March 18, 2020 – COVID-19 Response

As the coordinated response to the COVID-19 virus changes, the Commission is adapting to continue to serve our clients and residents.  Our first priority is to keep clients, staff, and the public safe. 

As of today, we are closing the office to the general public.  While our doors are closed, our phone lines remain open.  Staff will be working diligently through this pandemic to assist you.  Please be patient.  We know that the virus and the consequences on all of our lives is making us all anxious and worried.  We will make sure that our programs continue to help those who need them. 

The best way to contact us is by completing the form on this website.  You may also leave a phone message for your housing specialist but please provide your email address for faster service.

The Commission will take the following actions effective immediately: 

Office Closure

The office will be closed to the public.  Staff will be working remotely.  You are encouraged to use
the form on this website to request an appointment.  A staff member will respond to you within 48 hours via email or telephone.  You may also request an appointment by calling your housing specialist. Please leave a detailed message, phone number and email if possible.

Emergency Rules for the Housing Choice Voucher Program

Rent Adjustments

If independent verification of loss of income cannot be obtained, clients may be required to self-certify.  All self-certified adjustments may be verified by a 3rd party at a later date. Normal fraud and abuse penalties will be enforced.

We will make every effort to adjust your rent in a timely manner. Please note, YOU MUST REPORT UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS by the end of the month in which you’re notified, NOT WHEN YOU BEGIN TO RECEIVE CHECKS.

Port Ins

There will be a temporary prohibition on families wishing to move to Howard County with continued rental assistance.  Hardship or emergency moves may be approved on a case-by-case basis. 


There will be a temporary restriction on families wishing to move with continued assistance.  Hardship or emergency moves may be approved on a case-by-case basis.

Unit Inspections

Tenant requested unit inspections may be limited.  If a tenant has a life-threatening maintenance issue that cannot be resolved by the property maintenance staff, please contact your housing specialist or use the appointment request form on this website.

Annual Recertifications

To the best of our ability, the Commission will conduct annual recertifications and may use self-certifications via mail, email or telephone. 


Housing Specialists:

Shanel Gaither (443)518-7826  -

Sierra Gilliam  (443)518-7807 -

Robyn Carter (443)518-7817 –

Chelsi Matthews (443)518-7809 –

Susie Schappell   – (443)518-7821 -

Supervisor: - Pam Smith (443)518-7816 –

For further information on COVID-19, please see the following links:

The Center for Disease Control

The Maryland Department of Health
Howard County

SNAP (Food Assistance)