ELLICOTT CITY, MD – Howard County Executive Calvin Ball today signed an Executive Order establishing the Affordable Housing Working Group. The Working Group is tasked with recommending goals and criteria for a targeted incentive program for affordable and accessible housing in the county. The group will also provide recommendations regarding the use of affordable housing allocations outlined in the County’s Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) housing unit allocation chart

The establishment of the Affordable Housing Working Group reflects our commitment to providing a full spectrum of housing opportunities in Howard County. As we face an ongoing housing crisis across our country, the Working Group will help address our local housing challenges and propose policies that will expand housing options for individuals and families who seek to live and work here.

Calvin Ball
Howard County Executive

The formation of the Working Group follows the recommendation of the County’s new General Plan, HoCo By Design, which identifies housing affordability as one of the most critical challenges currently facing Howard County and calls for targeted incentives to support the creation of affordable and accessible housing.

As part of its evaluation, the Working Group will define the criteria for affordable and accessible housing, including physical factors such as unit type, size or physical accessibility design criteria. The group will also identify incentives related to development and the development process, such as density bonuses or setback relief, that will encourage the expansion of affordable housing options. 
The Working Group will convene this summer and develop a written report of its assessments and recommendations to be shared with the Office of the County Executive, the County Council, the Adequate Public Facilities Task Force and the Department of Planning and Zoning no later than December 1, 2024. The Adequate Public Facilities Task Force, a separate body, will convene this fall to begin its evaluation of the County’s existing APFO. 

Comprised of 11 voting members and two non-voting members, the following voting members were appointed to the Affordable Housing Working Group by the County Executive:

  • Ned Howe
  • Timothy J. Goetzinger
  • Justin Kennell
  • Grace Morris
  • Jacqueline West-Spencer
  • Jessica Zuniga

The following voting members were recommended by the County Council:

  • Cedric Brown
  • Tom Evans
  • Paul Revelle
  • Taneeka Richardson, MPH
  • Kathryn Valentine

Finally, the following non-voting members will serve on the group:

  • Kelly Cimino, Director, Department of Housing and Community Development 
  • Peter Engel, Executive Director, Howard County Housing Commission

Facing a housing crisis of scarcity and unaffordability, Howard County, like many other jurisdictions, is taking action. This working group of technical experts will collaborate to recommend real and actionable solutions, guided by the principles outlined in HoCo By Design.

Lynda Eisenberg
Director, Department of Planning and Zoning
Media Contacts
Safa Hira, Director of Communications
Lynda Eisenberg, Director, Department of Planning and Zoning

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