Executive Director's Message

​​​​​​Welcome to the Howard County Housing Commission!  In July of 2016 the Commission “spun itself off” from the County government and now operates independently.  We are the proud owner of over 1,900 rental homes scattered throughout the County that serve individuals and families with a wide range of resources.  As befits the visionary history of Howard County, we are unusual as a housing authority in our mission of integrating affordable housing opportunities into the diverse neighborhoods and communities of the County.

In November of 2016, the County passed landmark legislation to allow changes to downtown Columbia that reflect the ways we live, work, and play today.  This transformation, years in the making, will create thousands of new downtown homes, and the Commission will make sure many of them are within reach of everyone who wants to work, retire, or raise a family in our County.  This plan is unparalleled in the region.  It guarantees that affordable housing will be a strong component of the new downtown.  It includes the many voices of the community.  We are proud to be a part of the plan and are looking forward to our role in revitalization of the area.

This year, in which we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the founding of Columbia, the Commission inaugurated the opening of the Non-Profit Collaborative and its new headquarters.  The Collaborative is home to an ever-increasing number of non-profit and government entities that assist County residents with a host of services.  We are becoming a true one-stop shop for people looking for help with social services – and a vibrant community in our own right.

Howard County is a fantastic place to call home.  We are fortunate to be one of the wealthiest counties in the nation, and there is a strong consensus that providing a mix of housing choices at a variety of prices is important for the health and well-being of the County as a whole.  Still, I know from many years working in the affordable housing world that the subject can be controversial.  People are understandably concerned about their neighborhoods, and they want to make sure that their communities will remain, safe, nurturing, and friendly.  If you are interested in our mission or concerned about our activities or policies, reach out to us.  I will be happy to discuss the Commission’s goals and answer your questions about affordable housing.  Or invite us to a community meeting.  Whatever the venue, we look forward to working with you.

 Peter Engel

                                                                 Executive Director