Senator Eckardt’s update: Funds available for housing, economic development

By Addie Eckardt, Special to Dorchester Banner
Posted 5/20/22

ANNAPOLIS - The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development recently announced the Fiscal Year 2023 application round for six State Revitalization Programs will open May 19.

These …

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Senator Eckardt’s update: Funds available for housing, economic development


ANNAPOLIS - The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development recently announced the Fiscal Year 2023 application round for six State Revitalization Programs will open May 19.

These programs offer funding to support local housing, community and economic development and other revitalization projects. They are part of the department’s commitment to helping the state’s local governments and nonprofit agencies achieve their community revitalization and economic development goals.

Specifically, Governor Hogan’s Fiscal Year 2023 budget includes the following for State Revitalization programs:

  • Community Legacy: $8 million capital
  • Strategic Demolition Fund – Statewide: $9 million capital
  • Strategic Demolition Fund – Project C.O.R.E. (Creating Opportunities for Renewal and Enterprise): $21 million capital
  • Baltimore Regional Neighborhood Initiative: $12 million capital
  • National Capital Strategic Economic Development Fund: $7 million capital
  • Seed Community Development Anchor Institution Fund: $10 million capital

If this is your first time applying to one of the aforementioned State Revitalization Programs, contact a regional project manager for more information and to determine your eligibility.

Applications will be due Wednesday, July 13, at 3 p.m. The application portal will open on Thursday, May 19.

Salisbury School

Celebrating 50-plus years of educational excellence, The Salisbury School welcomed and hosted the Salisbury Area Chamber of Commerce and its members to its May 2022 Business After Hours. I was happy to attend this event and present the school with a resolution from the Senate and a citation from the office of Gov. Larry Hogan.

The Salisbury School is an innovative, award-winning educational institution for pre-K through 12th grade based in Salisbury. Their whole-child approach and experiential college-bound curriculum, develops caring, confident students who are prepared to thrive as global citizens.

Mental Health Awareness Month

May is observed as Mental Health Awareness Month. Studies show that one in every two people will face a mental health disorder at one point in their lives. For local resources to assist yourself and those you care about, consult the Mid-Shore’s Resource Guide.

Talbot Wins NACo Award

The National Association of Counties recently announced the winners for the 2022 Achievement Awards. Talbot County received the 2022 NACo Achievement Award for their Creativity in County Government.

Until recently, “resiliency” was a word relegated to spelling bees and college entrance exams. Few people thought about the actual meaning of the word. Officials in Talbot County are an exception.

The Department of Emergency Services, with the support of County Council leadership, has long been on the forefront of resiliency planning. Leaders are committed to cultivating the grit, hardiness and structure a community needs to recover quickly from natural disasters and other threats. Indeed, this rural county on the Eastern Shore of the Chesapeake Bay created a Hazard Mitigation and Community Resiliency Plan years before the novel coronavirus swept the globe. The COVID-19 pandemic simply put this plan to the test.

St. Michaels Community Center

The St. Michaels Community Center is beginning the first capital campaign in its 32-year history to renew, rebuild and revitalize its aged building in the town’s Historic District.

The St. Michaels Community Center purchased its Railroad Avenue headquarters in 2015. The structure was constructed before World War II as a lumber storage warehouse. It’s had only minimal changes and upgrades since then.

The nonprofit has made do with its crudely constructed interior, no windows, no heat or air conditioning in most of the building, and without handicapped accessibility, among other issues.

The planned renovations will include a fully equipped modern commercial kitchen to expand food distribution and meal service to those in need, and training for jobs in restaurants and hotels. Bright, well-equipped classrooms and a multipurpose room for community gatherings are included in the plans, with the Community Center anticipating double the number of people making use of the center compared to today’s participation levels, once the new building is fully operational.

More than half of the necessary funding already has been raised, including $1.225 million from the state of Maryland. The nonprofit is now inviting the public to participate in fundraising for the new building, with naming opportunities and more in the works before an anticipated 2022 groundbreaking.

Architectural renderings of the new building and more about SMCC’s capital improvements, including information about how to support the campaign, can be found at

Body Armor to Ukraine

Gov. Larry Hogan announced the shipment of a multimillion-dollar aid package, including medical supplies and body armor, to support the people of Odesa, Ukraine — a sister city of Baltimore.

The Maryland Department of Health is donating more than 485,000 bandages and wound care supplies, 95 Eternity mechanical ventilators for hospital intensive care units, and 50 Astral portable ventilators. The aid package also includes nearly 200 pieces of body armor, consisting of tactical vests and shields, which have been donated by the Maryland State Police.

Additional medical supplies have been donated to the Paul Chester Children’s Hope Foundation — a Dickerson-based grassroots medical organization that provides surgical care to people in developing countries — to support the treatment of children and adults wounded during Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Maryland Department of General Services and United Help Ukraine — a grassroots organization that collects and supplies medical and humanitarian aid to Ukraine — is providing logistical and other support. The ventilators were recently set to depart the United States and the other supplies should depart soon and arrive in Ukraine, including in the Baltimore sister city of Odesa, in the coming days and weeks.

Maryland Department of the Environment

Last week, Gov. Larry Hogan announced the appointment of Horacio Tablada as secretary of the Maryland Department of the Environment.

Tablada currently serves as deputy secretary of the Department of the Environment. He has more than three decades of experience as an environmental leader in Maryland, with accomplishments that include the environmental oversight of the redevelopment of the former Sparrows Point steel mill site and the state’s highly successful program to reduce childhood blood lead poisoning. He succeeds Secretary Ben Grumbles, who has been appointed executive director of the Environmental Council of the States.

A native of Nicaragua, Deputy Secretary Tablada has served in management and technical capacities in state environmental regulatory programs since 1985. Prior to being named deputy secretary in 2015, he was director of the Department of the Environment’s Land Management Administration for more than a decade, overseeing brownfield redevelopment of former industrial sites, recycling and waste diversion, management of solid waste and hazardous waste, fuel facilities, mining and lead paint poisoning prevention.

Gov. Hogan has also appointed Suzanne Dorsey as deputy secretary of the Department of the Environment. She currently serves as assistant secretary of the agency.

Dorsey has been assistant secretary for the Department of the Environment since February 2019, working with the agency’s Water and Science Administration on Chesapeake Bay restoration and issues that require cross-agency collaboration on greenhouse gas reduction, climate resiliency, environmental justice, public health, and government transparency. She previously was executive director of the Harry R. Hughes Center for Agro-Ecology at the University of Maryland.

Addie Eckardt represents District 37 in the Maryland State Senate.