Application deadline today for half-price townhouses


Anyone who wants a chance to get a new garage townhouse in Howard County for half price must submit an application postmarked today, according to county housing officials.

A lottery to choose nine moderate-income families to buy into the Cherrytree Park development of $240,000 garage townhouses near U.S. 29 and Route 216 will come within a month after the application deadline, said deputy county housing administrator Neil J. Gaffney.

Those chosen will get a three-level, 2,160-square-foot townhouse for $118,700, with a minimum of $3,056 in cash required. In order to make the homes identical to others in the development, the county will finance a small additional proportion of the cost, and will retain an equity interest in each home. Gaffney said more than 215 families had applied by yesterday.

The program represents part of the county's efforts to provide some new housing affordable to middle-income working families, as new home prices escalate toward the $300,000 mark.

Applicants must live or work in Howard County, be first-time homebuyers, and have household incomes roughly between $35,600 and $53,120. A second batch of eight homes will become available later at Cherrytree, which is scheduled to begin construction later this year.

Applications are available on the Howard County government's Web page, by choosing the housing lottery star on the left side of the page.

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