Sustainable Communities (SC) Designation

On November 26, 2012, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Raymond A. Skinner and Maryland Department of Planning Secretary Richard E. Hall announced the designation of Baltimore City under the state's Sustainable Communities Act of 2010.  

Program Overview

The State’s Sustainable Community (SC) program is a geographic designation to more efficiently allocate and concentrate resources to support coordinated revitalization efforts.  The program is managed by the State Housing Department’s Division of Neighborhood Revitalization.  Designation as a Sustainable Community is required to be eligible for such grant programs as Community Legacy, Strategic Demolition and Smart Growth Impact Funds and for Sustainable Communities Tax Credit. 

Sustainable Community designations are submitted by and awarded to jurisdictions.  Organizations whose projects are located in a Sustainable Community area are then eligible to apply for grants, tax credits or other resources.  In order to be designated as a Sustainable Community, jurisdictions submit a Sustainable Community plan that consists of a specific geography and a broad set of revitalization goals that support housing, transportation, economic development and neighborhood revitalization and strategies to achieve these goals. 

More information on the latest designation is available here: Sustainable Community Modification Update

Background

As part of its commitment to smart growth, the State of Maryland adopted the Sustainable Communities Act of 2010.  This legislation resulted in a variety of state programs, such as Community Legacy and Designated Neighborhoods, which were consolidated under the umbrella of the Sustainable Communities program. The Act established a way to coordinate State grant, loan and tax credit investment tools in a targeted way to better revitalize Maryland’s older communities. 

For municipalities like Baltimore, this program means added support for strengthening redevelopment initiatives, stimulating the local economy, and creating job opportunities in the Region to help reduce the City’s unemployment rate.  Under the Sustainable Communities program, the Department of Planning coordinated Baltimore’s application to the MD Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) for designation, by strategically identifying geographic areas as Sustainable Communities.  Areas included within the Sustainable Communities boundary will therefore have priority or enhanced access to state funding and incentive programs.   

Based on the requirements of the program, some areas were automatically included in the SC area, including: Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) Zones and State designated Transit Oriented Developments (TODs).