U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Office of Community Planning and Development
Consolidated Plan Contact
Prince George's County, Maryland, is a study in contrasts. The western areas of the
county near Washington D.C. are intensively developed while the southern section remains
mostly rural and agricultural. At the present time, one-quarter of the county land area is
residential; slightly more is identified as "recreational and cultural". The largest percentage
of the land 32.3 percent is vacant, consisting primarily of rural wetlands or parklands that
cannot be developed.
HUD's Consolidated Plan regulations require local governments to identify and describe
housing and community development needs and priorities, and to establish a 5-year strategy
for addressing these needs using Federal and other resources within a comprehensive
framework. Applications for the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG),
HOME Partnerships Program (HOME), Emergency Shelter Grant Program (ESG), and Housing
Opportunities for Persons with aids Program (HOPWA) are included in the submission of the
Consolidated Plan. In FY1995-1996, Prince George's County will receive $7,274,000 in
CDBG, $2,165,000 in HOME , and $247,000 in ESG, and $602,673 in HOPWA.
A Consolidated Planning Advisory Committee (CPAC), functioning through five task groups,
was created by the County's Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD)
to encourage citizen participation in addressing the County's housing and community
development needs and priorities. This effort involved conducting needs assessments and
questionnaire surveys of program clientele, including a focus group housing survey of 253
Invitations to participate in the task group were extended through letters to all organizations
which had previously participated in the County's CDBG program process and to the mayors
of all 26 municipalities that participated in CDBG. Notice of an October 4, 1994 public
forum and the proposed plan were published in Prince George's Journal. The May 2, 1995,
Public Hearing on the proposed plan was advertized on the County's public access TV
Forty-nine percent of Prince George's County households are black, 45 percent are white, 3
percent are Hispanic, and 3 percent are Asian. Minority concentrations are mostly found at
the District of Columbia border and in a band across the middle of the county.
The 1990 census reported 279,133 housing units in Prince George's County. Housing stock
is expected to grow by 8 percent by the year 2000. Sixty-two percent of the housing units
are single-family, only 26 percent are in buildings of 10 or more units. There are 20,487
households in Prince George's County that can be defined as extremely low-income. This
represents 8 percent of all households in the County. Of these households, 13,980 are
renters and 6,507 are homeowners.
An extremely low-income household that earns 30 percent of the median income would be
able to afford no more than $323 a month for rent. There are approximately 7,429 renter
units available in the housing market that are potentially affordable to households with
earnings below 30 percent of the median income. This is less than half the number of units
needed to meet existing demand. The current fair market rent for a 2-bedroom unit in the
Washington Area is $851 per month.
In Prince George's County there are 155,467 owner households: 10 percent are extremely
low-income and 6 percent are low-income. In contrast, of the 102,222 renter households,
31 percent are extremely low-income and 15 percent are low-income. In addition, 9 percent
of all renters (9,199) and 2.6 percent (4,042) of all owners live in overcrowded housing.
The race/ethnicity of owners and renters is an important characteristic to examine because
it can reflect community attitudes, fair housing issues, or employment experiences. In Prince
George's County, data shows that black households are more likely to rent. Of all renters,
58.4 percent are black compared to 32.5 percent who are white. Only 4 percent of all
renters identified themselves as being of Hispanic origin. White and black renters pay
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT NEEDS
Housing in the inner suburbs within the Capital Beltway is older and in the greatest need of
rehabilitation. Many of the County's newer units are located outside the Beltway. As the
Prince George's County housing stock ages, property maintenance and repair becomes more
critical. There are approximately 10,400 housing units suitable for rehabilitation, about
equally divided between owner-occupied and rental units. Many of these units are occupied
by low- and moderate-income households.
