I was very pleased to read in the June 27 Post that Montgomery County has filed three lawsuits challenging sales of houses at prices higher than the law allows by owners who were part of Montgomery County's Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit (MPDU) program.
The MPDU program is a very successful way of providing affordable housing. Besides producing much new, desperately needed, affordable housing (apartments as well as homes), this program also has the advantage of spreading the location of affordable housing throughout the county.
Under this program, developers of 50 or more units are required to make at least 15 percent available to moderate-income buyers or renters, in return for being allowed to increase the number of units built on the site by up to 22 percent. If the housing is rented, it remains in the program for 20 years. If the housing is sold, it remains in the program for 10 years and during those 10 years it can only be sold to people eligible for the program and at a controlled sales price.
To ensure the success of this affordable housing program, the county must be willing to enforce it, even in court. Therefore, the county's recent lawsuits are a major step in the right direction.
I believe that another major step in the right direction would be to completely prevent the release of units from the program. Because increased density is a permanent cost to the community caused by this program, it is only right that the units remain permanently affordable as a lasting benefit for the community.
I am a candidate for the Montgomery County Council, and if elected I will work to make these MPDU's permanently available as affordable housing. BETSY TAYLOR Silver Spring