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Council approves Council President Hans Riemer’s legislation to increase “inclusionary zoning” requirement to 15 percent of new homes in most expensive parts of Montgomery County

For Immediate Release: Friday, July 27, 2018

Bill 38-17 requires 15 percent of new homes be “Moderately Priced Dwelling Units” in parts of the County with highest median incomes

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 26, 2018—On July 24 the County Council approved legislation introduced by Council President Hans Riemer (D-At Large) and co-sponsored by Councilmember Sidney Katz (D – District 3) to increase the Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit (MPDU) requirement from 12.5 percent to 15 percent of new housing units built in the most expensive parts of Montgomery County. This bill follows earlier Council actions, led by Riemer, to increase the MPDU requirement to 15percent in Master Plans for Westbard, Downtown Bethesda, Grosvenor, White Flint II and Rock Spring.

Montgomery County’s MPDU law was first adopted in 1973 and has created more than 11,000 affordable units over the past 30 years. The program requires new developments with more than 20 units to make 12.5 percent of new units affordable by restricting the rent or purchase price. Bill 38-17 increases the requirement to 15 percent of new housing units in county planning areas where greater than 45 percent of census tracts have a median household income that is 150 percent or higher than median household income of the county as a whole. This formula targets the increased requirement in areas of the county that both have the least affordable housing, and where the market can most easily absorb the change.

Research shows that lower-income students who attend lower-poverty schools achieve better academic outcomes and have more opportunity in life. For example, a landmark 2010 study by the Century Foundation and Rand Corporation of low-income children housed in MPDU’s in Montgomery County found that children who attended lower-poverty schools significantly outperformed children in higher-poverty schools in reading and math.

“Affordable housing is one of our biggest challenges,” said Council President Riemer.  “We cannot continue to think of Montgomery County as a welcoming place of opportunity unless working families can afford to live here. This bill will not solve this problem, but it is a tool that will help take us in the right direction.”

Attached is a map of the areas that where 15 percent MPDU’s will initially be required. The requirement will be calculated annually by the Planning Department.

Release ID: 18-206
Media Contact: Sonya Healy 240-777-7926