Accurate data is not available regarding the number of substandard housing units occupied
by extremely low-, low- and moderate-income households. There are, however, 5,095 units
of multi-family housing classified by the County's Department of Environmental Resources
as distressed properties. A large number of the units (36 percent) are located in low-income
areas of Landover. Others are scattered in low-income areas both inside and outside the
Housing conditions in the rural enclaves of Prince George's County present some of the
most challenging problems to housing providers. Attempts to address the problems of
people living in substandard trailers, shacks, and converted buses without adequate indoor
plumbing often meet resistance from landlords. Owners may prefer evicting tenants rather
than rehabilitating the properties. Relocating tenants living in the worst conditions is a high
priority for the county.
Housing Market Conditions
There are 279,133 housing units in Prince George's County. Owners live in 58.9 percent of
all occupied units; the remaining 41.1 percent are occupied by renters. There is an overall
vacancy rate of 6.3 percent.
The Washington Area Housing Partnership issued a 1994 report stating that Prince George's
County has 52,968 affordable multifamily housing units. Of these, 33,867 units receive no
rental assistance and are available in the private market. A further 15,373 are assisted
units, the majority of which are project-based units owned by private property owners.
Forty-five percent of the units rent at levels affordable to families earning less than 50
percent of the area median income.
Affordable Housing Needs
Twenty-four percent of extremely low-income renters are elderly, 10 percent are large
families (5 or more persons), and 37 percent are small related households. The composite
picture for extremely low-income homeowners is quite different. Nearly half (49 percent) of
extremely low income homeowners are elderly.
There are a total of 25,869 households with incomes between 31 percent and 50 percent of
median. Two-third of these households are renters. In Prince George's County 9 percent of
all renters and 2.6 percent of all owners are overcrowded. About one in ten very low-income renters are overcrowded.
The County has approximately 432 emergency shelter beds available. While emergency
shelters offer immediate assistance, they often do not offer solutions to the problems that
cause homelessness. Transitional programs available in Prince George's County include a
Homeless Training and Employment Program, the Transitional Housing Programs, and the
Rental Allowance Program.
In the County, the Community Ministry Coordinating Center screens all information and
referral calls for emergency shelter. Approximately 6,000 unduplicated calls are received
each year by the Coordinating Center. In addition the Housing and Community Development
Information Center receives approximately 2,000 calls a year from homeless persons or
persons at risk of becoming homeless.
Public and Assisted Housing
Prince George's County has 15,373 units of assisted housing in the public and private
markets. The two major public-sector rental assistance programs are public housing and
Section 8 housing. The County currently has 5,238 households on its waiting list for public
and assisted housing. Some households must wait between 4 and 7 years to receive
All of the Housing Authority's public housing units were built in the early to mid-1970s.
The Prince George's Housing Authority has a 5-year plan to improve the living environment
of its tenants. Of the County's 568 units of public housing, the Housing Authority will have
31 handicapped accessible units for the mobility impaired and 13 units for audio and visually
impaired persons. The County has reserved 488 of the 568 rental units of conventional
public housing for elderly/handicapped residents and 80 for families with children. Section
8 tenant-based certificates serve 1,841 households, project based certificates serve 378,
and vouchers serve 1,051.
The Authority also manages a 50-unit family complex of homeownership units, which were
developed under the Turnkey III program. Of these, 41 units have been conveyed to
residents and the County is assisting the remaining 8 families to purchase their units.
Persons with HIV/AIDS are encouraged to and prefer to remain in their own homes during
their illness. Two types of assistance are offered: tenant-based rental assistance and
emergency assistance. Approximately 100 people receive emergency assistance, usually on
a one-time basis; there are 44 families being served under the rental assistance program.
Barriers to Affordable Housing
Barriers to affordable housing include land costs, construction costs, and financing costs.
The Housing Task Group for the Consolidated Plan considered the barriers to affordable
housing at its December 1, 1994, meeting. The Task Group consisted of members of
nonprofit groups engaged in the development of special needs housing as well as affordable
housing advocates, County agency personnel and representatives from municipalities and
other nonprofits. Some of the task groups concerns on regulatory and attitudinal barriers to
affordable housing in Prince George's County included:
- Lack of public housing for families. There are only 80 units of family public
- Federal policy that restricts public housing residents' rent contributions from
exceeding 30 percent of their income. This policy prevents some very low-income households from being able to rent low-cost, nonsubsidized housing.
