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Pennrose and Housing Commission of Talbot Break Ground on Doverbrook Apartments Redevelopment

Apr 04, 2024


Doverbrook Groundbreaking

Revitalization will preserve and expand access to high-quality, affordable housing in Easton  

Pennrose and the Housing Commission of Talbot (HCT) celebrated the groundbreaking of the Doverbrook Apartments redevelopment, which will replace the outdated 50-unit public housing community with 64 brand-new, energy-efficient mixed-income homes and on-site community amenities. Project partners plan to begin welcoming returning and new residents in Spring 2025.

Speakers at the groundbreaking ceremony included: Patrick Stewart, Regional Vice President, Pennrose, LLC; Don Bibb, Executive Director, Housing Commission of Talbot; Rev. Elmer Neal Davis Jr., 4th Ward Councilman, Town of Easton; Stephanie Staats, Field Office Director, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD); Gregory Hare, Assistant Secretary, Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development; Chuck Callahan, President, Talbot County Council; Mayor Megan Cook, Mayor, Town of Easton; Michael DiSanto, Senior Vice President, Greater Baltimore, M&T Bank; and Kimmel Cameron, Senior Vice President, Hudson Housing Capital.

Plans for the transformational redevelopment include preserving the affordability of all 50 existing apartments at the community, with one-for-one replacement, and the addition of 14 new apartments supported by Low-Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC). The community is 100% affordable, with apartments available at 30% to 80% of the Area Median Income (AMI), about $21,700 to $57,900 for a one-person household.

The sustainable development will utilize various features and strategies designed to reduce energy consumption costs for residents, enhance operational sustainability, and limit the project’s overall carbon footprint, including the use of solar panels and water-saving and energy-efficient construction techniques, fixtures, and equipment. Doverbrook Apartments will meet National Green Building Standard silver certification, ENERGY STAR certification, and will meet criteria for the Department of Energy’s Zero Energy Ready Homes (ZERH) program.

“The Housing Commission of Talbot is honored to be a part of this wonderful housing development,” said Don Bibb, executive director of the Housing Commission of Talbot. “The Doverbrook community has served residents in Easton for over 50 years, but it is time for a new chapter. The opportunity to create a public/private partnership and bring new, energy efficient, and long-term sustainable housing to Easton on the same site is a noteworthy accomplishment. We wish to thank all of the partners that have helped along the way.”

“We are excited to work closely with HCT, current residents, and the local community to preserve, replace, and expand access to affordable and workforce housing in an area that has been severely underserved,” said Patrick Stewart, regional vice president at Pennrose. “Today’s groundbreaking is a major step forward in welcoming future and returning residents into a new, healthy, and amenity-rich home.”  

The 50 replacement units will be converted from public housing assistance to Section 8 via the Streamlined Voluntary Conversion process through the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). An additional 14 project-based vouchers will be provided to the 14 new units.

The new community will include one-, two-, and three-bedroom apartments. The unit mix of the new development is based on replacing the current bedroom mix to accommodate Doverbrook residents’ right to return and preserve deeply affordable housing in Talbot County. A relocation consultant has also been working closely with residents to ensure their specific needs are being addressed and the process complies with all of HUD’s requirements. Current Doverbrook residents will have the first right to return to the revitalized community.

The revitalization will help meet the high demand for affordable housing in the region. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, there is a shortage of more than 134,000 rental homes in Maryland. In Easton specifically, the waitlist for affordable units is up to one year long.

The $25 million project will be funded with various state and local proceeds, equity generated from competitive 9% Low-Income Housing Tax Credits, and a loan from M&T Bank guaranteed by HUD as part of the FHA program. The project is receiving a soft loan and a seller take-back note from HCT, and a $350,000 grant from the Town of Easton and a $350,000 grant from Talbot County.

Pennrose has deep experience developing quality, affordable housing throughout Maryland and the Mid-Atlantic region, and has a proven track record working with the Wicomico County Housing Authority, which falls under the management of HCT. Pennrose and the Housing Authority together completed Square at Merritt Mill, a brand-new 75-unit affordable housing community in Salisbury, and Stone Grove Crossing, the $17 million redevelopment of the former Booth Street Apartments public housing community.