DHCD Newsletter - March 2023

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.

Prince George's County Department of Housing & Community Development

March 2023

DHCD Celebrates Women's History Month by Recognizing Women Who Are Making an Impact in Affordable Housing

Women's History Month Graphic

Building and preserving quality affordable housing is a cornerstone of DHCD’s mission. There is very little we accomplish alone and great progress when we work alongside our partners, guided by our shared values. In recognition of Women’s History Month, DHCD wants to shine a spotlight on four women whose leadership inspires us and furthers our work in building and preserving inclusive communities in Prince George’s County.

Heather Raspberry

Heather Raspberry, Executive Director of HAND

Heather Raspberry is the Executive Director of the Housing Association of Non-Profit Developers (HAND), a cross-sector collective of changemakers whose strategic collaboration brings equitable communities to fruition in the Capital Region of Baltimore, Washington, and Richmond. Through education, engagement and regional advocacy, HAND strengthens the capacity of its members who share a commitment to creating communities anchored by affordable housing. A values-driven and entrepreneurial leader, Heather believes that through thoughtful engagement and strategic collaboration, institutions and mission-driven stakeholders can disrupt systems of inequity to address the root causes that amplify housing disparities and restrict access to opportunity for communities of color. 

Under Heather’s leadership, HAND has developed the Housing Indicator Tool (HIT), a dashboard for measuring progress towards meeting regional housing needs. HIT puts a human face to the housing affordability challenge, provides new indicators on housing production and preservation outcomes, includes additional policies the HIT is tracking, and provides data that speaks to a number of key issues including: rental production for units with income or rent restrictions, production of Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) units to support our most vulnerable populations, funding needs for maintenance and rehabilitation of public housing units, and local efforts to achieving racial equity through housing.


Sarah Constant

Sarah Constant, Senior Vice President, Real Estate Development, Mission First Housing Group

Sarah Constant is the Senior Vice President of Real Estate Development for Mission First Housing Group. She is responsible for managing development projects, building client relationships, and overseeing Mission First Housing Group’s day-to-day development operations.

Mission First Housing Group is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop and manage affordable, equitable, safe, sustainable homes that support residents and strengthen communities. Mission First provides affordable housing and services to more than 6,000 people in over 4,500 apartments throughout the Mid-Atlantic region, serving families, seniors, veterans, survivors of domestic violence, individuals with disabilities, and other vulnerable populations.

To date, Sarah has closed more than $300 million worth of affordable housing and mixed income development deals across the Maryland and D.C. region and has numerous projects in development, including The Lewis, a 137-unit senior development in the Towne Square at Suitland Federal Center and Belnor Senior Residences, a 122-unit senior development, both in Suitland, MD.

Kayla Williams-Campbell

Kayla Williams-Campbell, Managing Attorney, Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County

Kayla Williams-Campbell is a Managing Attorney at Community Legal Services of Prince George’s County, Inc. (CLS), where she oversees its Eviction Prevention Programs which provide free, same-day, and extended representation to low-income tenants in Prince George’s and Anne Arundel Counties.

Kayla began working with CLS in 2018 as a Staff Attorney tasked with piloting the Eviction Prevention Program in Prince George’s County. Due to the success of this program, a similar program was created in 2020 to provide legal services to low-income tenants in Anne Arundel County. This program continues to be staffed by CLS attorneys today. Since 2018, CLS has provided representation in more than 3,000 cases, and legal advice in more than 5,000 cases. In addition to providing legal representation, Kayla also coordinates and participates in tenants’ rights discussions and community outreach events.

Paola Villatoro

Paola Villatoro, Community Outreach Specialist – Purple Line

Paola Villatoro is Housing Initiative Partnership’s (HIP) Community Outreach Specialist for the Purple Line Corridor in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties. In this role, she engages residents living along the Purple Line Corridor to ensure they are aware of financial resources and other supportive services to maintain safe, affordable, and healthy housing accommodations.

Paola joined HIP in the fall of 2020 in a newly created role as ERAP Specialist, focused on helping struggling renters apply for the federal COVID-19 relief funds administered through local Emergency Rent Assistance Programs developed by the City of Bowie and Prince George’s County.

