14 new houses awarded in lottery

Winners will be able to buy new, low-priced condos, townhouses

September 09, 2007|By Larry Carson | Larry Carson,Sun reporter

Fourteen families are getting ready to buy new, low-priced townhouses and condominiums, thanks to the latest Howard County moderate-income housing lottery.

Thomas P. Carbo, deputy county housing director, said a lottery drawing last week awarded five new townhouses in Shipley's Grant on Route 108 near Snowden River Parkway, at $168,000 each; five Elkridge Crossing condominium apartments on U.S. 1, priced at $178,000 each; and four Elkridge Crossing garage townhouses at $204,000 each.

Carbo said the housing winners were people employed by Howard County General Hospital, the county state's attorney's office, the National Institutes of Health, county schools, police, the state health department and Enterprise Community Partners.

The program was started about 15 years ago to help moderate-income workers buy homes in the county, where the average price of a house this year is more than $400,000. Because demand for the program outstrips the supply of houses, the county uses a lottery to determine who gets them.

Under a separate program in which the county shares ownership of homes with limited-income buyers, three houses are set to be offered to new owners at the county's next housing fair, scheduled for Sept. 29 at Wilde Lake High School. Information about qualifying for the program is available at the Web site, http:--comehometohowardcounty.org.

Two of the properties are renovated houses in separate Elkridge developments for which buyers would pay $190,000 each for a share of ownership. The third is a large garage townhouse at Cherry Tree Farms off Route 216 that is going for $140,000. It has an appraised value of about $432,000.

All three units are owned by the county Housing Commission, which will co-own them with the new occupants.

The moderate-income program lottery enables buyers to own homes for below-market prices dictated by the county.

The drawings took place late Thursday in County Council chambers in Ellicott City. Families with maximum incomes ranging from $58,358 for two people to $96,290 for a family of eight can apply for the lottery. Single people may not apply, Carbo said.

None of the homes awarded Thursday has been built. Some should be completed next year.

A two-bedroom condominium apartment in Elkridge Crossing has yet to be awarded, Carbo said.

"We thought it went very well," he said. "People were very excited. We got some well-qualified purchasers. We're helping some people out who couldn't afford to buy a home in Howard County."

larry.carson@baltsun.com

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