Addressing the housing affordability gap

Posted: by

By Lisa Govoni and Jason Sartori

Today we introduce a new series of blog posts on the housing market in Montgomery County, a series we hope will address some misconceptions, and clarify Montgomery Planning’s position on how to address one of the county’s most difficult challenges: the high price and limited availability of high-quality housing to serve our county’s racial equity/social justice, environmental, and economic needs.

We thought it would be helpful to start this blog series by discussing Montgomery Planning’s position on housing and sharing some of the core tenets that guide our work program.

Montgomery County is a leader in housing policy, but we can and should do more. Montgomery County has long been a leader in … Continue reading

Small increases in density make homeownership more attainable: A case study of Habitat for Humanity’s Garland Avenue Duplex project in Takoma Park

Posted: by

By Sarah Reddinger, Vice President of Community Development, Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland

In September 2020, Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland was approached by the City of Takoma Park to partner on the redevelopment of a single-family home into an affordable homeownership opportunity. The home happened to be located in a zone that allowed for duplexes, which is rare in Montgomery County, so we saw this as the perfect chance to demonstrate how duplexes can fit into existing single-family neighborhoods while also driving down the cost per unit. The City assigned its Right to Purchase to Habitat and generously provided $200,000 to from its Housing Reserve Fund to help subsidize the project. And so, the Garland Ave Duplex … Continue reading

Small Backyard Houses, Big County Benefits

Posted: by

By Paul Mortensen and Njillan Sarre

Called backyard cottages or granny flats, accessory dwelling units can help remedy our housing shortage

The Montgomery County Council is in the process of considering changes to the existing laws that allow accessory dwelling units (ADUs). These secondary housing units are located on the same lot as an owner-occupied single-family home. They are significantly smaller than the main house and can be a stand-alone structure in the backyard, a basement apartment, an addition or an apartment over the garage. ADUs go by many names, such as accessory apartments, backyard cottages or granny flats, among others.

Under current law, homeowners in Montgomery County who want to have an ADU face several restrictions. A detached … Continue reading

Study of rental housing in Montgomery County reveals shortage of affordable dwellings

Posted: by

Initial findings show that Montgomery County’s housing market is unbalanced, particularly for low-income residents

Low income residents in Montgomery County face a shortage of rental units matching their ability to pay, according to an ongoing study of rental housing. So far, the study has found that the existing rental housing market in the county is unbalanced at both the lowest and highest ends of the market. The market is short 20,000 units priced appropriately for households earning less than 30 percent of area median income (AMI) or $28,900. In addition, it is short 13,000 units priced to target households earning more than 120 percent of the area median income or $115,560.

 

Figure 1.) Supply/Demand Equilibrium for All … Continue reading