No County general funds are utilized for housing preservation programs.
- Zoning laws do not allow day care on-site.
- Code enforcement programs that permit the County to close properties that
are not in compliance, but offer no alternative housing to the tenants. Also
the County does not choose to take over troubled properties.
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development estimates that a total of
72,858 low- and very low-income housing units in Prince George's County contain lead-based paint hazards. This is one of the highest rates of contamination in the State. A 1992 screening of 1,200 children by the Prince George's County Department of Health identified
the older, inner beltway communities as having the largest concentration of lead poison
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY
Housing and Community Development Objectives
The County has identified notable gaps in the supply of affordable housing and the provision
of housing services. Single-room occupancy housing, large rental units with 4-5 bedrooms
for extremely low- and low-income households, rental and homeownership housing for small
families/single parent families, subsidized housing for extremely low- income households,
barrier free housing for the developmentally disabled, transitional housing, group homes and
assisted living units are all targeted for improvement. The County also stresses a
coordination among agencies in the provision of housing and services for homeless, special
needs populations, and persons with AIDS as well as rehabilitation of existing housing stock
in older communities.
Housing and Community Development Priorities
Among the criteria established by Prince George's County for investing its resources over
the next 5 years is that affordable housing projects:
Special revitalization focus areas include Bladensburg, Colmar Manor, Cottage City, Suitland,
and Fairmount Heights. To the extent possible, housing rehabilitation and new construction
of single-family homes on infill sites will be located in these areas to stimulate positive
neighborhood change. Generally, new construction projects will be located outside the
Beltway in order to reduce racial/ethnic and low-income concentrations. Housing
rehabilitation and new construction will also occur in the rural areas where affordable
housing for large families is a great need.
- serve low- and extremely low-income households
- be sensitive to geographical locations in terms of crime, access to
transportation, concentrations of income groups and vulnerable populations
- be located in communities in need of revitalization
- have high leveraging capability
- be located in areas of mixed income and diverse racial/ethnic populations
- respond to identified gaps
- Provide affordable housing for large families of five or more persons in a
household. In the Housing Markets Analysis section, it is stated that there are
25,000 large family units with 3 or more bedrooms in the current rental
market. Of these units, 15,890 are affordable to low-income families. Only
3,040 are affordable to families at the lowest income level, below 30 percent
of the median income. Fifty-six percent of all large families are experiencing a
housing cost burden, paying more than 30 percent of their income for
- Provide affordable housing (rental and homeownership) for small families
The largest number of renter households needing assistance is small families
37 percent of all small family households have some type of housing problem.
- Within the next 5 years, the County will construct 105 rental units for small
families and 50 100 single-family attached and detached homes. In addition,
through the Housing Authority's Mortgage Bond Financing Program mortgage
assistance for 580 first-time homebuyers will be made available and 1,870
units of multifamily housing will be rehabilitated. Finally, 48 new housing
vouchers and 45 new Section 8 housing certificates will be administered
through the County and 80 units of family housing in public housing inventory
will be rehabilitated.
- Establish a broad-based community effort to ameliorate the health risks
associated with Lead-based paint hazards. Homes will be treated for lead
abatements, and more than 600 children will be tested for lead exposure.
Homes will be treated for lead abatement, and more than 600 children will be
tested for lead exposure.
- Provide affordable housing and community-based services for the elderly.
The County will assist in construction of over 500 units of low- and
moderate-income elderly housing, and the rehabilitation of an equal number of
single family homes for the elderly.
- Provide housing assistance for persons with HIV/AIDS who are in need of
single room-occupancy housing, assisted living units, group homes and
community-based services. Adequate housing is critical to stabilizing the
individual and family situation. To address the housing needs of persons with
HIV/AIDS, the County will increase HOPWA funding, expand case
management and supportive services to link HOPWA subsidized units and in-home care, provide 24 hour emergency access, maintain medical shelter beds
for persons with AIDS who are being released from correctional facilities or
hospitals, and fully fund hospice care now available in clients' homes.
