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Community Need for Affordable Housing Creates Partnership Between Chesapeake Neighbors, Rivers & Roads, and IKIGAI Consulting

March 2, 2022

Media Contact: Catie Comer
Vice President of Development for The Arc Central Chesapeake Region
410.384.4072 |

SEVERN, MD (March 2, 2022) — Chesapeake Neighbors, a subsidiary of The Arc Central Chesapeake Region (The Arc), announces its strategic partnerships with Rivers & Roads and IKIGAI Coaching and Consulting. These partners will create solutions to address the need for affordable housing within the Town of Easton, MD, and the Mid-Shore region.

“Rivers & Roads is extremely excited to help Chesapeake Neighbors work toward shrinking Easton’s affordable housing gap,” said Ross Benincasa, cofounder, Rivers & Roads. “As the average price of a new home climbs to nearly $700,000 in Talbot County, there has never been a more consequential time for an affordable housing provider to break ground.”

Rivers & Roads, along with Michael White of IKIGAI, will support Chesapeake Neighbors’ goal of doubling the number of accessible and inclusive units across the region to 120 by 2025. Goals of the partnership include facilitating the acquisition and construction of new affordable housing options in underserved counties on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.

In addition, Chesapeake Neighbors is partnering with Chesapeake Community Development, a community focused organization of The Arc, to develop Port Street Commons, a mixed used 20,000+ square foot building on historic Port Street in Easton, MD. For the Port Street Project, Chesapeake Neighbors will focus on the development of eight housing units that includes 2- and 3-bedroom residences to include zero barrier apartments.

According to the Pew Research Center, “About half of Americans, roughly 49 percent, say a lack of affordable housing in their local communities is a major issue.” According to The Talbot County Department of Planning and Zoning website, while they are accepting applications for public housing, the wait may be as long as 2-3 years with approximately 150 people on the waitlist.

Gwen Eskridge, President of the Mid-Shore Board of REALTORS, commented, “Everyone knows the Eastern Shore is an amazing place to live, but affordable housing continues to be a challenge. The REALTORS are excited to see The Arc’s subsidiary, Chesapeake Neighbors, building eight affordable housing units. This will benefit our entire community.”

About Chesapeake Neighbors

Chesapeake Neighbors was founded in 2007 by The Arc Central Chesapeake Region to provide, promote and support safe, affordable, and accessible housing for people and families in need. From one house in Anne Arundel County, the organization has grown to represent over 50 owned and managed, affordable, accessible single and multifamily units across Anne Arundel County and the Eastern Shore of Maryland. Learn more:

About Rivers & Roads

Rivers & Roads is a regional consulting agency focused on projects that revitalize communities. We love working with engaging Main Street communities, upstart entrepreneurs, sustainable workforce housing, and mission-first nonprofits.

To contact, please visit:

About IKIGAI Coaching and Consulting

Michael White, founder & principal, represents clients on state and local governments relations matters across Maryland. These clients are mission-driven organizations working to increase impact by leveraging state programs and resources. They receive support on issues related to housing/affordable housing, IT, real estate, adaptive reuse/development, procurement, and in identifying and determining eligibility for state funding programs.

To learn how Michael White can help your organization thrive: