The Housing Opportunities program aims to:
- Improve housing stock and preserve neighborhoods by working with community-based organizations
- Create homeownership opportunities
- Assist homeowners in bringing their residences up to Baltimore County codes and standards
- Stimulate the development and redevelopment of high quality multifamily housing for County renters
The County's commitment—within its fiscal capacity—is to ensure that each of its residents has the resources to enjoy a high quality of life and that each of its communities is livable and attractive. Among these resources is the right of fair and equal access to housing that is decent, safe, sanitary and affordable. The County is making an effort to maintain its institutional and financial capacity to ensure the availability of housing for all its citizens.
The County will undertake the following activities to maintain and increase access to affordable housing by:
- Assisting first-time low-to-moderate income homebuyers to purchase existing homes within the community conservation areas
- Increasing the availability of affordable and workforce housing within existing older communities
- Creating housing opportunities for populations with special needs, including the elderly, people with disabilities and households of low or fixed income
- Building and increasing community-based capacity to acquire and rehabilitate existing housing as part of a community-based redevelopment strategy
- Promoting the use of sustainable design and green housing techniques in the construction of and the rehabilitation of affordable housing
- Promoting maintenance of the current supply of decent, affordable, assisted housing within the context of stable, well-maintained and well-serviced neighborhoods
- Promoting full utilization of all existing subsidies, including Housing Choice Vouchers
- Providing opportunities for economic self-sufficiency and asset development needed to empower assisted housing program participants
- Promoting fair housing and equal opportunity in housing
These activities represent sound investments in the future of the County, as well as in the future of each of its citizens. These activities complement the County's broader housing strategies that are not necessarily income-based, but focus on the stabilization and revitalization of older neighborhoods. These strategies also build community capacity necessary to address housing issues and to increase the supply of affordable, decent and safe housing.
Closing Cost Program
The Settlement Expense Loan Program (SELP) provides assistance to low and moderate income, first-time homebuyers. The County can lend up to $10,000 to income-eligible purchasers to help pay closing costs required in the purchase of an existing home within the designated Community Conservation Areas of Baltimore County.
Assistance from SELP is in the form of a deferred loan that is forgivable if the homeowner occupies the property as their principal residence during the period of affordability as required by the HOME Investment Partnerships Act regulations. The period of affordability is 15 years.
You must first attend a First Time Homebuyer Two-Part Class and a Workshop.
After attending the Two-Part Class, you must also make an appointment for individual financial counseling with a housing counselor. This will all be explained at the Homebuyer Workshop. You are not eligible for a SELP loan if you already have a signed contract to buy a house.
Candidates can apply for SELP through Baltimore County’s housing counseling agencies:
Diversified Housing Development, Inc. (DHD) provides free homebuyer education (workshops), homebuyer counseling and foreclosure counseling.
Address: 8025 Liberty Road, Windsor Mill, Maryland 21244
Eastside Community Development Corporation, Inc. provides free homebuyers education (workshops), homebuyer counseling, financial literacy counseling and foreclosure counseling.
Address: Eastpoint Mall, 7835 Eastern Avenue, Suite 302, Baltimore, Maryland 21224
Harbel Housing Partnership provides free homebuyer education (workshops), homebuyers counseling and counseling to senior homeowners and renters.
Address: 5807 Harford Road, Baltimore, Maryland 21214
St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center provides free homebuyers education (workshops), homebuyer counseling, financial literacy counseling, foreclosure counseling and legal assistance to low income and senior residents of Baltimore County.
Address: 321 East 25th Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21218
The Maryland Mortgage Program (MMP) provides assistance through its Down Payment and Settlement Expense Loan Program (DSELP) provided the applicant has been approved for a Community Development Administration (CDA) loan.
Housing rehabilitation loan programs are designed to assist income-eligible homeowners with low cost or no cost loans to correct hazardous conditions, eliminate safety hazards, repair or replace major systems, correct interior and exterior deficiencies, energy improvements, modifications for persons with disabilities and eliminate lead-based paint hazards. Three housing rehabilitation loan programs are available to County residents:
- Single Family Rehabilitation Loan Program
- Maryland Housing Rehabilitation Program
- Lead Hazard Reduction Grant and Loan Program
Lead Safe Baltimore County Grant Program
The Lead Safe Baltimore County grant program is designed to reduce lead hazards in homes in the targeted Community Conservation areas through a comprehensive plan of lead hazard reduction, economic development, job training, outreach and education. This program dramatically reduces the risk of lead poisoning in the homes of young children within the targeted communities.
