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Montgomery County Planning Board to hold public listening sessions on Attainable Housing Strategies initiative

Community members invited to give feedback to Planning Board at two listening sessions March 21 on proposed strategies to expand housing options in Montgomery County

WHEATON, Md. – The Montgomery County Planning Board, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), invites community members to give their feedback to Planning Board members during two listening sessions – one in the afternoon and one in the evening – on Thursday, March 21 on the Montgomery County Planning Department’s Attainable Housing Strategies initiative, which identifies ways to grow housing supply and expand housing choices throughout the county, meet projected household growth, and expand homeownership opportunities for all. 

The Planning Board has also scheduled a series of public work sessions this spring to consider community feedback and add its comments to the project’s recommendations. This is part of a continuation of an initiative started in 2021 when the Montgomery County Council directed Montgomery Planning staff to comprehensively review options for spurring more diverse types of housing in Montgomery County.

Community members may sign up to comment live at the Planning Board’s March 21 listening sessions either in-person or online via Microsoft Teams. Individuals may also provide written comments to the Planning Board ahead of the listening session via email.

“I join my fellow Planning Board members in looking forward to hearing the community’s thoughts on ways to expand housing options in Montgomery County,” said Planning Board Chair Artie Harris. “Montgomery County is expected to keep growing at a steady pace over the next 30 years and it’s important that all voices are heard as we continue to collaborate on strategies that ease the housing crunch and give people more choices to find homes that are the right sizes, locations, and price points for their needs and preferences.”

More About the Attainable Housing Strategies Initiative

The Attainable Housing Strategies initiative launched at the direction of the Montgomery County Council on March 4, 2021, to “consider zoning reforms that would allow greater opportunities for Missing Middle housing in Montgomery County.”

In 2021, Montgomery Planning staff reviewed zoning and planning policies and conducted community outreach to prepare a comprehensive strategy on how the county can enable and encourage the construction or renovation of more diverse housing types beyond the typical detached single-family home. Montgomery Planning staff presented their draft Attainable Housing Strategies recommendations to the Planning Board during a series of work sessions in 2021. However, the initiative and the completion of the draft recommendations were put on hiatus in 2022 to focus on the completion of Thrive Montgomery 2050, the county’s newly adopted General Plan.

Reenergizing the initiative is part of an ongoing, multi-year effort by Montgomery Planning, the Planning Board, and the county to develop long-term strategies to address the housing shortage. The Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments estimates the county needs to add an estimated 31,000 housing units countywide by 2030 to meet expected housing demand and job growth.

“Like many places across the country, Montgomery County’s housing shortage has meant rising rents and housing prices,” said Montgomery Planning Director Jason Sartori. “Without a wider range of housing types, people who work and spend time in the county will have to look elsewhere for housing. This is not an environmentally or socially sustainable model. We are committed to finding ways to expand the housing supply and make Montgomery County a more affordable and attainable place for everyone.” 

The upcoming series of additional livestreamed work sessions this spring (see full schedule below) will give the Planning Board an opportunity to review and refine the project’s recommendations that were developed in 2021. After the work sessions are completed, the Planning Board will send a detailed report with its official recommendations on the initiative to the Montgomery County Council for its consideration.  

Learn more about the initiative on Montgomery Planning’s Attainable Housing Strategies website.

Planning Board Schedule for 2024* (subject to change)

February 22 – Montgomery Planning staff briefed Planning Board members on the Attainable Housing Strategies initiative and next steps. Watch the presentation.

March 21 – Attainable Housing Strategies public listening sessions:

  • Sign up to provide comments to the Planning Board at the afternoon listening session, the evening listening session, or select the option for either session and you will be assigned to speak at one of the sessions.

April 11 – Attainable Housing Strategies Planning Board work session  

April 25 – Attainable Housing Strategies Planning Board work session  

May 9 – Attainable Housing Strategies Planning Board work session  

May 23 – Attainable Housing Strategies Planning Board work session (if needed) 

June 6 – Attainable Housing Strategies Planning Board work session (if needed) 

*All Planning Board meetings, listening sessions, and work sessions are livestreamed and archived on its website, where agendas are generally posted two weeks ahead of time.

Community members interested in staying updated on Montgomery Planning’s housing work are encouraged to sign up for our housing e-letter.