Her main duties include reviewing applications for eligibility and completeness, contacting applicants to collect documentation required to complete applications where necessary, assessing complete applications, and providing preliminary determination recommendations to the County. She continues to help clients, both renters and homeowners, navigate the process of identifying appropriate wraparound services to help them recover from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

HIP's 100th HOME

DHCD and HIP Staffs

On March 9th, Housing Initiative Partnership (HIP) hosted an Open House & Ribbon Cutting ceremony to celebrate the completion of their milestone 100th “HIP Home” renovation in Prince George’s County. The event also marked the 25th anniversary of their HIP Homes program. The first renovation, a HUD foreclosure, was completed in 1998 in the Palmer Park neighborhood. It was renovated and sold to Ms. Sumner for $75,000. She still lives in the home.

HOME funds, Community Development Block Grants and National Capital Strategic Economic Development (NED) funds were used to purchase and renovate HIP’s affordable houses, which they sell to low-moderate income first-time home buyers.

“Our partnership with HIP is multi-level,” said Aspasia Xypolia, Director of DHCD. “We’ve worked together on single family homes, multi-family apartment buildings, housing counseling, emergency rental assistance, and more. The commitment HIP demonstrates in public service and in improving communities throughout the County, along with our shared values in delivering quality homes for people of all incomes, is the cornerstone of the progress and success stories we have achieved together and will continue guide the hard work we still have to do.”

HIP will have two renovated HIP Homes coming on the market in March, one located at 7209 Greeley Avenue in the Kentland neighborhood and the other home at 7910 Allendale Drive in Palmer Park. Currently, four HIP Homes are under development and are expected to be renovated and ready for sale during 2023.

Photo Above:  Celebrating Women’s History Month, DHCD and HIP staff, pose in front of the HIP 100th Home, exemplifying women succeeding in the affordable housing development industry.

Facing Eviction?

Facing Eviction ERAP Flyer

If you are facing eviction due to delinquent rent and you have a court summons, court judgement, or warrant of restitution, you may be eligible for the Prince George’s County Emergency Rental Assistance Program (ERAP).
For assistance, call the ERAP HOTLINE at (301) 883-6504, then press 9 and a customer service representative will help you with obtaining an application.

If you’re eligible for assistance, ERAP can pay up to 18 months of late rent or provide funding to help you relocate to a new home.

NOTE: The Emergency Rental Assistance Program has not re-opened. Funding is only available for eligible renters with a pending eviction.

Facing Eviction ERAP Flyer - Spanish

Si está enfrentando un desalojo debido a renta atrasada y tiene una citación judicial, una sentencia judicial o una orden de restitución, puede ser elegible para el Programa de Asistencia de Alquiler de Emergencia (ERAP) del Condado de Prince George. Para obtener ayuda, llame a la LÍNEA DIRECTA DE ERAP al (301) 883-6504, luego presione 9 y un representante de servicio al cliente lo ayudará a obtener una solicitud.

Si es elegible para recibir asistencia, ERAP puede pagar hasta 18 meses de alquiler atrasado o proporcionar fondos para ayudarlo a mudarse a un nuevo hogar.

NOTA: El Programa de Asistencia de Alquiler de Emergencia no se ha reabierto. Los fondos están disponibles para inquilinos elegibles con un desalojo pendiente.

Follow DHCD on its New Facebook and LinkedIn Platforms

Facebook and LinkedIn Logos

DHCD has a new Facebook page and is now on LinkedIn. Follow DHCD on both platforms to keep up-to-date with the latest agency information, local housing trends, new affordable housing construction and preservation efforts, housing videos, and more!

Employee Spotlight

Edren Lewis

Edren Lewis, Chief Budget, Accounting, and Loan Servicing Manager

Years of Service at DHCD: 5 years

Quote: “I approach each day with an open mind and a desire to help others. Working with a team of great minds requires a positive perspective and keeping the Agency’s mission at the forefront of each task. It is rewarding knowing that our accomplishments as a team have a positive impact on Prince George’s County communities.”