2017 | Real Estate

Consultants Release Recommendations for Tackling County’s Rental Housing Shortage

Local housing market needs another 20,000 affordable rental homes to meet demand, report shows

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Aerial view of Bethesda and North Bethesda


A county rental housing study will recommend that officials turn unused schools and offices into affordable housing, provide credit counseling and increase funding for price-controlled rental housing and development.

The market study commissioned by the Montgomery County Planning Department and Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs has found that the county suffers from a shortfall of roughly 20,000 affordable rental units. As a result, about 80 percent of the households earning less than $107,000 each year are considered cost-burdened. The consultants heading up the study appeared Thursday before the county planning board to lay out strategies for addressing this problem. 

They have recommended:

– Reworking the county program that requires developers to create affordable housing as a condition of completing their projects

– Devoting more land owned by the government or nonprofits to affordable housing

– Finding new funding sources to protect existing affordable housing

– Developing an inventory of affordable rental properties

– Asking smaller development projects, which aren’t required to build affordable units, to pay into a housing fund

The study’s findings and suggestions will be the subject of a March 21 meeting at the planning department at 8787 Georgia Ave. in Silver Spring. The public event, called “From Innovative Zoning to Housing for All,” will run from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

The report by RKG Associates and Lisa Sturtevant and Associates should be completed by April.