Howard County Blog

A Blog on what is going on in Howard County

Friday, May 26, 2006

The Amazing Reappearing Insufficient 10% and 5%

As I reviewed the documents the Department of Planning and Zoning put out for the last Focus Group I noticed the “Moderate and the Middle Income Housing” section at the top of page 3. Yet again the documents listed moderate and middle-income numbers as 10% moderate and 5% middle-income, which the Focus Group has repeatedly said wasn't sufficient. Why do these numbers keep on appearing on document after document, when the Focus Group members and the community at large has repeatedly said these numbers don't reflect the communities needs?

According to the 2000 census:

17.1% of Howard Co households make less than $35,000
11.9% of Howard Co households make between $35,000 and $50,000
21.5% of Howard Co households make between $50,000 and $75,000
17.6% of Howard Co households make between $75,000 and $100,000

A HayDuke post from several weeks back reminds us:

Based on the county's current $82,065 median income, officials define moderate-income households as those earning between $32,826 and $65,652 annually.

So at least 29% of county households (and probably more likely more than 1/3 of county households when you factor in households making between $50,000 and $65,652 annually) would have to compete for that 10% scrap without even starting to address how 5% middle income clearly doesn't reflect the needs of the vast number of county households that are defined by the county as middle income.

9 Comments:

Blogger Hayduke said...

How does the fact that the council has not and probably won't approve a "middle" income classification effect this? Would they create the classification just for Town Center. Would it exist only in the Downtown zoning code? Has anyone explained this at the Focus Group meetings?

7:50 AM  
Blogger hocoblog said...

Ken, because they really don't care what the focus group thinks.

11:48 AM  
Blogger Evan said...

I guess we will see if they start changing this to numbers that reflect the needs created by county household incomes whether they in reality care what either the community or the focis group thinks. Until these numbers are changed it sure looks like they aren't listening to the focus group, since this issue has been the one that the focus group has been most unified on. As to what the council does, I think we will have to wait til the next council to address this (which makes sense to me), but I think it would be a winning issue for candidates to speak up on now. The need for mixed income housing to reflect the needs of the community is the most universal thing I have heard from the charrette, from the focus group, and from my other conversations in the community.

Personally I think that this should be a county-wide development standard and not just for downtown, because it clearly has been shown to lead to healthier communities that serves the tax-payer well.

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