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For Immediate Release: Thursday, December 16, 2021

In fiscal year (FY) 2020 and FY21, Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) leveraged existing and new finance and policy tools to preserve current affordable housing and increase the number of rent-regulated units for people with low incomes. These and other results are summarized in a new report. The affordable housing efforts focused on households with low incomes because Montgomery County has more than 20,000 households that are severely housing-cost burdened, earning less than $31,000/year and spending more than half their income on rent. Further, one in four new households in 2030 will have incomes less than 50 percent of area median income.

“We are applying every available policy tool and financial resource to help reduce housing cost burdens by increasing the number of affordable, rent-regulated housing units; providing rent supports; and, preserving current affordable housing while protecting tenants from displacement,” said County Executive Marc Elrich. “Through these efforts, we are leveraging opportunities to fight climate change and close gaps in racial inequities. With the implementation of this plan, we will continue to enable more people to be able to afford to live in Montgomery County.”

Across the two years, DHCA efforts reduced housing cost burdens through a range of strategies that preserved and produced affordable housing and protected people who are most vulnerable. To expand opportunities to preserve and increase affordable housing, the County grew FY22 housing funding to a record $90 million. FY20/FY21 highlights, as indicated in the annual report, include: 

  • Annually supported approximately 6,300 affordable housing units through financing to establish long-term affordability, rental assistance to maintain affordability, support for home purchasing, and MPDUs (moderately priced dwelling units). Included in this total is annual support for preservation and production of approximately 1,000 more rent-regulated affordable housing units. 
  • Implemented No Net Loss to preserve 564 units of naturally occurring affordable housing (“NOAH”) at Halpine View and assure then-current residents will have opportunity to stay in the event of redevelopment – a strategy that can be leveraged more broadly across the County. 
  • Pursued the County’s Right of First Refusal to preserve existing affordable housing at Naples Manor and introduced the Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund to provide short-term loans that support developers in moving quickly to acquire and preserve at-risk affordable housing. 
  • Leveraged County-owned land to achieve deeply affordable housing units at Randolph Road/Bushey Drive as well as Halpine View Apartments. Created homeownership opportunities for residents with modest incomes through the Montgomery Homeownership Program as well as homeownership units at Randolph Road/Bushey Drive. 
  • Supported thousands of renters and landlords, as part of COVID response and recovery, by promoting rental assistance paid to landlords and arranging legal help and support services for renters. Deferred loan payments for affordable apartment properties in response to high rates of renter delinquency. 
  • Leveraged federal funds to support acquisition and renovation of a commercial building into a 214-bed shelter, bringing homeless shelter capacity to approximately 300 beds year-round and replacing the temporary facilities used during the public health emergency. 
  • Supported adaptive reuse of a commercial property for conversion to affordable residential units for seniors.

“We appreciate the support of the entire Montgomery County community – DHCA leveraged federal, State and County resources with for-profit and nonprofit partners in providing services to our community,” said DHCA Director Aseem K. Nigam. “Our work is not done; we will continue working to create affordable, safe, and attractive housing and neighborhoods.” 

Beyond housing affordability initiatives, DHCA support for homeowners, common ownership community members, renters, landlords and others in FY20/FY21 included: 

  • Supported homeowners who live in common ownership communities by improving program efficiencies and promoting enactment of a law that requires Condos, HOAs and Co-ops to conduct regular studies of the reserves necessary for major repair and replacement of common property components and to fund a reserve account at 100 percent of what is needed. 
  • Supported City of Gaithersburg’s decision to join Montgomery County’s Commission on Common Ownership Communities (CCOC) so that Condos, HOAs and Co-ops in the City also can receive CCOC training, assistance, and impartial dispute resolution services. 
  • Contacted apartment building managers and visited businesses to provide information about meeting COVID health and safety guidelines in support of public safety and business reopenings. 
  • Continued supporting renters and landlords in understanding rights and responsibilities; addressing housing code violations to protect tenants and preserve affordable housing; and working with communities to revitalize neighborhoods.

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Release ID: 21-1010
Media Contact: Lorraine Driscoll 240-461-5497
Categories: Housing