Howards Seeks Applicants for Housing Opportunities Advisory Committee

Howard County officials recently announced they’re opening applications for seats on their new Housing Opportunities Trust Fund Advisory Committee. 

Earlier this week, Howard County Executive Calvin Ball and the Department of Housing and Community Development announced next steps for Howard County’s historic Housing Opportunities Trust Fund.

Applicants are being sought to serve on the Housing Opportunities Trust Fund Advisory Committee, which will assist in the oversight of the fund. The committee will meet up to six times a year, and applicants should have housing experience and familiarity with financial statements and development budgets.

County Executive Ball provided $5 million in funding to launch the Trust Fund in his FY23 budget, which was approved by the County Council. The Trust Fund, the first of its kind in Howard County, is intended to provide additional forms of rental and home rehabilitation assistance and support housing for populations in need. Homeownership opportunities for first-time homebuyers will be increased, existing affordable housing can be preserved and rehabilitated, and new units can be developed, in particular, to serve residents with low incomes and disabilities.

County Executive Ball said that county programs that assist with rental unit preservation, homeownership, and rehabilitation efforts will receive a boost from the fund. The County’s rehabilitation loan program provides low interest loans to existing homeowners to make improvements that allow them to safely remain in their homes and improve the neighborhood around them.

Howard is just the latest of several Maryland counties to create a housing fund. Baltimore City, Prince George’s, and Montgomery Counties, as well as the state of Maryland, each have established a similar fund. This is just the latest in a long line of actions taken by counties to help bring the cost of housing down.
Yesterday, October 19th, MACo hosted an all-day symposium dedicated to addressing the affordable housing crisis. Partners from all aspects of the debate gathered in Anne Arundel County to discuss four major areas of housing policy: planning and zoning, infrastructure, socioeconomic, and the environment. The event represented the first step in finding a solution to this crisis.