Prince George’s honored for efforts to increase affordable housing

The Prince George’s housing department and a local activist were among several affordable housing advocates honored Monday by HAND, the housing association of nonprofit developers.

The “My HOME” program in Prince George’s, launched in 2011 by the county’s housing department, was cited as the “Best Government Housing Initiative,” for aiding first-time home buyers. The program provides loans for down payment, and closing cost assistance to qualified buyers. Purchasers may borrow up to 5 percent of the price of a residential property anywhere in Prince George’s. Buyers must invest a minimum cash contribution of the price of the home or 50 percent of their liquid assets over $3,000, whichever is greater. There is no repayment on the loan if the purchaser remains in the home, as their primary residence for 10 years.

The program is one of several ways Prince George’s, which has the highest rate of foreclosures in Maryland, is trying to assist home buyers. In 2012, the My HOME program assisted 286 buyers.

County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) and Housing and Community Development Director Eric C. Brown accepted the award at HAND’s annual luncheon in Crystal City.

Also honored Monday was Mosi Harrington, founding Executive Director of Housing Initiative Partnership in Prince George’s. In honoring Harrington, HAND cited her recent retirement, and said “it is only fitting that the larger housing and community development field truly honor her years of accomplishments, her advocacy, her can-do spirit. Her absolute refusal to take ‘no’ for an answer.”

HAND’s President’s Award for Lifetime Achievement was given to David Reznick of Potomac, co-founder of accounting firm CohnReznick LLP. Reznick is a longtime advocate for affordable housing in the Washington region.

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