Planning Board to receive update on Attainable Housing Strategies initiative on May 13

May 7, 2021

Attainable Housing Strategies
Staff will present the progress on the countywide effort to identify viable options for residents to find homes at the right sizes, locations, and price points for their needs

WHEATON, MD – The Montgomery County Planning Department, part of The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission (M-NCPPC), will provide an update on the progress of the Attainable Housing Strategies initiative to the Montgomery County Planning Board at their virtual meeting on Thursday, May 13, prior to presenting recommendations to the Board in June. This 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 attainable housing opportunities in Montgomery County. Attainable housing offers more diverse types of housing beyond single family homes and large apartment buildings. This effort includes Missing Middle Housing, which refers to a range of building types that are compatible in scale, form and construction with single-family homes, but offer multiple housing units.

View the May 13, 2021 Staff Report on Attainable Housing Strategies

Attainable Housing is unsubsidized market-rate housing that is appropriate and suitable for current and future Montgomery County households. As noted in Montgomery Planning’s recent Montgomery County Housing Needs Assessment, county residents have a wide range of housing needs related to size, transit access, and price, yet almost half of the homes in Montgomery County are single-family houses. The Attainable Housing Strategies initiative aims to identify viable housing options for existing and new residents at the right size, location, and price point for their needs. This is critical as Montgomery County will need to increase its housing supply to meet the demand of an estimated 200,000 more residents by 2045. Strategies to implement Missing Middle housing are a major part of this effort, as are opportunities for new housing around transit stations, within transit corridors, and near activity centers across the county. The Attainable Housing Strategies effort, as part of Montgomery Planning’s Equity Agenda for Planning initiative, also helps to create more equitable, mixed-income communities. More details on the Attainable Housing Strategies initiative, including Frequently Asked Questions, can be found on Montgomery Planning’s website.

Graphic showing housing scales.Small scale:House-scale duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, courtyard apartments, bungalow courts, and accessory dwelling units 2-2.5 stories. Medium scale: Stacked flats apartment buildings (three stories), townhouses 3-4 stories. Large scale: Mixed-use Live/work buildings, stacked flats apartment buildings (four stories) 4-5 stories

“We have a serious housing shortage, that’s why we’ve spent the last few years studying how the county can provide more types of housing that are attainable to a wide variety of current and would-be residents,” said Planning Board Director Gwen Wright. “This current effort, at the direction of the County Council, aligns with the recommendations in Thrive Montgomery 2050, the update to the county’s General Plan – to provide for more housing options in neighborhoods and along our corridors to expand homeowner and rental opportunities and enable a more equitable future.”

Recommendations to make attainable housing possible in Montgomery County may include zoning text amendments, guidance on how to incorporate more housing types into master plans, and methods to encourage more housing types to be built in Montgomery County. Montgomery Planning will present its recommendations to the Planning Board on June 24th.

To inform development of recommendations, Montgomery Planning is providing the community with multiple opportunities to provide feedback. Videos and presentations from previous community meetings and Housing Equity Advisory Team (HEAT) stakeholder meetings are available on the Attainable Housing Strategies Initiative website. Upcoming opportunities include a community meeting, office hours, “housing day” and the #MyMoCoHome stories social media campaign.

Next Steps

  • May 19, 2021 – Housing Equity Advisory Team (HEAT) meeting #4 will take place at 7 p.m. The community is invited to watch this meeting online.
  • June 2, 2021 – The third and final virtual Attainable Housing Strategies community meeting will take place at 7 p.m. RSVP to attend.
  • June 3, 2021 – Montgomery Planning staff will hold virtual office hours where community members can sign up for a time slot to ask staff questions on the Attainable Housing Strategies initiative. RSVP to attend.
  • June 14, 2021 – Montgomery Planning will host “Housing Day” through a Twitter townhall with Housing Planner Lisa Govoni taking over @montgomeryplans. Join the conversation and give your comments on the county’s housing needs and opportunities.
  • June 24, 2021 – The Montgomery Planning Board will hold a virtual public hearing and work session on the Attainable Housing Strategies initiative. Sign up to testify 10 days before the meeting.
  • July 1, 2021 – The Planning Board will hold a second and final work session.
  • July 8, 2021 – The Planning Board will transmit the recommendations to the Montgomery County Council.

#MyMoCoHome Social Media Campaign

Four households of different sizes and ages with test: My Moco Home

The #MyMoCoHome stories campaign is crowdsourcing stories from community members (on social media platforms and through a web form) throughout Montgomery County of their search for and struggles with finding appropriately sized and priced housing for themselves and their families. #MyMoCoHome stories will be used to inform the Attainable Housing Strategies initiative.

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.