The study estimates that Montgomery County will need an additional 23,100 affordable units by 2030, the most of any local jurisdiction. Prince George’s County will need 18,600. It is clear we are falling behind. In addition, the report emphasizes an important aspect of successful affordable housing development: access to transit centers.
This is a central issue as construction of the Purple Line light-rail corridor across Montgomery and Prince George’s counties moves forward. MHP is an active partner in the Purple Line Corridor Coalition, a unique public-private-community collaboration. In October, the coalition will release a housing action plan that will serve as a road map for the two counties, identifying 12 key actions to undertake to preserve and create 19,000 units of housing affordable to households earning less than $70,000 annually.
The Urban Institute report is a call to action for local policymakers. Montgomery and Prince George’s counties should start by setting specific targets for housing production, as the District already has done, and then dedicate the resources and create the policies needed to achieve that result.
Robert A. Goldman, Silver Spring
The writer is president of Montgomery Housing Partnership.