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Councilmember Floreen Introduces Legislation to Increase Number of Affordable Homes in Montgomery County

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Councilmember Nancy Floreen Introduces Legislation to Increase the Number of Affordable Homes in Montgomery County

Councilmember Nancy Floreen says Bill 34-17, “will set the stage for many new housing opportunities to support a growing workforce.”


ROCKVILLE, Md., Oct. 31, 2017—Today, Councilmember Nancy Floreen, Chair of the Planning Housing and Economic Development Committee, introduced the first effort in thirteen years to update the County’s rules to increase the supply of affordable homes. Significant revisions to the Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit (MPDU) program, which Councilmember Floreen proposes in Bill 34-17, Housing – Moderately Priced Dwelling Units – Amendments, hold the promise of increasing the number of affordable homes for families who need them.  

Councilmember Floreen’s bill will add needed flexibility to this landmark program, to bring it in line with current needs. It would confirm the Council’s authority to increase the required percentage of MPDUs on a community by community basis during each master plan review. Master plans guide development and land use in the County.  The Council reviews, revises, and approves master plan recommendations made by the Planning Board.  Currently, County law requires at least 12.5% of housing developments to be MPDUs, but, in some areas, the Council has determined that 15% is a more appropriate minimum requirement.  

“Our County’s future depends on a robust economy. This bill will set the stage for many new housing opportunities to support a growing workforce,” said Councilmember Floreen.  

In a break from the past, Bill 34-17 extends the requirement to contribute to our housing needs by requiring a payment to the Housing Initiative Fund for all new housing developments including those below the current threshold of 20 units. It also broadens the authority of the Director of the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) to accept Housing Initiative Fund payments in lieu of including MPDUs in a development. Experience has shown that the County can achieve more MPDUs in certain circumstances if affordable homes are provided in a different location. The funding can be strategically used to increase needed rental units in place of condominiums with unaffordable fees. Restrictions apply so that the off-site location remains in the general vicinity of the original development. These new sources of revenue will add badly needed support to the county’s efforts to add more affordable units for the folks who need them the most.  

Also, the bill would authorize the Director of DHCA to calculate the MPDU obligation by square feet if the result is more homes or homes better sized to meet the needs of our low and moderate-income residents.  

Councilmember Floreen’s bill contains many other provisions designed to update the MPDU program, make it more responsive to the needs of today’s residents, and, most importantly, produce more homes for families.



Release ID: 17-337
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 2407777926, Delphine Harriston 2407777931