Howard County Executive Calvin Ball joined a host of dignitaries as the county broke ground Thursday on the Greenfields Community Living Project, a safe, affordable and sustainable housing development in Jessup for vulnerable residents.
The project will be constructed by iHomes Inc. a 501(3)(c) nonprofit organization and certified Community Housing Development Corporation (CHDO), utilizing a variety of funding sources for the construction of three single-family, energy-efficient, net-zero housing units. Each house will contain three bedrooms, providing housing to nine individuals. Howard County invested $990,000 in the project.
Joining Ball for the announcement were state Sen. Guy Guzzone, D-Howard, Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Regional Administrator Joseph DeFelice and Field Office Director Carol Bryant Payne, iHomes President Judi Olinger, Standard Energy Solutions President and CEO Steve Welsh, along with members of the Howard County Department of Housing and Community Development and the Howard County Housing Board.
The project will transform a portion of Jessup previously occupied by three vacant and blighted homes.
Residents of the proiect will be Howard County residents earning 30 percent or below of the HUD Baltimore-Columbia-Towson area median income and have a diagnosed disability, varying from Autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, traumatic brain injury and/or other intellectual disorders.
Howard County Department of Housing Director Kelly Cimino said the county and iHomes have partnered to create housing for more than 20 vulnerable individuals and invested almost $810,000 in HOME Program funds in housing projects for the residents they serve since 2012.
Through the county’s annual entitlement allocation from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), this project is funded with Home Investment Partnership (HOME) Program funds, the County’s Community Renewal MIHU fee-in-lieu funds, State Bond financing, and discretionary funds from the Weinberg Foundation.
Upon completion, the units will be available for immediate occupancy. These units will be owned and managed by iHomes Inc. as single-room occupancy units and every resident will have a lease and pay rent for his/her own room and the use of communal spaces. Residency in these affordable units will also include wrap-around services provided by Humanim Inc., such as enrollment in adult day programs, independent living training, physical rehabilitation and teaching job readiness skills.