SILVER SPRING, MD - Montgomery Housing Partnership (MHP), a private nonprofit housing developer, was joined by County Executive Isiah Leggett, September 8, to cut the ribbon on the grand re-opening of its newly renovated Gilbert Highlands development. The project is the first housing development in Maryland to open after utilizing funding from the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act of 2009. The $5.34 million renovation, which began in November, created 28 jobs. Federal, state and local officials were on hand to tour the renovation, which was hailed as a model for the other 28 stimulus-funded projects currently underway in the state.
Source: Montgomery Housing Partnership
"I am thrilled to be here to celebrate Gilbert Highlands," said Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett. "Despite the economic downturn, Montgomery County is continuing to invest in my priority of expanding and preserving affordable housing - working with communities and our non-profit partners."
The completion of Gilbert Highlands raises MHP's total investments in Takoma Park and the Long Branch neighborhoods, through public and private financing, to $40 million over the last 10 years. Gilbert Highlands is a 21-unit affordable rental community located at 8508-8510 Flower Avenue. It was built in 1953, and is within walking distance to stores, schools, county services, and the future Purple Line Metro. The property has an onsite rental office, and a new community room that will house a bilingual preschool and computer lab.
MHP purchased the formerly distressed building from private investors in 2007 with the help of Montgomery County and other partners. As a result of a major renovation, the property now features an array of amenities and sustainable green features, including: new kitchens and bathrooms with energy-efficient appliances and lighting, window and door replacements, new floor finishes and refinished hardwood floors, mostly new plumbing and electrical systems, and individual HVAC systems.
"The preservation of Gilbert Highlands is a model of a successful public-private partnership that included federal, state and county financing focused on a community that desperately needs to remain affordable," said Robert Goldman, President of MHP. "We could not have acquired this development without the support of Montgomery County, and I'm very proud of the end result."
Gilbert Highlands was the first development in the state to receive funding from the Maryland Multifamily Energy Efficiency and Housing Affordability (MEEHA) Program, and also received $1.17 million from the federal stimulus through the tax credit exchange program. It is the first development in Maryland to officially open.
MHP's partners on the Gilbert Highlands project include: Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs; State of Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development; Citi Community Capital; City of Takoma Park; Community Housing Capital; NeighborWorks America; EDG Architects; RKR Construction; Building Consultants, Inc.; and Charles Tini & Associates. MHP is a private, nonprofit housing development organization based in Silver Spring, MD.