Frederick County Executive Discusses Senior Housing Assistance Plan

She says proposing it as a pilot program.                                                                       


Frederick, Md (KM) A pilot program to help senior citizens pay their rents is  being proposed by Frederick County  Executive Jan Gardner.

She discussed the proposal during a public information briefing last week. “Knowing that the county’s senior population is growing rapidly, I am asking the County Council to consider supporting a pilot program to buy down rent for senior who are not able to afford the market rate,” says Gardner..

She says the rent buy-down program would require seniors to pay 30% of their income on rent, with the county making up the rest. “The pilot would be limited to housing units  that currently receive low income tax credits,”: Gardner says The county has already invested money into these types of projects so it would make sense to try out this program there, according to Gardner.

Citing the ALICE report from the United Way, Gardner said 47% of citizens 65 and older are having difficulty making ends meet each month, and 16% of seniors live in poverty. ALICE stands for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. It described the population which is working, but don’t make enough money  to keep up with the cost of living.

Gardner says this rent buy-down would be funded through revenues from the recordation tax, which is imposed on property transfers. “When the recordation fee was proposed, we originally though the greatest housing need was assistance to help young families buy their first  home,” she says. “But it has also become apparent that one of the biggest housing needs is low and fixed income seniors  who are struggling to remain in the community they have called home for decades.”

On October 1st, 2020, the County’s recordation tax went up by $1 to $7.00 per $500 of consideration.

“The details would still have to be worked out. It’s really concept, an idea at this point,”: says County Executive Gardner. “And it is something we’ll be discussing  with the County Council to see what their interest is.”


By Kevin McManus