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For Immediate Release: Saturday, September 8, 2018

 County Executive Isiah Leggett joined developers and church leaders on Saturday for a ribbon-cutting ceremony at an affordable housing residence in Silver Spring for tenants age 62 and older. The Sanctuary is a new, $20 million, 3-story L-shaped apartment building surrounded by mature trees and convenient to transit service.

The project was built as a partnership among Mount Jezreel Community Development Corporation, Mission First Housing Group and the Henson Development Company. The new apartments are located on University Boulevard, directly behind the existing Mount Jezreel Baptist Church and Mount Jezreel Christian School in Silver Spring, MD.

The project represents a continuing effort by County leaders to maintain and build affordable housing for seniors.

“Promoting affordable housing in inclusive communities remains one of my top priorities,” said County Executive Ike Leggett. “This project is another example of how Montgomery County is addressing this goal.”

The apartment building promotes group activities with a large community room on the first floor.  There is a shared-use path that connects to the residential neighborhood and the main commercial corridor.  A lighted sidewalk leads from the new apartment building to University Boulevard transit. There are 55 parking spaces on the site.

“The State of Maryland is pleased to support the Sanctuary, and proud to be a part of this quality development which will provide critically-needed affordable rental housing for seniors for years to come," said John Maneval, Deputy Director of the Community Development Administration at the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development. "We commend the partnership and hard work of Mt. Jezreel, Mission First, the Henson Group and Montgomery County in this important undertaking."

“Mission First is proud to be part of the development team for The Sanctuary,” said Sarah Constant, managing director for Mission First Housing Group. “We are thankful to the State of Maryland and Montgomery County for their financial support and commitment to the project. The Sanctuary brings much-needed affordable homes to seniors in Silver Spring.”

“The Sanctuary will provide safe, secure, and affordable housing for seniors which will enhance their quality of life,” said Pastor Eldridge Spearman of the Mount Jezreel Baptist Church. “This endeavor will be a blessing for our church and community.”

The Sanctuary, a Mount Jezreel Senior Housing Community, provides 75 mixed-income apartments for active seniors seeking independent living. Four units are rented to those with income less than 30 percent of area median income (AMI); five are rented to those with income between 31 percent and 40 percent AMI; eleven are rented to those with income between 41 percent and 50 percent AMI; and, 47 units are rented to those with income between 51 percent and 60 percent AMI.  As part of the total 67 affordable units, 12 units are available to seniors who are veterans with income between 30 percent and 60 percent of AMI.  Eight units at the property are rented at market rate.

“I am excited to participate in the ribbon cutting for The Sanctuary and it’s been a pleasure working with Pastor Spearman and all of the great people at Mount Jezreel to complete this wonderful housing development,” said Daniel Henson, President of the Henson Development Company, a developer of affordable and special needs residences.

Grimm+Parker Architects designed The Sanctuary, a Mount Jezreel Senior Housing Community. Harkins Builders was the contractor and JDC Construction Company was the construction manager. Columbus Property Management, a member of Mission First Housing Group, handles property management.

Funding for the project included approximately $9 million in tax exempt bonds; $1.85 million in Maryland DHCD-Rental Housing Funds; $2 million in Montgomery County HOME Program Funds; $6.6 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credit Equity; and $1.1 million in Seller Financing and Developer Equity.

For more information about The Sanctuary, a Mount Jezreel Senior Housing Community, contact Mission First Housing Group at (202) 223-9785 or visit  Those interested in joining the wait list to live at Mount Jezreel Senior Housing can visit

About Mission First Housing Group

Mission First develops and manages affordable, safe and sustainable homes for people in need, with a nonprofit, mission-driven focus on the most vulnerable. Mission First ensures its residents have access to resources to help them live independently and delivers housing that provides long-term benefits to residents and neighborhoods, alike.  Mission First is a full-service real estate organization developing high-quality, green community assets across the Mid-Atlantic region.  Mission First currently provides affordable housing and services to more than 4,000 people in nearly 3,000 units, serving low income populations that include veterans, elderly and the disabled.  More information is available at

About The Henson Development Company (THC)

THC's philosophy is to bolster the economy and enhance the urban landscape wherever it participates as a developer.  THC is dedicated to the proposition that all Americans deserve to be housed in a decent manner, regardless of income. Working with a strong faith-based development partner with a clear vision for expanding their role in providing services to the community is a rewarding experience.

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Media Contact at Mission First Housing: Becky Lang Staffieri 215-651-4858

Release ID: 18-662
Media Contact: Montgomery County: Lorraine Driscoll 240-777-6533