baltimore. (Baltimore’s Board of Estimates approved $1 million for this initiative.)
- A federal tax credit through the Maryland HomeCredit program that can save the homeowner tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. In addition, Maryland is waiving its usual fee for a savings of as much as $450.
The DHCD MMP website says “In addition, eligible borrowers can layer the Maryland Grand Slam in Baltimore City with Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake’s Baltimore Homeownership Incentive Program (B-HiP) for buying a home in Baltimore City.” Qualifying incentive programs include:
- Vacants to Value Booster Program ($10,000)
- Live Near Your Work (city/employer matching funds)
- Baltimore City Employee Homeownership Program ($5,000),
- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) Homeownership Assistance Program ($5,000)
- Buying Into Baltimore
- City Living Starts Here ($5,000)
According to the site, Maryland State employees may qualify for up to an additional $2,500 from the “Baltimore City Live Near Your Work” program.
David Pridgen, SRES, CDPE of Realty Executives Premier Group, said “I believe the Maryland Grand Slam homebuyer initiative will be a great boost to help Baltimore homebuyers who may not have the available funds for down payment when purchasing, which is the biggest hurdle for many buyers. We have to keep these programs available on a consistent basis and make sure that the public is informed and educated to know this type of funding is available.”
The program is modeled after a similar initiative which was debuted last year by DHCD called the “MMP TriplePlay Initiative in Prince George’s County”. That program sold out in only a few months after it was launched and they are expecting similar interest in this version.
Maryland Grand Slam in Baltimore City will run through Dec. 31, or until its down payment assistance funds run dry. For more information visit http://mmp.maryland.gov/GrandSlam/Pages/default.aspx.