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Press Releases - County Council

Council approves $2,025,000 in funding to provide short-term assistance for financially distressed, affordable common ownership communities

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Funding for special appropriation spearheaded by Council President Sidney Katz

ROCKVILLE, Md., July 28, 2020—Today the Montgomery County Council unanimously approved a special appropriation of $2,025,000 to provide short-term assistance for financially distressed, affordable common ownership communities. These funds will be used by the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) to provide assistance to affordable common ownership communities in financial distress because of revenue lost since the start of the public health emergency declaration for Covid-19. The funding, sponsored by the full Council, was spearheaded by Council President Sidney Katz.

“I have heard from our Maryland delegation, common ownership community managers and members of the Distressed Common Ownership Community Task Force and I have responded,” said Council President Sidney Katz. “This special appropriation will promote housing stability and prevent the loss of housing for low- and moderate-income homeowners in these communities. I am grateful to my colleagues, Council staff, DHCA leadership and community stakeholders for working with me to craft this critical support program.”

“During the great recession, many common ownership communities were overwhelmed with residents hit hard by the economic downturn, resulting in those communities being unable to maintain their most basic infrastructure, faculties and amenities,” Councilmember Evan Glass (At-Large) said. “This initiative is a critically important and strategic investment to prevent a similar situation from happening as a result of the Covid-19 induced economic recession.”

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused severe income loss and economic distress for many households in Montgomery County. Households with low- and moderate-incomes have been disproportionately impacted by the global pandemic. Older common ownership communities, primarily condominiums, are an important affordable housing resource for households with low- and moderate-income.

When a common ownership community association cannot pay for common critical expenses, such as utilities and essential maintenance, the housing of everyone in a building may be impacted. Due to the economic impacts from Covid-19, some households are unable to pay all or part of their monthly association fees. This may lead to common ownership communities not having sufficient revenue to pay for essential costs. Short-term financial assistance is critical to sustain the associations for these distressed, affordable, common ownership communities.

The County's Department of Housing and Community Affairs will administer this grant funding, and associations accepting the grants must agree to a financial stress test to understand their current fiscal condition and create financial stability plans. The Council staff report can be viewed here.

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Release ID: 20-329
Media Contact: Lisa Mandel-Trupp 240-777-7906