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Press Releases - County Council

Montgomery County Council Enacts Legislation to Address the Affordable Housing Crisis in Montgomery County

For Immediate Release: Tuesday, December 14, 2021

ROCKVILLE, Md., Dec. 14, 2021— Today the Montgomery County Council voted to enact Bill 26-21, Taxation – Payments in Lieu of Taxes – Affordable Housing – Amendments, to help address the affordable housing crisis in Montgomery County. The legislation was introduced in June of 2021 by Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee Chair Councilmember Hans Riemer and Councilmember Andrew Friedson.

The purpose of the County Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) exemption, essentially a tax abatement, is to support affordable housing. Local governments, when authorized by state law, enter into negotiated agreements with rental property owners to lower the cost of County real property and special area taxes. In return, a rental property owner commits to provide affordable housing to low-income residents.

The legislation establishes a 100 percent payment in lieu of taxes for a housing development owned or controlled by the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) or a nonprofit housing developer with at least 50 percent of the dwelling units affordable to households earning 60 percent or less of area median income. Bill 26-21 also repeals the annual maximum aggregate amount of all payments in lieu of taxes approved under this law, which historically was not permitted to exceed an amount set annually by Council resolution for the following 10-year period.

"This legislation is designed to bring more certainty about county support to affordable housing providers as well as help affordable housing providers successfully compete in a fast-moving market," said Councilmember Hans Riemer. "With the legislation, mission-driven housing providers looking to buy a building will know that a share of their financing will be secure. The Purple Line corridor is a great example of a location where this could be especially helpful."

"We must act aggressively to address the housing affordability crisis in our County and in our region," Councilmember Andrew Friedson said. “Government alone cannot provide enough affordable housing to serve our residents’ needs. This measure builds on our partnerships with nonprofit affordable housing providers to add certainty and lower the costs of building new, quality affordable housing so more people can live in and be part of our community."

This legislation continues the Council’s focused efforts to increase housing choices for all Montgomery County residents, including the enactment of the More Housing at Metro Stations Act, which will facilitate new opportunities for housing on WMATA property, the creation of a new $50 million Housing Production Fund for the County’s Housing Opportunities Commission and record funding for the County’s Housing Initiative Fund.

View Council staff report for Bill 26-21.

Release ID: 21-509
Media Contact: Ken Silverman 240-777-7830, Mary Gies 240-777-7898
Categories: Andrew Friedson, Hans Riemer