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State gives $250,000 for rehabilitation of Winters Lane homes

The Winters Lane restoration involves five duplexes, all about 100 years old, according to an application for funding. The buildings were renovated in 1989, but age-related defects continue to cause serious problems, the application said.
The Winters Lane restoration involves five duplexes, all about 100 years old, according to an application for funding. The buildings were renovated in 1989, but age-related defects continue to cause serious problems, the application said. (Staff photo by Rachael Pacella)

Gov. Larry Hogan's office last week announced $250,000 in funding for the rehabilitation of 10 historic homes on Shipley and Roberts Avenue in the Winters Lane neighborhood.

The money for the project comes from the state Department of Housing and Community Development's Community Legacy program, which provides funding for "projects aimed at strengthening communities through activities such as business retention and attraction, encouraging homeownership and commercial revitalization."

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The goal of the Winters Lane project is to increase the affordable housing stock and provide more housing options for the Catonsville area. The project also hopes to preserve the character of the area, a historic African-American community.

The homes being restored are owned by St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center Inc., a nonprofit with the mission of maintaining equal housing for low to moderate income people.

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The restoration involves five duplexes, all about 100 years old, according to an application for funding. The buildings were renovated in 1989, but age-related defects continue to cause serious problems, the application said.

"The homes are beyond their life cycles, are out of compliance with current building codes and are functionally obsolete," the application said. "The full rehabilitation and improvement of these homes, while maintaining their historic character, will be a substantial first step in revitalizing and preserving a long-recognized historic community."

Statewide, it is one of 55 projects in 19 counties and Baltimore City to receive funding in fiscal 2016. According to the announcement, released Dec. 29, it was the only project in Baltimore County to receive funding from the Community Legacy program.

"My administration is committed to revitalizing Maryland's older communities," Hogan said in a news release. "These grants will help local communities make necessary improvements while paving the way for additional public and private investments in their neighborhoods and along their streets."

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The funding, which went to the Baltimore County Department of Planning, was part of $11 million distributed to local jurisdictions through the Community Legacy, Strategic Demolition and Baltimore Regional Neighborhoods programs.

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