Montgomery Planning to hold “Housing Day” on June 14 on social media as part of National Homeownership Month

June 11, 2021

Housing Day, June 14Join the discussion on Twitter and Facebook on the future of Montgomery County’s housing and engage with Housing Planner Lisa Govoni during a live Twitter chat on @montgomeryplans from noon to 1 p.m.

Wheaton, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), is holding “Housing Day” on June 14 on social media as part of National Homeownership Month. The day will primarily focus on how  Thrive Montgomery 2050, the update to the county’s General Plan, and the Attainable Housing Strategies initiative will address the county’s housing crisis. Community members are invited to join the daylong discussion on Twitter (@montgomeryplans) and Facebook (Facebook.com/montgomeryplanning) on the future of Montgomery County’s housing. They are invited to weigh in, give feedback, take polls and talk to planning staff directly. As part of this day, Montgomery Planning Housing Planner Lisa Govoni will also be taking over the @montgomeryplans account for a live Twitter chat from noon to 1 p.m.

“The only way we can fully address Montgomery County’s housing crisis is by engaging with the community to find the best solution,” said Montgomery Planning Director Gwen Wright. “We have been doing just that as we developed the update to the county’s General Plan, Thrive Montgomery 2050, and now the Attainable Housing Strategies initiative. We invite everyone to participate in our “Housing Day” on social media as we continue to work on this critical issue for current and future county residents.”

Montgomery County’s housing crisis at a glance:

  • Between 2020 and 2040, Montgomery County is expected to add over 60,000 households, and more than half of the new housing units needed to accommodate this growth is projected to be multi-family rental (54.8 percent).
  • The income needed to afford the median-priced home is rising faster than the median household income. In 2018, the household income required to afford the median home was $125,621, which is above the 2018 median household income of $108,188. Only households earning more than $150,000, and householders over 55+ are adding homeowners on net.
  • The number of households considered cost-burdened (spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing) have increased by almost 10,000 households since 2010.
  • It is income, not family size, that drives access to housing units. 1 in 7 renter households are overcrowded.
  • Over-housing is driven by aging and low density. 1 in 3 homeowners are over-housed, having more than two extra bedrooms than people in the households.

About Thrive Montgomery 2050’s Housing Recommendations:

In April 2021, the Planning Board approved and transmitted to the County Council its draft of Thrive Montgomery 2050, the update to Montgomery County’s General Plan. The General Plan is the county’s long-range policy framework for guiding future land use and growth for the next 30 years.  The County Council is holding public hearings on the Thrive Montgomery 2050 Planning Board Draft Plan on June 17 and 29. In many ways, Attainable Housing Strategies represents the first opportunity to implement elements of Thrive Montgomery 2050.  The Planning Board draft of Thrive Montgomery 2050 recommends policies and actions to support the production of more housing, including a wide range of housing types and sizes to meet diverse needs. These policies and actions include:

  • Expand opportunities to increase residential density, especially along major corridors and in locations where additional housing can assist in the development of Complete Communities.
  • Facilitate the development of a variety of housing types in every part of the county but especially in areas near transit, employment, and educational opportunities. Support creative housing options that promote racial and economic diversity in every neighborhood.

About the Attainable Housing Strategies Initiative:

The Attainable Housing Strategies effort was 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.” Since that time, Montgomery Planning staff has been reviewing zoning and planning policies and conducting community outreach to come up with a comprehensive strategy for providing options for residents to find homes at the right sizes, locations and price points for their needs in Montgomery County.

Initial Attainable Housing Strategies initiative recommendations include:

  • Allowing by right house-scale duplexes and triplexes and quadplexes closer to transit in our corridor-focused growth area, if they conform to a pattern book. The pattern book will give guidance on massing, scale and design to ensure these housing types blend in among single family homes.
  • Creating a new optional method of development to encourage lot consolidation and development of duplexes, cottage courts, townhouses, and small multiplexes and apartments near transit, along our growth corridors, and near the county’s centers of activity.
  • Supporting more corridor-focused master plans to evaluate options to enable development of larger/higher density townhouses, stacked flats, and apartments along select growth corridors.

Review the short Attainable Housing Strategies initiative explainer in English and in Spanish.

About the Equity Agenda for Planning

Montgomery Planning recognizes and acknowledges the role that our plans and policies have played in creating and perpetuating racial inequity in Montgomery County. We are committed to transforming the way we work as we seek to address, mitigate, and eliminate inequities from the past and develop planning solutions to create equitable communities in the future. While it will take time to fully develop a new methodology for equity in the planning process, we cannot delay applying an equity lens to our work. Efforts on the Equity Agenda for Planning to date include:

  • Developing an Equity Agenda for Planning. The Planning Board approved Equity in Master Planning Framework, and staff is working on action items.
  • Equity Focus Area Analysis. Montgomery Planning identified and analyzed the Equity Focus Areas of the county and developed a mapping tool that will guide planning efforts to foster more equitable outcomes for communities in Montgomery County.
  • Prioritizing equity in Thrive Montgomery 2050. Community Equity is one of the three priority areas of our county General Plan update, Thrive Montgomery 2050.
  • Focusing on equity in upcoming plans. Equity is a central focus of the Silver Spring Downtown and Adjacent Communities Plan, the first master plan to launch since Montgomery County’s Racial Equity & Social Justice Act passed. All upcoming plans and studies will have an equity focus.
  • Viewing management and operations through an equity lens. Our efforts are not limited to the master planning process. Management and operational functions like communications and human resources are developing approaches, tools, plans, and training to ensure that we look at everything through an equity lens.