Revitalizing Baltimore Neighborhoods

Dominion Financial’s Role in the DASH Fund’s Positive Impact on Housing Affordability

Affordable housing and community development are essential elements for fostering vibrant neighborhoods and promoting inclusivity. In the heart of Baltimore City, an initiative known as the Developing Affordable Starter Homes (DASH) Fund has been making strides toward transforming communities and enhancing the lives of residents. One notable project that models the DASH Fund’s mission is the rehabilitation of 815 Washburn Ave., led by dedicated real estate investors Peter and Rosamon Forbes.

The DASH Fund’s Vision for Baltimore

Established in 2021, the DASH Fund is a collaboration between public and private sectors, united in their commitment to uplift Baltimore City’s neighborhoods. At its core, the DASH Fund empowers small developers and cultivates positive social and economic outcomes through an innovative loan program. The fund’s initiatives center on bolstering neighborhood stability, advancing minority homeownership, and creating employment avenues.

Central to the success of the DASH Fund is partnership. Key partners include the National Community Stabilization Trust (NCST), Baltimore City Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Neighborhood Impact Investment Fund (NIIF), and Dominion Financial Services (DFS). This collective effort not only makes the DASH Fund a reality but also drives meaningful change across Baltimore’s communities.

Dominion Financial Services: Empowering Baltimore’s Developers

Dominion Financial Services plays a crucial role in translating the DASH Fund’s aspirations into reality as the solo loan originator and servicer. Dominion Financial’s connection to Baltimore as their home base allows them to utilize their vast understanding of the city as well as motivates them to participate in the transformation of the community.

Dominion Financial Services streamlines the lending pathway for scattered-site single-family developers. Their grasp of Baltimore’s neighborhoods enables them to fast-track the underwriting process, slicing wait times for appraisals and closing procedures. This flexibility materializes in sealing deals within a mere two weeks, with rehabilitation funds dispersed in a quick three business days. For eligible DASH investors, 7% interest awaits on committed loan amounts, alongside a 3% financing fee.

Jack BeVier, Partner at Dominion Financial Services, which is the origination and servicing operations partner of the DASH Fund, underscores their dedication: “Our company values speed and service. These are the core needs for Baltimore City Developers. We want to reduce previous barriers and improve access to capital for small investors, ultimately making the city better.”

The DASH Fund: Empowering Small Developers

The DASH Fund’s impact is felt most deeply by small developers striving to make a difference in Baltimore’s neighborhoods. To be eligible for a loan through the DASH Fund, applicants must meet specific guidelines, including planning to sell to owner-occupant homeowners, having a base in Baltimore City, and demonstrating prior experience in renovation and rehabilitation projects.

“The DASH program has been a great tool in assisting local community developers transform once-blighted neighborhoods and streets into those that have the pride of homeownership,” said William Hayes, Loan Officer at Dominion Financial Services, and dedicated representative for the DASH Fund. “There are many skilled laborers that are very capable of renovating a vacant property into a place that a family can call home. However, they may not always have the liquidity to be able to do so without a program like DASH. This program really makes a difference in encouraging local developers who care about the community to do what they do best.”

The terms of DASH Fund loans are designed to empower small developers. With competitive interest rates and favorable loan terms, the DASH Fund offers up to 100% financing of the purchase and rehabilitation costs, while ensuring responsible lending practices are maintained. The fund’s focus on homeownership opportunities underscores its dedication to driving positive change within the city.

815 Washburn Ave.: A Spotlight on Transformation

One stand-out project under the DASH Fund’s umbrella is the rehabilitation of 815 Washburn Ave., led by committed real estate investors Peter and Rosamon Forbes. Through their work, the Forbes duo transformed a distressed property into an affordable starter home, contributing to the city’s housing stock and fostering a sense of community. This renovation exemplifies the fund’s mission to revitalize Baltimore’s neighborhoods.



Rosamon Forbes, speaks about the duo’s experience: “(The DASH Fund) is truly outstanding – with a good, low interest rate, it was perfect for our budget. It takes care of everything until the end and benefits the community. Choosing this fund for our area was just the smartest resource move.”

The rehabilitation project of 815 Washburn Ave. led by Peter and Rosamon Forbes serves as a prime example of the positive impact of the DASH Fund. This property, once distressed and neglected, has been transformed into an affordable and inviting starter home. The Forbes duo’s vision aligns perfectly with the DASH Fund’s mission to uplift Baltimore’s neighborhoods and enhance the community’s well-being.

815 Washburn Ave. is a townhouse featuring three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a generous living space of over 1,500 square feet. The renovation process has elevated the property, with upgrades including a newly finished basement, and additional full bath. The attention to detail extends to the exterior as well, featuring a covered front porch with railings and a rear porch accessible from the kitchen that leads to a rear parking pad. “The neighbors are really enjoying it. It certainly brightens up the neighborhood,” Rosamon stated. “We’re really proud of the work we have put in and the end result.”

Originally purchased for just under $70,000 at auction, the property just sold for an impressive $215,000. This increase in value not only reflects the improved aesthetics and functionality of the home but also showcases the broader positive shift in the neighborhood.

Joining the DASH Movement

For those interested in the DASH Fund’s transformative program, prospective investors can apply for loans by emailing dashinfo@dashfund.org or visiting www.dashfund.org for comprehensive information.

In a world where affordable housing and community development take center stage, the DASH Fund shines as a lighthouse of progress and hope. By weaving together collaborative partnerships, innovative loan frameworks, and the commitment of individuals like Peter and Rosamon Forbes, Baltimore’s neighborhoods are undergoing a transformation that will resonate across generations.

Published September 20, 2023

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