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Councilmember Leventhal Calls for Study of Distressed Common Ownership Properties

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Councilmember Leventhal Calls
for Study of Distressed
Common Ownership Properties
County’s Department of Housing and Community Affairs
will develop a database of distressed properties
to begin addressing underlying causes of their decline

ROCKVILLE, Md., March 13, 2018—Councilmember George Leventhal’s advocacy has resulted in a targeted research study to identify common ownership communities (COCs) in the County that are at risk of failure because of fiscal, physical or leadership challenges. In February 2018 Councilmember Leventhal requested that the County’s Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) undertake a study to address the condition of distressed COCs. County Executive Leggett agreed to have DHCA undertake this study to develop “a concrete action plan that will address the preservation of affordable housing in common ownership communities.”

In Maryland, a housing community can be organized as one of several different community or civic associations. Most are established as condominiums, homeowners associations (HOAs) or cooperative housing corporations. Collectively these associations are identified as common ownership communities (COCs).

“Despite recent growth in both the economic and job sectors, the recovery from the recent recession has not been as positive for COCs,” said Councilmember Leventhal. “Many of these communities still face challenges such as units in foreclosure, delinquent unit owners, deferred maintenance and insufficient reserves. There is no data available on the number or circumstances of these communities. A study is needed to develop an action plan that will make a difference for these communities and their residents.”

The County’s Office of Common Ownership Communities is found in DHCA. Part of the mission of the office is to provide residents with information, assistance and impartial dispute resolution programs that improve the quality of life in the community, strengthen the self-governing community structure and enhance the value of residential property in community associations.

“Once these communities have been identified by the County, the nonprofit sector is prepared to bring their own resources and expertise to assist these COCs,” said Councilmember Leventhal. “Before the County can help, we need a better understanding of the specific challenges faced by these associations. The County is uniquely positioned to lead this public-private effort to stabilize and revitalize these communities.”

More information about the County’s Office of Common Ownership Communities can be viewed at: .

Councilmember Leventhal’s Feb. 15 memorandum can be viewed at: .

County Executive Leggett’s March 7 memorandum can be viewed at: .

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Release ID: 18-073
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 2407777926