Prepared by the GBCHRB in January, 2011

P. O. Box 66180, Baltimore, Maryland 21239-6180

http://www.gbchrb.org  410-453-9500  mailto:wkladky@gbchrb.org




This "guide to guides" has been prepared by the GBCHRB as a public service.  The GBCHRB does not endorse or recommend any of the websites listed here.  The GBCHRB provides these website listings so that the user can pick and choose for him/herself.  We urge the user to be alert and careful in looking for housing, whether online or in person.  There is a section at the end of this guide for contacts if you have any problems or experience discrimination in the process of looking for housing.  We wish you the best of luck!


If you are looking for housing, government sources are not the place to go - unless you are attempting to get into government-provided housing. There are three governmental sources:

The Baltimore County Public Library has an online page that deals with finding housing:  http://www.bcpl.info/info/comm/comm_realestate.html.  While it has helpful links for finding a home, subsidies, foreclosure, seniors, etc., it has no information about accessibility. 

The Enoch Pratt Free Library has a section on real estate - "
Real Estate: A Guide for Homebuyers and Renters" - that has information about neighborhoods to live in, financing, loans, finding real estate, and a section for renters. For finding apartments, the Pratt solely has a link to http://baltimore.craigslist.org/.

The U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has http://www.hud.gov/apps/section8/step2.cfm?state=MD,Maryland - where the user may search for "affordable housing" in Maryland.  A search for Baltimore County yielded 132 listings, of which 42 were  in the County.  There was no additional information about the listing.
In 2011, therefore, these are the primary non-governmental sources for online listings of available rental housing in the Baltimore area and Maryland:

Government-Affiliated Websites

o   GoSection 8.com.

o   Mdhousingsearch.org.


Commercial Websites

o   Affordablehousingonline.com & Apartmentsmart.com.

o   Apartmentguide.com.

o   Apartments.com.

o   Apartmentcities.com.

o   Apartmentsearch.com.

o   Apartmentservices.com.

o   Apt-locators.com.

o   Baltimore.Sublet.com.

o   Citypaper.com.

o   Craigslist.com.

o   Everyaptmapped.com.

o   Forrent.com.

o   4Wallsinbaltimore.com.

o   Homes.com

o   Homes.LongandFoster.com.

o   Lowincomeapartmentfinder.com.

o   Mynewplace.com.

o   Rentals.com.

o   Rentjungle.com.


A brief description of each follows.






GoSection 8.com


This website specializes in listings of private apartments that accept Section 8 subsidized rentals.  It currently is utilized by the Mayor's Commission on Disabilities to direct clients.  According to the website's self-description: "GoSection 8.com is the largest rental listing service for Section 8 housing program tenants, landlords and public housing agencies in the United States. We have connected hundreds of thousands of tenants and landlords nationwide, and we work with more local and government housing agencies than any other listing service provider in the country.  The company’s core mission is to help Americans living in poverty by providing them with free information about all of their current housing options under the Federal Government’s Section 8 Housing Voucher Program in every market in the country. Our comprehensive database enables Section 8 program tenants to find and compare the rentals that are currently available in their area. There is never a charge for tenants to access the rental listings, and the listings are available to them online as well as through our bi-lingual call center at 1-866-466-SEC8 (7328).  We also provide landlords with a section 8 compliant listing service for their units and connect them with prospective tenants. GoSection8.com always offers a free listing option for landlords & property managers as well as cost effective options for enhanced exposure and ongoing tenant placement services."


The website has a search feature allowing the user to look for apartments.  This includes a checkbox for "Accessible Housing Only" to filter the results.  Unfortunately, no additional information regarding accessibility is given in the detailed description of the apartment.  A photo is often given, allowing some perspective.  A search for accessible housing on GoSection 8.com on January 12, 2011, found 19 apartments, with the following cost averages:


                Bedrooms       Number              Rent Average

                        1                      2                      $825.00

                        2                      12                    1085.17

                        3                      4                      1323.75

                        4                      1                      1396.00





Run by the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development (MDHCD) under contract with SocialServe.com, this website has the most extensive accessibility information about each listing.  Unfortunately, its listings constitute a small percentage of available apartments.  The GBCHRB currently is working with MDHCD to expand the listings.







Affordablehousingonline.com and Apartmentsmart.com.