The long-term effects of lead in a child can be severe. They include learning disabilities, decreased growth, hyperactivity, impaired hearing and even brain damage.
Anyone living in or owning a house in Baltimore County can apply for this grant program. To qualify for a grant, a property will have to meet the following specifications:
The property must be located in a Neighborhood Improvement target ZIP code. Those ZIP codes are: 21117, 21133, 21136, 21162, 21204, 21206, 21207, 21208, 21209, 21212, 21215, 21220, 21221, 21222, 21224, 21227, 21228, 21229, 21230, 21234, 21237, 21239, 21244, 21286
The property must have been built prior to 1978.
A child under the age of six must live at or frequently visit the property.
The property must contain at least one bedroom.
The property must have a lead-based paint hazard which will be determined by a qualified Baltimore County lead hazard risk assessor.
If assistance is provided to a rental property, the owner must rent to families with children under the age of 6 for at least three years after project completion.
This is a grant program. There are no loans, costs or obligations that any homeowners or tenants will be responsible for. Each property will be reviewed by a licensed risk assessor to determine what scope of work will best suit each household. This may include window and door replacement, replacement of any finish work such as baseboards and molding, replacement of any other painted surface that may be a lead hazard, repainting of deteriorated surfaces, and any other work that will reduce the total lead hazard of the property to a safe level. Our office has compiled a list of certified contractors that the homeowner will be able to choose from.
It is highly recommended that any occupants allow us to relocate them during any lead abatement work. Relocation expenses are covered within the grant program. Temporary housing will be chosen based on what is most convenient for the grantees. If any occupants wish to remain in the house, they may do so as long as they sign a waiver.
Occupants of the property must not exceed HUD income limits listed below.
|Household Size||Income Cannot Exceed Per Year|
To apply for this grant, submit completed application forms to firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Lead Safe Baltimore County at 410-887-3668 to make an appointment for assistance with filling out the application and answering questions.
The following documents are PDFs that open in a new window.
- Employment Verification Form—This form must be filled out by the employers of any owner occupied or tenant applicants. Landlords do not need this document.
- Hazard Control Blood Testing Form
- No Mortgage Form
- Non-Resident Child Form
- Zero Income Form
For Owner Occupied
LifeBridge Health Live Near Your Work Program
The Live Near Your Work Program is a partnership between LifeBridge Health and Baltimore County designed to encourage homeownership and maintain strong neighborhoods in Baltimore County communities near Northwest and Sinai Hospitals. This program is only available to LifeBridge Health employees. Call LifeBridge Employee Services for more information at 410-601-8000.
The benefits to employees are:
- $5,000 maximum to be used toward down payment or closing costs for LifeBridge employees who purchase homes in four designated Baltimore County priority neighborhoods closest to Northwest Hospital ($2,500 from Baltimore County and $2,500 from LifeBridge).
- $3,500 toward down payment or closing costs for a home purchased in three Baltimore County priority neighborhoods ($2,500 from Baltimore County and $1,000 from LifeBridge).
- $1,000 toward down payment or closing costs from LifeBridge toward a home purchased in the general geographic area of Northwest and Sinai Hospitals.
LifeBridge employees who purchase homes in Baltimore County communities near LifeBridge Health facilities are eligible for this program. Restrictions to the program are:
- Home buyer must work for LifeBridge Health.
- Buyer must contribute at least $1,000 towards purchase and must use the property as the principal residence.
- There are household income limits for the Baltimore County Live Near Your Work funds.
View a map of communities eligible for benefits from the program (PDF). Those in the yellow area are eligible for the $1,000 benefit, the light green areas are eligible for the $3,500 benefit, and the dark green areas are eligible for the $5,000 benefit.
Multifamily Development Financing
The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) provides only gap financing to assist developers. Developers are strongly advised to pursue all funding sources available and not view Baltimore County as a primary or sole source of project financing. Funding gaps may be filled with a variety of sources, including grants, loans and bonds. Each source requires a repayment schedule that will be mutually agreed upon by the developer and Department of Planning.
The Department will make every effort to assist those development teams that require direction and guidance as it pertains to local, State and Federal regulations. Each development proposal should incorporate any HUD and State requirements.
Our Development Guide (PDF) provides information that developers need to successfully comply with the County’s requirements for new construction or rehabilitation of affordable housing in Baltimore County.