Tag Archives: Maryland

An Affordable Housing Success Story

IHA’s mission is to strengthen communities and improve the quality of life and economic stability for seniors, working families and individuals through the creation and preservation of affordable housing. For Amanda Lambert, an original tenant at Penn Avenue Townhomes in Cumberland, Maryland, these goals have been achieved through homeownership. This is a FANTASTIC success for Amanda and IHA could not be happier to see her achieve this dream.

Pictured below: Amanda and her kids outside of their Penn Avenue Townhome.

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Lacy Ames, Special Project Coordinator, had the opportunity to interview Amanda about her experience, her future, and any advice she has for those struggling to obtain affordable housing.

Prior to moving into Penn Avenue Townhomes, Amanda rented a house down the street which was much more expensive and more space than she needed. This left her with virtually no money to cover other routine expenses, let along invest in the future. As a single mother to a little boy named Jameson, Amanda knew she had to find something more affordable.  Penn Avenue Townhomes opened in 2012 and Amanda was one of the first tenants in the community.

During her time at Penn Avenue Townhomes, Amanda was able to begin putting money aside for a home of her own. Amanda stated during our interview that she “didn’t look to stay here forever”. Amanda came in with the mindset that she wanted to prepare for a future home for her family. Working towards this dream, Amanda took advantage of all the resources available. Her son attended community events and various children’s projects. Additionally, Amanda stated she could always rely on the Property Manager and maintenance staff to keep her townhouse well-maintained and running smoothly. She even learned some basic home maintenance along the way. She also utilized resources provided by the Supportive Services Coordinator to learn the specific steps to homeownership.

A piece of advice she has for others who are utilizing affordable housing but would like to own a house of their own in the future, is to be patient. It takes TIME and PERSISTENCE to save enough money. She said she would take notice of the amount of maintenance that would need to be done, even just the need for new lightbulbs, and understand that she would need to save enough money to be ready for all the unexpected, maintenance costs that go along with owning a home. The Cumberland area can be very pricey and owning a home would have been difficult to do years ago as a single mother. However, after 5 years in an affordable townhome, she was able to reach her dreams.

Pictured above: Amanda, her fiancé Michael and their new home

Amanda recently got engaged to her fiancé Michael, who very creatively proposed via  live dance video. Her life has recently been very busy with the engagement, recent birth of her daughter Lily, and of course purchasing the home of her dreams. She is READY and EXCITED to move into her new space, into a place she can call her own.

 

IHA is honored to have been part of Amanda and her family’s journey. We hope this success story provides those in similar situations the motivation and confidence that their dream of homeownership could come true as well!

 

 

 

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Weinberg House Events

This has been an exciting week at the Weinberg House! The Weinberg House is a property owned by IHA which is located in downtown Frederick off Broadway Street. The property  offers 23 one-bedroom apartments serving seniors earning 50% or less of the Area Median Income. This is a wonderful facility that serves an underserved population! This week Legal & General America provided two FANTASTIC events for this community. 

Legal & General America contracted with BrightView to create this beautiful garden for our residents at the Weinberg House! A bench is set to be delivered in the next few weeks for the residents too!

Pictured: LGA Volunteers & BrightView crew (top left), Main garden completed (top right), Front garden bed completed (bottom left), Pre-work front garden (bottom middle), Pre-work main garden (bottom right).

Legal and General America also managed a BINGO event for the residents of Weinberg House that same afternoon. During the event, the residents were provided delicious snacks, goody bags, and had the change to win FANTASTIC prizes! The smiles on each participant’s face was very rewarding and IHA is very appreciative of the generous donations and support from this wonderful organization! 

Pictured: LGA Volunteers, IHA Intern and Residents of Weinberg House.

Live Where You Work

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Sinclair Way in Frederick, MD

Affordable housing can mean different things to each individual. Why do individuals look into affordable housing? Why do they choose a specific area to look for housing? The reasons and benefits are endless, however there is one common thread. That common thread is the ability to ‘Live Where You Work’.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration, the average travel time nationwide is 24.3 minutes to work. In Maryland, the average is slightly higher at 29.1 minutes. Approximately 30 minutes or less to work doesn’t sound that bad right? What if you could get even closer? Living where you work would help benefit your personal and professional life. In addition, it would help save these households money on travel, gas, car expenses, etc.

In Frederick County there are many individuals who are unable to afford a house on their current incomes, let alone additional travel costs. There are many households that earn between $25-50,000 a year which is not nearly enough to afford housing in the county that they currently work, found work, or have lived their entire lives. Households earning between $25K and $50K may include the following:
• A nurse in the first three years of his or her career with a child and spouse that works part time as a cashier
• A teacher, firemen or police officer in the first few years of his or her career
• A recent college graduate working at a local bank
• A retired couple living on their combined Social Security payments

Read More about Frederick County Affordable Housing Needs Assessment

Nurses, teachers, firemen, and police officers are valuable careers that benefit each and every individual within the Frederick County community. The individuals are in need of affordable housing opportunities so they can live where they work. The ability to live where you work allows these individuals the ability to contribute to the community, stay late at work, provide additional study hours for children after school, be available for emergencies and much more. Could you imagine if these individuals lived so far away that the additional benefits these individuals typically provide were not available due to their travel time and personal obligations outside of the office?

Bottom line is affordable housing benefits everyone. The ability to ‘Live Where You Work’ benefits the individuals who need it and those who will feel their contributions to society. 

Here at IHA we are determined to continue bringing affordable housing to the Frederick Community. Sinclair Way located in downtown Frederick, MD will soon be leasing which will provide numerous housing opportunities to those in need of affordable housing.