"Launched in 2001, Affordablehousingonline.com is the first online directory created to help low income renters find affordable housing.  We showcase all types of housing, from market rate to affordable housing property types such as family housing, senior housing, Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC), Project-Based Section 8, rural rental housing, and handicap accessible housing."  The website has a helpful coding for the search results, indicating whether the listing accepts Section 8, permits pets, or is "handicap."  A search of Perry Hall found over 200 apartments, but most were not in Baltimore County.  The only three of these listings indicating "handicap" were senior facilities: Park View at Rosedale, Kirkwood House (6401 Loch Raven Boulevard, Baltimore, MD 21239), Evergreen Senior Apartments (1600 Evergreen Way, Essex, MD 21221).  The Shelter Group's Park View at Rosedale (1315 Chesaco Avenue 21237-1526)  included "Our apartments are spacious and handicap accessible and adaptable" as part of the lead description.  There was no additional accessibility information.  The apartment calls itself "Apartment homes for seniors."





This website is an online version of the Apartment Shoppers Guide.  It permits searching by "Disability Access" under special amenities.  One can only search by 5 miles from "center."  A subsequent search of Essex had 4 results, one in Pikesville.  The description for that apartment, Canterbury Apartments (9206 Oswald Way  21207), repeated the Disability Access phrase, but did not have additional information.  This was the same for Hamilton Springs Apartments (4808-2D Hamilton Avenue 21206) and Southfield Apartments (4335 Bedrock Circle, Nottingham 21236).  Burnam Woods Apartments (2-E Beeson Court, Nottingham 21236) also stated that it had "Handicapped units available." 





This site has perhaps the largest number of individual apartments.  It partners with Rentalhomesplus.com and others.  This website offers "FREE Apartment Search – Find and Rent Apartments, Condos, Townhomes and Houses Today!"  It is allied with The Baltimore Sun, which directs all rental inquiries to it.  The user can search by Maryland, and then by Baltimore & Annapolis, and finally by Baltimore County.  On their website baltimore.apartments.com, these areas are available: Cockeysville, Northeastern Baltimore County, Northwest Baltimore County, Owings Mills Area, Pikesville Area, Towson Area, West Baltimore County, and White Marsh/Dundalk/Essex.


To search within the neighborhood, the user can check "Wheelchair Access"  as an apartment amenity.  A search on January 13, 2011 of the Cockeysville area yielded 29 apartments indicating "wheelchair access."  However, a review of the descriptions and pictures greatly reduced this number.  Six of the apartments were located in Anne Arundel, Harford, or Howard Counties.  The remaining 23 had no information about accessibility, and often were plainly inaccessible.  1607 Ingleside Drive in Woodlawn 21207, for example, has two steps up to a landing and then two more steps to the front door.  The apartments available at Lakecrest at the Lakes in Cockeysville 21030 were located on a sloping ground with many steps between parking space and door.  For the others, such as Cranbrook Hills 21030, no other information was available.  The managed units description often included a floor plan.  Unfortunately, none of the listings contained any additional information about accessibility.





Described as "Free apartment search service for apartment rentals with specials in Baltimore," this website permits searching in 17 subareas (e.g., Towson) in 3 County sections.  A search of Owings Mills yielded 16 available apartments.  The listing for Watermill Apartments (4 Enchanted Hill Road 21117), for example, did not have any information regarding accessibility.





This website permits searching by individual community.  A search of Dundalk yielded 132 apartments, including Portside Apartments 21222, which had no information about accessibility.  Of those listed for Dundalk, 21 were in Baltimore City, and 28 in Anne Arundel, Harford, and Howard Counties.  A typical entry, The Village of Chartleytowne (Reisterstown 21136) contained no information about accessibility.





According to their description, Apartment Services owns and manages 40 apartment and townhome communities in Maryland and Pennsylvania totaling 7,800 units, including 26 in the County.  The website has a nice, comprehensive Amenities page (e.g., tennis court, playground, etc.), but does not list accessibility.  A search of Lutherville found 1 listing - Seminary Roundtop Apartments (803 Roundtop Court 21093), which did not have accessiblity information.





This website contains apartments managed by the Southern Management Corporation.  A search of Baltimore County found 5 apartments.  The listing for Liberty Place (1 Liberty Place Road, Woodlawn 21244) did not have any accessibility information.





In this website's "Outside of Baltimore Area Rentals," one can search on 13 areas with sublets or rentals as of January 12, 2011.  Rnadallstown had 10 listings.  The listing "Randallstown (Gray Fox Rd/Old Ct Rd) - Rental ID 1358440" had much information about the apartment and rental terms, but nothing regarding accessibility.





The newspaper's website has rental listings - http://www2.citypaper.com/rent/default.asp?p=map.  Clicking on a listing, of which 12 are in the County, solely brings up a popup directing the user to the apartment's website, manager, or contact info.





The Craigslist.com website offers the user a variety of things for sale, rent, etc.  Regarding rental housing, the user can search in Maryland by Baltimore but not Baltimore County.  A search of the first 300 listings on January 12-14 found 32 in Baltimore County, but none accessible.  Listings included Edmondson Park, Fellowship Court, Colony at Kenilworth, 20 Lambourne, Melvin Park, Fairways at Towson, Oakview Apartments, and Woodlawn Village Apartments.





