By CBS Baltimore Staff

BALTIMORE, Md. (WJZ) — Gov. Larry Hogan on Wednesday announced a $10 million pilot program to create homeownership opportunities and revitalize neighborhoods in Baltimore City and Cambridge.

The Homeownership Works (HOW) pilot program will rehab historic homes in Johnston Square in Baltimore City and a Cambridge neighborhood to encourage potential buyers. The locations for the program were chosen so the program could focus on concentrated areas in one urban community and one rural community.

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The funding will also provide pro bono legal services for lower-income homeowners to solve title issues that restrict their ability to access grants and loans

“Homeownership Works is a game-changing approach that will serve as a national best practice for community renewal,” said Governor Hogan. “The program will revitalize neighborhoods to encourage new homeownership while helping existing homeowners and creating healthier housing markets.”

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The pilot program will also help existing homeowners by providing home repairs and significant facade improvements.

“Even if a home is historic, it needs to be maintained, and housing values in many older historic neighborhoods are declining due to aging and the prevalence of vacant and deteriorated housing stock, and the cost to restore or build new housing,” said Secretary Kenneth C. Holt of DHCD. “This new, targeted homeownership initiative will help fill that financial gap, creating new affordable homeownership opportunities, helping existing homeowners, and stabilizing irreplaceable historic communities.”

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The governor’s office said more than 100 Maryland homeowners are expected to benefit from new affordable homeownership opportunities

CBS Baltimore Staff