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Media Advisory

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich to Sign Right of First Refusal Bill 38-23 Into Law Friday, March 1 at 9:30 a.m.

For Immediate Release: Thursday, February 29, 2024

Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich will be joined by members of the County Council and affordable housing partners for a bill signing ceremony at 9:30 a.m. on Friday, March 1 in the 1st floor auditorium of the County Executive Office Building. On Tuesday, February 13, the County Council passed amendments to its Right of First Refusal (ROFR) law to facilitate the acquisition process by removing significant impediments. Specifically, the amendments simplify the ROFR assignment process, limit the required deposit amount to 5 percent, and clarify deposit refund provisions.

The ROFR law was first enacted in 1980 to preserve affordable housing and to prevent tenant displacement. The County, the Housing Opportunities Commission, or any certified tenant organization (in that order) must be offered the opportunity to buy the rental housing before the owner sells to another party.

The amendments enable the County Executive to exercise ROFR and assign the contract to purchase a property to qualified affordable housing developers, including municipalities. Previously, if the County sought to exercise ROFR, it had to pay the full purchase price for a multifamily rental property, often totaling tens of millions of dollars, and then sell the property to a selected affordable housing development partner within a few hours of the acquisition, tying up funding and staff resources and increasing the financing costs.  

From 2015-2023, the County received 369 ROFR notices yet only exercised ROFR 12 times due significantly to these constraints. Bill 38-23 simplifies the process, allowing the County to preserve affordable housing supply expeditiously and efficiently.

When exercising ROFR for the purposes of preserving housing affordability and preventing tenant displacement, the County will no longer have the responsibility of temporarily owning a property or the need to reserve tens of millions of dollars for the sole purpose of purchasing and then selling properties to qualified affordable housing developers.  

WHAT: Bill signing ceremony for Bill 38-23: Right of First Refusal


  • Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich
  • Council President Andrew Friedson
  • Council Vice President Kate Stewart
  • Councilmember Will Jawando
  • Housing Opportunities Commission, Vice President of Government Affairs Ken Silverman
  • Enterprise Community Development, Melissa Bondi
  • Mayor of Rockville, Monique Ashton

WHEN: Friday, March 1, 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: Executive Office Building, 1st Floor Auditorium, 101 Monroe Street, Rockville

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Media Contact: Marc Roper 2409621743