Dear UUCC Members,
Your voices and your energy are needed now to ensure that Howard County moves ahead on a mixed-use development that would bring exciting cultural arts and affordable housing to our community. UUCC is standing with PATH to call on Howard County to fulfill its promise of affordable housing.
This development project—which would bring us the much-anticipated New Cultural Center in Downtown Columbia—has been funded with an unprecedented $64 million from federal and state sources, but this summer, project funding was placed in contingency by Howard County Council. This funding delay threatens the viability of not only this one project, but a series of subsequent projects that would bring hundreds of units of affordable housing to Columbia.
The proposed New Cultural Center will be a mecca for the Baltimore/Washington region, housing Toby’s Dinner Theater, art studios, and other offerings. Importantly, the development plan includes 87 affordable housing units with another 87 units at market rate. If the New Cultural Center doesn’t get built, then neither do these affordable housing units.
As a community, we want our teachers, firefighters, hospital workers—as well as essential employees from Giant, David’s, and Second Avenue—to be able to afford to live in Columbia. Economically (and racially) mixed housing is a part of the Columbia DNA. This is a core value of our community: respect for all who are in our community. This is who we are.
So, UUCC, I’m asking you to join me in standing with PATH to call on our county officials to move the project out of contingency immediately, so that we can fulfill our call to be a community of equity and opportunity.
Here’s what you can do:
- ☎️ Sign up to make a phone call this week (September 1-4) when Howard County Council is back in session. PATH is scheduling volunteers to call the project’s chief critic—District 4 Councilmember Deb Jung—every half hour!
- ✉️ Write a letter to County Council and County Executive Calvin Ball, asking them to take action today.
- 🙋♀️ Come to the PATH Housing Team meeting today (Tuesday, September 1) at 5PM.
Find more information, including background reading and ways to get involved, at pathiaf.com/seal-the-deal.