U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development


Anne Arundel County extends from the Baltimore suburbs to a rural area between the Chesapeake Bay and the Patuxent River, one of the bay's major tributaries. Few jurisdictions can claim to be as culturally and economically diverse. The county contains the oldest State capitol in continuous use, a busy international airport, a historic port used by both working watermen and yacht owners, the U.S. Naval Academy, offices of defense contractors, and one of the Nation's key military installations. These and other attractions accounted for a population surge during the 1980s that brought with it new development, new jobs, and ballooning housing prices. Since that time, the pace of development has slowed and jobs are scarcer and provide less security. These economic changes have dampened home prices somewhat. Nevertheless, home ownership and many rental opportunities remain beyond the reach of Anne Arundel households in the low- to moderate-income range who make up over a quarter of the county's population.

Action Plan

The county's Consolidated Plan outlines a set of local priorities and a range of five-year objectives for meeting housing and community development needs of lower-income populations. The strategy includes both programs that are countywide and those directed to neighborhoods with concentrations of low-income residents. The plan was developed by Arundel Community Development Services, Inc. (ACDS), a nonprofit organization, under contract with the county government.

Citizen Participation

Work on the Consolidated Plan was preceded by a public hearing in the fall of 1994 to inform residents of changes in federally funded programs and to solicit suggestions for meeting the county's housing and community development needs. Participants were divided into working groups to identify needs and set priorities. Each group's findings were presented to the entire audience. At a second hearing, in January of 1995, ACDS staff presented plans for investment in housing and community development activities for fiscal year 1996. Comments from both hearings were incorporated into the plan. The staff conferred with representatives of such county agencies as the Departments of Social Services, Health, and Planning and Code Enforcement, as well as with some of the counterparts of these agencies in State government. A broad range of local agencies and nonprofit housing and service providers contributed data and information.

MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.


Anne Arundel County tripled its population in the 30 years between 1950 and 1980. High job growth, low unemployment, and natural and cultural advantages drew new residents. The 1980s in particular were a time of rapid growth. New residents arrived as "baby boomers" came of age. Changes in family composition resulted in more single parent and single person households, increasing the number of households overall. These developments increased the demand for housing of all types and resulted in rapid increases in housing costs.

The population continued to be predominantly white (365,203). African Americans made up 12 percent of the population (50,525). While Hispanic, Native American, and Asian populations still each made up under 2 percent of the population, their populations grew collectively by 66 percent between 1980 and 1990.

Between 1970 and 1990 racial distribution within the county changed. While some of this change may be attributed to increased integration, it is more likely that traditionally black rural communities have been displaced or surrounded by fast-growing subdivisions with primarily white residents.

MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.

MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration levels.

MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.



In contrast to the 1980s, the early 1990s have been a time of economic uncertainty. Demand for housing had leveled off, due in part to concerns about job security and layoffs. This relatively wealthy area experienced the phenomena of white collar professionals losing well- paying jobs and taking significant pay cuts to find employment. This dampening of demand has not resulted in the lowering of home prices and rental rates to a level which would be affordable for low- and moderate-income residents.

The median family income in 1990 was $45,147. Census data for 1990 showed the following breakdown of households by income range:

A total of 96,607 households in all other income levels live in the county.

Housing Market Conditions

By 1994 the median price of a home in Anne Arundel County had risen to $145,241, well beyond the buying power of households earning less than the median income of $45,147. Purchase of a median priced home would require an annual income of approximately $58,000 at today's prevailing interest rates.

Of the 95,420 owner-occupied units in the county in 1990, whites owned 88,547 units and African Americans, 6,012. There were 39,444 renter households. Census data for 1990 indicates that 1,850 rental units and 1,411 owner-occupied units are substandard and in need of rehabilitation.

Affordable Housing Needs

Approximately 30 percent of rental households (12,092) pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing and thus are considered cost burdened. The impact of high housing costs is greater for low-income households since these costs translate into proportionally less money for other basic goods, such as food, transportation, child care, and medical care. High housing costs can be a particular problem for elderly households, many of whom are living on a fixed income. More than 50 percent of elderly rental households pay over 30 percent of their income for housing, more than any other category of renters.

Single parent families comprise 10 percent of all households in the county (14,817 families) and 89 percent of these families are headed by women, with 14 percent of them (2,000 families) below the poverty line (approximately $13,000 for a family of four). These households require rental subsidies or emergency shelter at a much higher rate than dual-earner households and encounter more difficulty in finding affordable rental housing.

Most (66 percent) of the housing in the county is comprised of single-family units. Approximately 20 percent of owner-occupied households (22,000 households) experience housing problems including cost burden and/or live in substandard conditions.

Homeless Needs

During the 1994 fiscal year, about 1,890 individuals were served by providers of shelter and services to the homeless in Anne Arundel County. Families comprised 44 percent of these and 37 percent were children under the age of 18. A survey conducted on February 22, 1995 found that on that date 180 persons, 66 percent of whom were in family groups, were in emergency shelters. The county's African-American population is 12 percent of the total population, yet accounted for about 50 percent of those served by shelters.