This website appears to be directed at students looking for housing, but has listings for all.  According to its stated description: "Most importantly, we are a FREE informational resource and display any apartment community information no matter whether a specific community pays a referral commission or not."  On this website, the user can search for 15 areas in Baltimore County.   Towson had 25 listings.  Cromwell Valley (15 Treeway Court 21286) did not have accessibility information.





This site allows searching by the five subareas of the County, e.g., Baltimore County North.  A search of Baltimore County East found 82 available apartments.  The listing for Sawyer Realty's  Harbor Point Estates (913 S Marlyn Ave Essex 21221-5844) and Park East Apartments(2022 Kelbourne Rd 201 Rosedale 21237-1983) each found many pictures, floor plans, and much data about the apartments - but no accessibility information.  One of the pictures of each apartment, however, did show there were several steps up to a landing and then two more to the front door.





This website has 18 areas in the County to search from, including Towson, Catonsville, etc.  A search of "Whitemarsh" found 1 listing, Cambridge Court (386 Attenborough Drive
White Marsh 21237).  There was no accessibility information, nor pictures permitting access evaluation.  A search of Reisterstown found 3 listings, of which Butler Ridge (215 Caraway Road, Reisterstown 21136) had no information about accessibility.  One of the photos indicated three steps up to the front door.





A search of Parkville discovered 4 apartments.  A&G Management's Northbrooke Township Apartments (1 Solar Circle, Parkville 21234) listing did not have any accessibility information, and the photos were too small to indicate specifics.  A click on More information was directed to Forrent.com, where the listing did indicate "Disability access."





This website has a large number of rental apartments listed.  The user can search by individual city in Maryland, but not by accessibility.  A search of townhouse/condo/duplex in Baltimore County found 150 apartments, all in the County.   The listings for 23 Sunnyvale Court, Cockeysville 21030 had information on utilities, dimensions, photos, levels, etc. - but no accessibility data per se.   





This website, catering to Section 8 and other subsidized customers, permits searching by city, and there are 15 Baltimore County areas listed.  A search of Randallstown found five apartments.  The listing for Woodridge Apartments (3901 Noyes Circle, Randallstown 21133) had no accessibility information, but directed the user to Apartmentservices.com.  That website had floor plans, photos, etc., but no accessibility data.





This website permits the searching of a town (e.g., Catonsville) by "Disability Access."  A search of Randallstown found 25 apartments, 19 in Baltimore County.  The website requires a sign-in to get more information about any apartment.  A subsequent search of The Reserves at Stonegate (7610 Reserve Cir, Baltimore, Windsor Mill 21244) and Stratton Meadows Townhomes (4 Heatherton Court, Baltimore 21244) yielded much additional data, floor plans, etc., but no information about accessibility.  The photo/video showed one entrance inaccessible and the other accessible, but it was impossible to tell if this was of the same apartment or several.





A search for "Pet Friendly Apartment Rentals in Baltimore, Maryland," found 47 apartments in metro Baltimore.  The listing for Reserve at Stonegate (7610 Reserve Circle 21244) did indicate that the apartment had "Wheelchair Access," though the photo showed two steps up to the front entrance.  The listing for the Westerlee Apartments (8 Poolside Court, Catonsville 21228) did not indicate accessibility.





This website also allows search by location and price range. A search of Catonsville found 66 apartments, but many were not in Baltimore County.  The listing for Hendersen-Webb's White Oaks at the Timbers (9 Rambling Oaks Way 21228)  had various data but nothing regarding accessibility.





"With over 600,000 active listings, Rent Jungle has the largest inventory of apartments and rental housing in the United States."  In fact, this website aspires to be the one-stop housing rental search engine, and thus allows the user to search supposedly 7,219 websites for available apartments.  Truly, a search found apartments listed in several other services mentioned in this study. A search for "21117 accessible" of this website found 90 apartments, with 60 not in 21117, perhaps using a 3-mile radius. 



In Maryland, someone who has problems with their landlord, their tenant, or with discrimination has several options for complaint and problem resolution:

Tenant-Landlord Problems

Call Baltimore Neighborhoods, Inc. - 410-243-6007 / 800-487-6007 / http://www.bni-maryland.org/

Housing Discrimination

Call the Maryland Commission on Human Relations - 410-767-8600 / 800-637-6247 / http://www.mchr.state.md.us/complaint_intro.html

Foreclosure Affecting Renters

The Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development has a very helpful page of information and links to assist the renter who is affected by a foreclosure: http://www.mdhope.org/HelpforRenters.aspx