ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) — Gov. Larry Hogan’s administration is highlighting a Maryland program that enables young adults to cut student loan debt while buying a home.

The governor marked the anniversary of the Maryland SmartBuy 2.0 initiative on Tuesday.

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A pilot program began in 2016. Hogan extended it in July of 2018.

He put $3 million in the last fiscal year’s budget for the program, and that has been doubled this fiscal year to $6 million.

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State officials say it’s the first program of its kind in the nation that’s trying to address the decline in homeownership rates among younger, millennial Marylanders.

The administration says nearly 60 percent of Maryland college students graduate with thousands of dollars in student debt.

The program’s mortgage loans are provided through the state’s Maryland Mortgage Program.

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