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.

Action Plan

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.

Citizen Participation

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 persons.

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 bulletin board.


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 comparable rents.



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 Beltway.

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.

Homeless Needs

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 assistance.

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:

Lead-Based Paint

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 reports.


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.

Housing Priorities

Non-Housing Community Development Priorities

Priority non-housing community development goals focus on older communities inside the Beltway, and include:


Description of Key Projects

The County has established four housing goals in the One-Year Action Plan.


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 levels.

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.