Jo Ellen Bynum

Worcester County Housing Program Administrator Jo Ellen Bynum

(May 3, 2019) After soliciting public comment during an April hearing on community/economic development and housing needs, the Worcester County Commissioners voted unanimously to approve an application to solicit fiscal year 2020 funding through the Maryland Community Development Block Grant Program.

Worcester County Housing Program Administrator Jo Ellen Bynum said the Community Development Block Grant Program, which is federally funded through the Department of Housing and Urban Development, seeks to aid local governments with efforts to revitalize neighborhoods and housing, as well as fostering economic expansion.

The grant program is administered locally by the Maryland Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The Maryland Community Development Block Grant Program provides public funding, in accordance with the Housing and Community Development Act of 1974, for activities that either benefit low or moderate-income individuals, prevent or eliminate slums or blighted areas or meet urgently required community development needs.

Bynum said the state program was recently awarded roughly $7.7 million in federal funding through HUD which is now available to local jurisdictions.

In 2017, Worcester received $300,000 through the Community Development Block Grant Program to rehabilitate 18 owner-occupied homes, with all of those monies currently obligated to ongoing projects.

Bynum said while updates have been completed on 11 of the residencies, the remaining seven properties are in the midst of wrapping up work, which has to be finished by the grant end date of Aug. 31.

Bynum requested the commissioners now approve an application for another $300,000 to support addressing another 18 owner-occupied homes in need of repairs.

Bynum noted the program requires Worcester County to contribute matching funds totaling $75,000, which will met be through in-kind expenditures.

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