Frederick County's new Affordable Housing Land Trust recently settled on the first property that will be rehabilitated and sold to a qualified buyer. An estimated 20-30 more homes may be available to qualified buyers each year.
The Frederick Board of County Commissioners partnered with Habitat for Humanity of Frederick County and approved $50,000 in funding to help start the housing land trust on September 12. The nonprofit will offer Frederick County residents reduced prices on vacant, abandoned and foreclosed residential properties. The land trust will purchase low priced homes and rehabilitate them for sale.
In addition to the start-up funding provided by the county, the board in November, 2012, authorized the Frederick County Department of Housing and Community Development for a grant through the Maryland Neighborhood Conservation Initiative, part of which would be used to establish the land trust and purchase the first properties. In April 2013, the settle authorized a one million dollar grant to support two components of the application, a down payment assistance component and the establishment of the land trust.
"We are delighted to be part of this very special new program that will help more people fulfill their dream of personal home ownership in Frederick County and also allow us to use our skills in fixing up properties around the county," said Executive Director Ron Cramer, Habitat for Humanity, Frederick County.
Qualified homebuyers must meet certain criteria, including that they must live or work in Frederick County and may make no more than 80 percent of the area's median income. Total earnings for an individual are required to be under $60,500, and for a four-person household, the earnings must be under $85,850.
This is the first land trust in Maryland under the new Affordable Housing Land Trust Act that went into effect on October 1, 2010.