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County Executive Ball Announces State Funding For Cultural Center, Affordable Housing

The $4.5 million in tax credits will support the redevelopment of Toby's Dinner Theater into a state of the art cultural center with Artists Flats, as well as housing at Ellicott Gardens II and Roslyn Rise

August 5, 2019 

Media Contacts:
Scott Peterson, Director of Communications, Office of Public Information, 202-277-9412

ELLICOTT CITY – Today, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and the Howard County Housing Commission announced that the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has awarded $4.5 million in tax credits to three separate developments in Howard County. The funding will support 1) the first mixed income housing in the Downtown Columbia Redevelopment Plan, turning Toby's Dinner Theater into a state of the art cultural center with Artists Flats, consisting of 174 new apartments, 2) Ellicott Gardens II, a new 70-unit affordable housing development on Waterloo Road, and 3) Residences at Roslyn Rise, a redevelopment project of 59 existing units. 

“Affordable housing is key to creating economic mobility and expanding opportunity for all. This state funding will help us create the full spectrum of housing, to allow new artists and families to call Howard County home,” said Howard County Executive Calvin Ball. “I want to thank Governor Hogan, the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development, and the Howard County Housing Commission for their partnership. Fewer than one in three projects that applied for these highly competitive State funding were successful. We are proud to accept this funding to build a future for our community that reflects our values of arts, culture, and socioeconomic diversity.”

"My administration is committed to making sure that seniors and families have access to affordable, quality housing," said Governor Larry Hogan.

Peter Engel, the Executive Director of the Howard County Housing Commission noted that there is still a shortage of over 5,000 homes for individuals and families earning $50,000 a year or less who are already living in the County. "The Commission is very excited with the award and the chance to advance the County’s efforts to provide opportunities for everyone.  We know that when people struggle to pay their rent they have difficulty helping their kids with school work, their health suffers, causing trips to the emergency room, and they commute farther, adding to climate change. Giving our lower wage workers more opportunities to live throughout the County benefits all of us.”

"Thanks to the creativity of our team, we were able to leverage other assets, such as 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits to make our financing tools go further and help house more people," said Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Kenneth C. Holt.

The Housing Commission, in partnership with Orchard Development, a Columbia-based development firm, was the applicant for Artists Flats, and will lead the housing component while Orchard will be the lead developer for the new cultural center. The Housing Commission in partnership with Homes for America will develop Ellicott Gardens II. Homes for America is a non-profit affordable housing developer based in Annapolis that develops and owns service-enhanced housing throughout the Mid-Atlantic area. Residences at Roslyn Rise will be developed by Enterprise Homes, Inc. 

The Artist Flats and Ellicott Gardens II are expected to break ground in mid-2020. For Residences at Roslyn Rise, the goal is to begin renovations by the end of the year.

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