Patuxent Commons housing development project in Columbia is one of only eight across the U.S. receiving this grant 

 The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded a grant of $2.47 million to Patuxent Commons, a unique and innovative housing development proposed for Columbia that will provide housing for people with disabilities in an inclusive community setting. The project is one of only eight across the U.S. to be awarded a capital advance grant through HUD’s Section 811 Supportive Housing for Persons with Disabilities program. The Howard County Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) has committed $2 million toward construction costs for the $30 million project. 

“Our community strives to be inclusive and innovative – and the Patuxent Commons project checks both of those boxes, we’re thrilled to support this important housing intiative,” said County Executive Calvin Ball. “This new housing was designed in partnership with Howard County Autism Society and will support residents with disabilities and of all ages. In Howard County we recognized that providing this resource to people with disabilities can lead to more enriching and independent lives, and we are committed to building on this progress. As we close out a year of continued physical isolation and suffering mental health, it’s vital we continue to support and advocate for creating a community that is connected and allows for a high quality of life for all.”  

The 76-unit Patuxent Commons is a mixed-income development based on a concept developed by the Howard County Autism Society (HCAS) to help meet the housing needs of adults with disabilities, and is the first of its kind in Howard County. The developer of Patuxent Commons and recipient of the HUD grant is Mission First Housing Group, an award-winning affordable housing developer of over 3,500 apartments throughout the mid-Atlantic. Their plans for the project call for 19 apartments to be set-aside for adults with disabilities, and the remainder for older adults, families and younger adults.   

“Howard County is excited to support this project with $2 million in MIHU fee-in-lieu funds,” said DHCD Director Kelly Cimino. “Providing access to MIHU fee-in-lieu funding is critical to projects like this one to create long-term, affordable rental opportunities for adults with disabilities, older adults and families in the County.”    

The innovative Patuxent Commons concept is designed to increase community inclusion and reduce social isolation through social engagement and relationship-building among neighbors of different abilities. In a press release announcing the grant, HUD stated that the awards were being made to organizations to “create permanent supportive housing models that will be at the forefront of design, service delivery and efficient use of federal resources. Awardees must promote long-term housing security and facilitate community integration of persons with disabilities.”   

“We are incredibly pleased that HUD 811 financing will support Patuxent Commons,” said Mission First Managing Director Sarah Constant. “Projects like this require many layers of financing, from the Federal to the local level, and we are excited that the County and HUD have committed funds to ensure this innovative development becomes a reality.” 

“The affordable, inclusive housing options that adults with autism and other disabilities in Howard County need simply don’t exist,” said HCAS President Patrick Boxall. “This is what prompted the Autism Society to develop the concept for Patuxent Commons and why we’re so determined to see this important project advance.”   

Efforts are well underway to secure remaining financing for the project, which will be in Columbia’s Hickory Ridge Village neighborhood. In September, Mission First applied to the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development’s Community Development Administration for low-income housing tax credit (LIHTC) financing. If secured, the LIHTC award will fund nearly half of the project’s total costs. 

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