Howard County has announced a $1.6 million grant for Patuxent Commons, a housing development conceived by the Autism Society of Maryland that is being developed by Mission First Housing Group. The project will provide deeply affordable housing for people with disabilities, and a mix of affordable and market rate units that will target older adults and families.

The 76-unit project will be located in Columbia’s Village of Hickory Ridge at a site with access to public transit and walkable amenities. Based on a concept developed by AUSOM to help meet the housing needs of adults with Autism and other disabilities, the project is also being designed to reduce social isolation and increase community inclusion by encouraging relationship-building among neighbors of different abilities and ages.

With the new Housing Trust Fund grant, the Howard County Department of Housing and Community Development has committed a total of $5.8 million toward the $39 million project cost. Patuxent Commons has also attracted major funding from state and federal sources, including a four percent low-income housing tax credit, and significant philanthropic support from The Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

The project’s developer and the recipient of the award, Mission First, is a nonprofit affordable housing developer of more than 3,500 apartments throughout the mid-Atlantic.

“Projects like Patuxent Commons require a range of funding sources to be developed,” said Mission First Managing Director Sarah Constant. “The Housing Trust Fund award is the latest example of the critical role that County support has played in this initiative. With their help, this much-needed project moves even closer toward construction.”

Patuxent Commons is on track to complete the public approvals process, close on its financing and begin construction in early 2024.