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Thriving and Healthy Residents

Increase the number of affordable rental units for households with incomes 60% below median income by 54% by 2025


FY19 Actual

FY18 Actual

Objective Description

There are approximately 9,250 moderate income households still struggling with housing affordability issues in Howard County. To help address this issue, the Moderate Income Housing Unit (MIHU) Program requires developers of new housing in specific zoning districts to rent a portion of the dwelling units (typically 10% to 20%) to households of moderate income. The purpose of this affordability program is to balance the cost of living of a rental unit against the household’s annual income, with the intent that a household should not expend more than thirty three percent of its income on expenses related to the rental unit. The MIHU program was first adopted in 1996 and has steadily grown its rental inventory to 600 units. Although this program addresses the need for affordable housing, it alone is not the panacea that will correct this issue. The addition of affordable units, easily outpaced by the addition of higher rent units, has led to a critical under supply of affordable rental housing units.

Trend Analysis

For FY 2020 it is expected that there will be an additional 79 affordable units added to the existing inventory. In 2021 the creation of affordable rental units will likely be challenged with the implementation of Adequate Public Facilities Ordinance (APFO) which may reduce the expected creation of units from 2020 to 2029 from 699 units down to 381, furthering the shortage of affordable units. The baseline year for target completion is FY 2018.


  • Howard County, with input from a diverse group of community members is currently requesting proposals to develop a Housing Opportunities MasterPlan with an over reaching goal of identifying the County’s affordability issues and needs along with strategies to address them.
  • Maintaining the current MIHU program while identifying best practices to more effectively manage the program, especially where affordable rental housing is critically low supply.
  • Continue providing financial education classes for those seeking housing in Howard County.

Source: Howard County Department of Housing and Community Development

Detailed Analysis

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