Cheap Apartments In Columbia
Howard County, Maryland

St Matthew House

7261 Eden Brook Dr
Columbia, MD
Income Based
1 BR
Disabled Supportive Housing

Forest Ridge Apartments

5866 Stevens Forest Road, Unit #2
Columbia, MD
Income Based
1-3 BR
HCV Welcome

Columbia Commons

7601 Woodpark Ln
Columbia, MD
1-3 BR

Verona at Oakland Mills

9650 Whiteacre Rd Ste 4
Columbia, MD
1-3 BR

Shalom Square

6220-6080 Foreland Garth
Columbia, MD
Income Based
1 BR
Elderly Supportive Housing

Hickory Ridge Place

10799 Hickory Ridge Rd
Columbia, MD
1-3 BR

Owen Brown Place

7080 Cradlerock Way
Columbia, MD
1-2 BR

Park View at Columbia

7070 Cradlerock Way
Columbia, MD
HCV Welcome

Orchard Crossing Apartments

4810 Circling Hunter Drive
Columbia, MD
Studio BR
HCV Welcome

Sierra Woods

8712 Airybrink Lane, Unit #104
Columbia, MD
1-4 BR

There are 51 low income housing apartment complexes which contain 1,925 affordable apartments for rent in Columbia, Maryland. Many of these rental apartments are income based housing with about 1,293 apartments that set rent based on your income. Often referred to as "HUD apartments", there are 1,180 Project-Based Section 8 subsidized apartments in Columbia. There are 1,277 other low income apartments that don't have rental assistance but are still considered to be affordable housing for low income families.

Housing Authorities that serve Columbia

The Howard County Housing Commission is a Section 8 and Public Housing public housing agency in Columbia, Maryland.

Understanding Affordable Housing in Columbia, Maryland

Columbia, MD Affordable Housing Snapshot

Total Affordable Apartment Properties 51
Total Low Income Apartments 1,925
Total Rent Assisted Apartments 1,293
Percentage of Housing Units Occupied By Renters 33.74%
Average Renter Household Size 2.36
Total Population 103,055
Housing Units 39,893
Average Household Size 2.57
Median Household Income $100,849 ±$2,411
Median Rent $1,585 ±$38
Percentage Of Renters Overburdened 42.25% ± 3.85pp

Population and Household Demographics

Columbia is a City in Howard County, Maryland with a population of 103,055. There are 39,893 households in the city with an average household size of 2.57 persons. 33.74% of households in Columbia are renters.

Income and Rent Overburden in Columbia

The median gross income for households in Columbia is $100,849 a year, or $8,404 a month. The median rent for the city is $1,585 a month.

Households who pay more than thirty percent of their gross income are considered to be Rent Overburdened. In Columbia, a household making less than $5,283 a month would be considered overburdened when renting an apartment at or above the median rent. 42.25% of households who rent are overburdened in Columbia.1

Data derived from 2010 Census and 2015 5-Year American Community Survey. Learn More.
1 Margin of Error: ± 3.85 percentage points.

Area Median Income In Columbia

Affordable housing program eligibility is always determined by one's income. Each household's income is compared to the incomes of all other households in the area. This is accomplished through a statistic established by the government called the Area Median Income, most often referred to as AMI. The AMI is calculated and published each year by HUD.

HUD often uses an area larger than a city to determine the AMI because HUD anticipates those searching for housing will look beyond individual cities during their housing search. For Columbia, the AMI is calculated from all households within Howard County.

In Columbia, HUD calculates the Area Median Income for a family of four as $94,900

Most affordable housing programs determine eligibility based on the percent of AMI a given household's income is. Among the programs that determine eligibility based on the AMI are Section 8, HOME, LIHTC, Section 515, 202 and 811.

Rental Assistance in Columbia

Rental assistance is a type of housing subsidy that pays for a portion of a renter’s monthly housing costs, including rent and tenant paid utilities. This housing assistance can come in the form of Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers, project-based Section 8 contracts, public housing, USDA Rental Assistance (in Section 515 properties) as well as HUD Section 202 and 811 properties for elderly and disabled households.

Income Qualifications for Columbia HUD Rental Assistance in Columbia

Income 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6 Person 7 Person 8 Person
30% of Median $19,950 $22,800 $25,650 $28,450 $30,750 $33,740 $38,060 $42,380
50% of Median $33,250 $38,000 $42,750 $47,450 $51,250 $55,050 $58,850 $62,650
80% of Median $50,350 $57,550 $64,750 $71,900 $77,700 $83,450 $89,200 $94,950

You can identify apartment communities that participate in a program that provides rental assistance by looking for the tags in the apartment list above. View Apartments.

Low Income Housing Tax Credits in Columbia

The Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program aims to create affordable rental housing for low and very low income families.

From 1988 to 2012, 11 low income apartment communities containing 1,104 rental apartments have been constructed and made affordable to low income persons in Columbia by the Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program.

You can identify apartment communities that participate in the program in Columbia by looking for the tag in the apartment list above. View Apartments.

If your income is less than 60% of the Area Median Income (AMI), you should not expect to pay more than the rent value for a unit in the table below. However, Affordable apartment communities that receive funding through the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program may have rental units that are not subject to income and rent limits.

Rent limits for the LIHTC Program are determined so that a household making the maximum income for the expected household size of the unit would only pay 30% of their income for rent.

Income Qualifications for Low Income Housing Tax Credit Apartments in Columbia

Income 1 Person 2 Person 3 Person 4 Person 5 Person 6 Person 7 Person 8 Person
50% of Median $33,250 $38,000 $42,750 $47,450 $51,250 $55,050 $58,850 $62,650
60% of Median $39,900 $45,600 $51,300 $56,940 $61,500 $66,060 $70,620 $75,180

For example, the expected household size for a two bedroom apartment is 3 people. Using the table above, the maximum income for a 3 person household at 60% of the AMI in Columbia is $51,300 a year, or $4,275 a month. To determine the maximum rent in the table below we multiply the monthly maximum income, $4,275 by 30% to get a maximum rent of $1,283 a month.

Rent for units in the LIHTC Program include a utility allowance which is determined by the average monthly cost of utilities paid directly by residents. This allowance has not been subtracted from the rents in the table below. These utility allowances are set on a property by property basis.

% of AMI Studio 1 Bed 2 Bed 3 Bed 4 Bed 5 Bed
50% $831 $891 $1,069 $1,234 $1,376 $1,519
60% $998 $1,069 $1,283 $1,481 $1,652 $1,823
Fair Market Rents in Columbia

Fair Market Rents, often abbreviated as FMR, can be used to better understand the average housing costs of an area. Notably, Fair Market Rents are used to establish the payment standards for the Housing Choice Voucher Program, maximum rents in HOME financed rental projects and initial rents for Section 8 project based assistance.

2018 Fair Market Rents
Studio One BR Two BR Three BR Four BR
$918 $1,125 $1,411 $1,815 $2,108