New, Affordable Housing Coming to UMES Grad Students - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

New, Affordable Housing Coming to UMES Grad Students

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(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

PRINCESS ANNE, Md.- University of Maryland Eastern Shore graduate students will soon have a new roof over their head.

On Thursday, U.S. Department of Agriculture Deputy Secretary, Krysta Harden announced nearly $13 million in USDA Community Facilities loans to promote the advancement of education. 

Harden made the announcement on behalf of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack during a visit to the UMES campus, where she participated in a roundtable with new farmers and area agriculture leaders. 

Maryland Hawk Corporation, Inc., a non-profit affiliate with UMES is the recipient of the money. 

USDA Rural Development awarded MHC a $7.6 million Community Facilities Direct Loan and a $5.1 million Community Facilities Loan Guarantee (through the Bank of Delmarva). The funds will be used to purchase 38 acres of land located about a two miles from the UMES campus and to construct 144 units of temporary housing.

"This allows the university to be able to be more competitive and to allow more students to live here to participate and be a part of this community," said Harden at a campus held press conference.

That was good news for Sarah Abdella who is a first year grad student with UMES' physician assistant program.

She said the price tag to put herself through just one year is about $50,000.

Abdella said it's the same story for a lot of students in her field who are struggling to pay for school but also for housing. 

"with having to worry so much about an additional expense with tuition and equipment, books and needs for school, housing should not have to be such a big burden," Abdella said.

Jerry Redden who is the director of MHC said that the grad student population continues to grow which in turn increases the demand for living space.

"We are able to get affordable loans, lower interest rates and that will make the per monthly rent for students very affordable and that is a high priority not only as a living experience but the of it," Redden said.

Redden said, the project is expected to begin next month. The first phase is slated to be completed by mid-2014. 
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