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October 12, 2011

Townhomes at former Penn Avenue School set for summer completion

Townhomes at former Penn Avenue School set for summer completion

25 units, clubhouse being built
Elaine Blaisdell, Cumberland Times-News

An artist’s rendering shows the layout of Penn Avenue Townhomes, which is being constructed at the site of the former Pennsylvania Avenue School building. The project is expected to be finished next summer.
CUMBERLAND — Cumberland Family Homes II, to be located at the site of the former Pennsylvania Avenue School, is slated for completion in the summer and is taking applications for renters, said Bryan Lyburn, vice president of Business Operations of Interfaith Housing Alliance, Inc.

“The former Pennsylvania School has been completely demolished and they (the Partnership for Income Restricted Housing Leadership) will begin framing the first unit on Monday. Three out of the six foundations have already been put in,” said Lyburn.

Interfaith Housing, which is based in Frederick, was awarded a low-income tax credit to construct the 25 lease-to-purchase townhomes and a community clubhouse in partnership with the city, the state of Maryland, Partnership for Income Restricted Housing Leadership Developers, LLC and Boston Financial Investment Management.

“I think the townhomes will be a wonderful boost to the neighborhood. The buildings will have a wonderful handicap access for seniors,” said Terri Hast, the city’s economic development specialist. “Our code enforcement officer said everything (thus far,) is built very well.”

The housing complex will consist of four two-bedroom units, 17 three-bedroom units and four four-bedroom units, each with two bathrooms ranging from 1,279 to 1,649 square feet. The rooms will boast walk-in closets, ample storage space, private balconies and patios, central heating and air conditioning and Energy Star rated windows and appliances. The townhomes are for low- and moderate-income families earning at or below 50 percent of the county median. Rent ranges between $420 and $647.

There is no application fee, but the application requires a landlord reference, a credit and background check and applicants must be within the income limits, said Becky Broussard, Interfaith’s asset manager.

“Thus far, about 12 applications have been received,” she said. “That was done with no advertising but just through word of mouth. Applications will not be processed until three months before the completion of the project and they will be done on a first-come, first-served basis. There will be a waiting list.”

The project is so far two years in the making, Lyburn said, after site selection, design process, competitive application process and financing from the state.

“It’s a big project and long process. It took a lot of people coming to the table at the same time with common ideas to make an affordable, green, energy efficient, well-built, state-of the art project,” said Lyburn.

Interfaith, which will own and maintain the complex, also owns and maintains Washington Ridge in Frostburg.

Founded in 1990, Interfaith is a regional nonprofit, that aims to provide affordable housing opportunities and supportive services to improve the quality of life and economic stability of seniors, working families and individuals, according to the group’s website.

For an application for the townhomes, go to the website or contact Patti Penn, local property manager, at 301-622-4225, ext. 1306 or at

Contact Elaine Blaisdell at

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