On Tuesday, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball will hold a press conference and MOU signing to announce the new Downtown Columbia “Live Where You Work” Program, with the Columbia Downtown Housing Corporation. The public-private partnership will provide rental subsidies for low- and moderate-income families to live near their workplace in Downtown Columbia. The flagship employer in the program will be Howard County General Hospital, which will allow selected hospital employees to qualify for rental subsidies and take part in County-sponsored home ownership seminars to prepare them for permanent housing options. The program will expand to enlist other Downtown Columbia employers in the future.

“Howard County’s most recent rental housing survey indicated a gap of over 5,000 units in affordable rental housing. We are launching the first ever public-private partnership for a rental subsidy program in Howard County history to address that gap and support our workforce,” said Ball. “We know that a community functions best when its residents live in the jurisdiction where they work. Our ‘Live Where You Work’ program will help us create the full spectrum of affordable housing, so hospital staff spend less time in traffic and more time with their families. I believe if you go to work every day to help the people of our community, you too deserve to call Howard County your home.” 

WHAT:           MOU signing and press conference to announce the Downtown Columbia “Live Where You Work” Program 

WHEN:           Tuesday, August 13, 2019 at 12:30 PM

WHERE:        Ten M – Lobby (10100 Twin Rivers Road, Columbia, MD 21044)

WHO:            

  • Calvin Ball, Howard County Executive
  • Clarence Lam, Maryland State Senator
  • Terri Hill, Maryland State Delegate
  • Jessica Feldmark, Maryland State Delegate
  • Greg Fox, Former Howard County Councilmember
  • Steve Snelgrove, Howard County General Hospital President
  • Pat Sylvester, Columbia Downtown Housing Corporation President
  • Greg Fitchett, Howard Hughes Corporation, Columbia President

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There will be a lot of elected officials (and previous elected officials) at this event tomorrow as well as others in attendance.

I have a lot of questions about this program not addressed in the press release…so I may have a follow up article after the announcement tomorrow. So things on my mind are:

  • How many families will be served by this program?
  • What is the funding source for this program?
  • What will be the income limits for the affordable housing program?
  • Plus some other things about this on my mind not mentioned in the announcement…

The Downtown Columbia Redevelopment Monitoring Report (2018) from Howard County Government mentions the “Live Where You Work” program:

So if the total number of “Live Where You Work” units is 83…how many of those units will be allocated for employees of Howard County General Hospital?

Just stuff I am thinking about with this announcement. Hopefully I will get some of this information and provide an update in the future.

What little I know about the “Live Where You Work” program sounds great…I am just interested in additional details.

Scott E

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