ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today announced the launch of a new pilot Student Rental Subsidy Program designed to help Howard Community College (HCC) students find and rent apartments in Howard County. This is the first time a program of its kind is offered to Howard County students. This program offers a rent subsidy to alleviate the financial constraints that students face in securing suitable accommodations during their educational journey. 

Howard County residents are currently feeling the direct impacts of our local, regional, and national housing crisis. One of our most impacted groups are our students, and there is no better time than right now to ensure they have access to affordable and quality rental units. Thanks to our efforts through our HOME initiative, we are taking the necessary steps to ensure all our residents are afforded the opportunity to pursue their higher educational dreams, while holding on to the comfort of knowing they have a roof over their head and a place to call home. As our young scholars advance their education and prepare for the future, we are expanding efforts to meet their housing needs and help them succeed.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

Ball first announced this program in October, as part of his Housing Opportunities Meant for Everyone (HOME) initiative. Through the HOME package, overseen by the County’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), Howard County has provided $1 million in funding to launch the county’s first ever Student Rental Subsidy Program. Created in partnership between DCHD, HCC and the Columbia Housing Center (CHC), a local housing nonprofit, this program will be administered by CHC.

The Columbia Housing Center is grateful for the opportunity to help students at Howard Community College find and keep affordable apartments in Columbia. With rents in Columbia skyrocketing due to the current housing shortage, this program makes it possible for HCC students to rent apartments near campus. This program, along with Dr. Ball’s other housing initiatives, will help our county remain open and inclusive to all who wish to live here. Columbia Housing Center is excited to be part of this important work.

Jessamine Duvall
Executive Director, Columbia Housing Center

The program is open to HCC students who have been referred to CHC by the community college’s Office of Financial Aid Services and who already have a rental agreement in place or need help finding housing near HCC. To be eligible, applicants must:

  • Be current HCC students enrolled in both the fall and spring semesters and must carry a minimum of six credits per semester; 
  • Have an annual family household income less than 60 percent of the area median income (see chart) for Howard County as defined by DHCD;
  • Remain in good academic standing with HCC and be eligible for financial assistance based on their FAFSA application; and 
  • Complete two hours of renter education with CHC.

Students who may qualify should contact HCC’s Office of Financial Aid Services by emailing [email protected] or calling 443-518-1260.

“Howard Community College is excited to partner with the Columbia Housing Center to address the current affordable housing crisis facing college students,” said Daria J. Willis, HCC President. “This funding provides students and families vulnerable to housing insecurity the opportunity to receive assistance towards the cost of housing. Eliminating this burden allows students to focus on their pathways to success in work and life. We are honored to be a part of this initiative and we know that our students will forever be grateful.”

For more details about this program and/or to apply, visit https://columbiahousingcenter.org/hcc-student-housing-subsidy-program

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Safa Hira, Director of Communications
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