From: Les Stickles
Board of directors
Elkridge Community Assoc.
Your April 10 edition of The Howard County Sun had a front-page article titled "Low cost housing: Where?"After reading the article there were several points that were inaccurate and need to be corrected.
First, it states that Councilperson(D-1st) Shane Pendergrass' comments were triggered by an upcoming Board of Appeals hearing on the 196-unit Orchard Club apartment development. The 196 units referred to are phase 1 of this development and need no additional hearings before the Board of Appeals. The Board of Appeals hearing that is mentioned pertains to phase 2 of the development, which is requesting variances from the 150-foot set back from existing residences for nine of the 12 proposed buildings.
Second, it states no subsidized housing is planned for phase 2. This is also incorrect as plans are being made at this very moment by John Brandenburg and Earl Armiger to put subsidized units in phase 2.
Third, this article makes it appear that the only affordable housing in HowardCounty for people of low and moderate means is subsidized housing. This may be true for the rest of the county but is not true for the community of Elkridge and the 1st District.
Subsidized housing came to be in Howard County because it was believed people of low and moderate means could not afford to live in this county. The only way to provide affordable housing was to somehow subsidize it and make it affordable. Therefore, the purpose of subsidized housing is to provide affordable housing units for people of low and moderate means.
In the community of Elkridge there are the following mobile home parks that provide 1,056 affordable housing units:
* Aladdin Mobile Home Park -- 165 units
* Capital Mobile Home Park -- 119 units
* DeepRun Mobile Home Park -- 700 units
* Elkridge Mobile Home Park -- 72 units
These units accomplish the goal of subsidized housing by providing affordable housing to people of low and moderate means, with very few units being subsidized. Just because they are not subsidized doesn't mean that they are not affordable housing units for peopleof low and moderate means.
Fourth, if the mobile home parks in the 1st District were taken into consideration along with the subsidized units, you would find that the remaining four districts combined don't have as many affordable units as Elkridge and the 1st District.
Editor's note: The writer is correct in stating that the hearings were for phase 2, not the 196 completed units of phase 1. It was the upcoming hearings on phase 2 that prompted Shane Pendergrass' letter. Both Brandenburg and Arminger have told us in the last week that theyare not making plans for subsidized housing in phase 2.