Non-Housing Community Development Priorities
Priority non-housing community development goals focus on older communities inside the
Beltway, and include:
- Health services are the greatest need, especially primary health services in the
rural southeast part of the County and low-income areas with high racial and
ethnic concentrations such as Langley Park, Capitol Heights and Landover.
Limited transportation to health facilities and limited services to the non-English speaking population and the homeless are further issues of concern.
Services relating to adult day care, transportation, drug and crime prevention,
child care, employment training, and housing services were also noted as high
- Improve infrastructure. Infrastructure represents the largest capital asset for
municipalities and unincorporated areas. Strategies to improve the
infrastructure in Prince George's County include working with the County
Department of Environmental Resources, leveraging private funds for
infrastructure in new developments, and "batch bidding" with other
municipalities and unincorporated areas. Additional high priorities include
activities to eliminate sources of neighborhood blight,
rehabilitation/preservation projects to maintain the existing housing stock,
crime control, and neighborhood revitalization.
- Economic development priorities are providing a secure business environment,
providing education and training, providing technical assistance/capacity
building for new businesses, encouraging the development of community
development corporations, and pursuing job creation/job retention
ONE YEAR ACTION PLAN
Description of Key Projects
The County has established four housing goals in the One-Year Action Plan.
- In order to address homelessness, the County will provide: family emergency
shelter for approximately 120 families annually for a maximum of six-weeks in
an apartment style shelter that houses 14 families, emergency shelter for
approximately 400 men annually in a dormitory-style shelter, emergency
shelter for approximately 860 women and children in a dormitory style
shelter, and transitional housing in three programs -- Transitional I, II, and III --
for 45 households. Maximum stay is one year in I and II, and two years in
- In addressing special need populations, the County proposes to provide rental
assistance and emergency subsidies to 75 persons with AIDS, construct 30
units of housing for the frail elderly, construct 16 beds for the mentally ill,
and assist nonprofit organizations purchasing a minimum of 5 group homes
for 20 persons with developmental disabilities.
- Prince George's County will address housing targeted for small and large
families through the construction of 110 units of multifamily housing and 11
single family homes, the rehabilitation of 104 units of affordable housing and
the provision of down payment and closing costs assistance for approximately
22 households looking to purchase a single family home.
- In addition, the County will construct 382 units of elderly housing.
The County's Revitalization Task Force has targeted the older Inner Beltway communities for
concentrated efforts in revitalizing the physical, social and economic character of these
areas. Revitalization of the Inner Beltway is the cornerstone of the County's efforts to
address conditions of deterioration and poverty, since it is the location of most low-income
areas and areas of racial/ethnic concentrations. Particular emphasis will be given to those
areas close to the District of Columbia border, such as Fairmount Heights, Seat Pleasant,
Capitol Heights, Suitland, Bladensburg, Colmar Manor, and Cottage City.
Leveraging Federal funds is an essential part of the County's program for meeting its
housing and non-housing priorities. Donations of County-owned land have been a prime
source of promoting single family home construction for low and moderate income
households. The County will work with and support nonprofit groups seeking Federal
housing funds through HOPE, the McKinney Act, and other programs that require a local
match. The County's leveraging strategies include: working with a consortium of banks in
the community for business development financing; packaging loans by leveraging local
bank, State, and Federal housing and community development programs, and utilizing the
Community Reinvestment Act to leverage financing.
MAP 1 depicts points of interest in the jurisdiction.
MAP 2 depicts points of interest and low-moderate income areas.
MAP 3 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and minority concentration
MAP 4 depicts points of interest, low-moderate income areas, and unemployment levels.
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 another 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; in addition, a table provides information about the project(s).
To comment on Prince George's County's Consolidated Plan, please contact:
Mr. Kenneth Collins,
Community Planning and Development Division,
Prince George's County Department of Housing
and Community Development, at 301-883-5532.
Return to Maryland's Consolidated Plans.