Public and Assisted Housing Needs

As of January 1, 1995, the Anne Arundel County Housing Authority had 1,686 households on the waiting list for public housing and 2,814 households on the waiting list for Section 8 vouchers or certificates. Almost 900 households, or 20 percent, on the combined waiting lists are elderly with the remaining 80 percent primarily families, the majority of whom are single- parent families.

Barriers to Affordable Housing

Responding to recommendations of several task forces, county staff examined zoning policies, building codes, and subdivision regulations that affect the price of housing. No decision to implement changes was made. However, the county expects to have opportunities to modify housing-related policies as it revises its existing 1978 General Development Plan to comply with the Maryland Economic Growth, Resource Protection, and Planning Act of 1992.

Fair Housing

Anne Arundel County will comply with the Fair Housing Act. It will conduct an analysis of impediments to fair housing choice, to be completed by February 1996. Based on that analysis, it will undertake activities to affirmatively further fair housing in the private and public housing sectors.

Lead-Based Paint

Arundel Community Development Services, Inc., will research potential funding sources for lead paint abatement and encapsulation. Construction procedures have been reviewed and revised to facilitate identification of lead paint and to incorporate abatement procedures into work write-ups and specifications.

Other Issues

The Anne Arundel County Mental Health Association estimates that there are approximately 445 mentally ill individuals in need of supported housing. Mentally ill homeless people have the greatest need since shelters cannot easily accommodate them. They often end up in hospital emergency rooms, in jail, or on the streets.

Approximately 15 percent of the county's population is considered to be disabled to some degree. It is estimated that as the population continues to age and life-sustaining technologies advance, this figure will rise to 22 percent.

Community Development Needs

There is a need for a wide variety of neighborhood facilities, ranging from day care centers to health centers to recreation facilities and senior centers, especially in lower-income communities. Human services to support families are particularly important, as is early intervention in the lives of children at risk. Job training and continuing education are essential as the county continues to experience, and adapt to, economic change.


Vision for Change

Over the next five years, Anne Arundel County will focus on bettering housing conditions for low-income cost-burdened renters, elderly and low-income disabled persons, the growing number of smaller households, low-income homeowners, and low-income first- time homebuyers. While the county will continue emergency support for homeless people, additional energy will be put into promoting transitional housing. In community development, Anne Arundel County plans to work closely with citizens in the process of planning and carrying out neighborhood revitalization.

Housing and Community Development Objectives and Priorities

Based on the needs assessment, this strategy establishes the county's priorities over the next five years for assistance in housing, supportive services, and community development for low- and moderate-income households and communities.

Housing Priorities

The county will continue to support the operation of existing emergency and transitional shelters for the homeless and encourage additional transitional housing options that provide supportive services to help other special needs populations maintain, or regain, independent living.

Nonhousing Community Development Priorities

Antipoverty Strategy

According to the 1990 Census, 18,391 persons, or 4.5 percent of the population of Anne Arundel County, lived below the federally established threshold for poverty of $12,674 for a family of four in 1989. As noted above, this group includes some 2,000 single-parent households that require housing subsidies at a much higher rate than dual-earner households.

Two recent programs are aimed at reducing poverty. An innovative Department of Social Services program begun last year matches volunteer mentors with selected families seeking essential education and job training. The mentors, recruited from community organizations, assist the families with such matters as job searches, transportation, and doctor's appointments, and provide general emotional support during the transition from dependence to self-sufficiency.

In another program, judges may allow parents ruled delinquent in child-support payments to work under the supervision of case managers to gain training for employment that will enable them to begin, or resume, payments.

Housing and Community Development Resources

Anne Arundel County expects to allocate just over $4 million to address priority needs for the 1996 fiscal year. This includes a $2.6 million Community Development Block Grant; $98,000 in Emergency Shelter Grants, and an $845,000 HOME Investment Partnership grant with a $190,125 county match. It also includes CDBG program income of $215,218 and $213,678 reprogrammed from completed projects.

Coordination of Strategic Plan

Arundel Community Development Services, Inc. (ACDS) is the lead organization. Besides developing the Consolidated Plan, this nonprofit corporation designed the five-year strategy and will direct implementation of fiscal 1996 activities.

In addition, each agency within the county has both a planning and development component and service delivery component. Depending on the project and type of funding, development teams from various agencies or single agencies take the lead in defining project goals and targeting delivery dates, funding sources, and project development. The team or department is responsible for coordinating program delivery support from nonprofits and the private sector.

Residents have access to information about the range and types of services available from the county and nonprofits. The library administration makes available through on-line computers an annual directory of health, housing, and supportive services and facilities available to county residents.

MAP 5 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.

MAP 6 is a map, sectioned by neighborhood, which depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects.

MAP 7 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within one of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.

MAP 8 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded projects within one of the four neighborhoods indicated in MAP 6.

MAP 9 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, unemployment levels, and proposed HUD funded project(s) from a street level vantage point; as well as, provides a table with information about the project(s).


Description of Key Projects

Countywide projects include:

Programs targeted for specific areas include:

To comment on Anne Arundel County's Consolidated Plan, please contact Kathleen M. Koch, Executive Director, at 410-222-7600. Her address is Arundel Community Development Services, Inc, 2660 Riva Road, Suite 210, Annapolis, Maryland 21401. Her fax number is 410- 222-7619. Her TDD number is 410-222-7608.
Return to Maryland's Consolidated Plans.