Photo courtesy Patuxent Commons.

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.

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.

Efforts are well underway to secure remaining financing for the project, which will be in Columbia’s Village of Hickory Ridge. 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.