Frequently Asked Questions


What is Patuxent Commons?

Patuxent Commons is a concept for a mixed income community to be developed in Howard County for adults with disabilities, older adults, and younger adults and families. Preliminary plans call for 76 units of housing, 25% of which will be set aside for adults with disabilities, and 8,000 square feet of activity and meeting space to be used by Patuxent Commons residents and members of the larger community.

Who’s behind this project?

A group of public and private sector community leaders and stakeholders, led by the Howard County Autism Society (HCAS), has assembled to help launch this concept under the direction of a 12-member Task Force. A larger coalition of partners, including an experienced housing developer or development team, is being actively sought to execute the Patuxent Commons vision.

What’s unique about this concept?

At Patuxent Commons, residents will be asked to commit to being good neighbors. This will mean different things for different people, depending on their interests, abilities and inclinations. For some people, it’ll mean checking in with a fellow resident every now and then and inviting them over for an occasional dinner or cup of coffee. For others, it’ll involve giving someone a ride to the mall, helping with a job interview, assisting with school work or simply taking the time to talk. For everyone, it’ll mean an opportunity to be a part of a mutually supportive community with neighbors who share their values and commitment to diversity.

Will this be a gated community?

No. It’ll be freely accessible, fully inclusive and very much a part of the larger community. Residents will make their own decisions about how they want to spend their time and with whom they want to associate. Patuxent Commons will be a springboard for people with and without disabilities to experience an even greater degree of engagement with the larger community.

Will apartments be for rent or sale?

All units will be rentals.

Where will it be located?

Project supporters have identified Columbia, Maryland as an ideal location for Patuxent Commons because of its accessibility to public transportation, and proximity to vocational opportunities, educational resources and other amenities. A potential site in Columbia that meets our project criteria has been identified and is being actively explored. The engagement of a developer will be key to securing control of an appropriate site.

Is this project only for people with autism?

No. While HCAS has a special interest in addressing the needs of individuals with autism, this project will serve individuals with a range of disabilities, as well as individuals without disabilities.

I’m interested in living at Patuxent Commons.  Can I apply or get on a waiting a list?

No applications are being taken and there is no waiting list.  As a project developer is identified, a site is confirmed, and project planning advances, information about resident selection and applications will be provided.

What’s the timeline for Patuxent Commons?

We’re committed to identifying a project developer very early in 2019 in hopes that this project would come to fruition in the next three-to-four years.

What will it cost to live in the community?

Rent has yet to be determined but Patuxent Commons will be a mixed income community where people of various incomes will be able to afford to live.  Since most of our residents with disabilities will likely have lower incomes, all or most of the apartments set aside for them will be affordable for households with income that is less than 30% of the average median income (AMI) for Howard County.

What project research have you undertaken and community input have you engaged to date?

We’ve invested considerable time and resources in due diligence activities, including development of program guidelines, preliminary market research, financial feasibility, and initial architectural design concepts.  We’ve also held conversations, large and small, with community members to actively seek their advice and input regarding the development of this concept.  And we’ll be undertaking a series of “user design” sessions with prospective residents and stakeholders over the next couple months to gather additional input that will inform the ongoing planning and development of Patuxent Commons.

What’s the best way to stay informed about Patuxent Commons?

Join our community of friends and sign up for ongoing project updates here.