August 28, 2019

Purple Line Corridor Housing Plan, D.C. Comprehensive Plan and Montgomery County Housing Leadership

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In recent months, great strides have been made in Mid-Atlantic policy to ensure equitable development along the Purple Line Corridor and to amend D.C.’s comprehensive plan while in Montgomery County several key housing officials were appointed.

Purple Line Corridor: Draft Housing Action Plan Recommendations

In mid-July, representatives from the Purple Line Corridor Coalition (PLCC) Housing Action Team presented data on current and projected housing needs, and core priorities to guide recommendations on a Housing Action Plan to the Montgomery County Council Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee. 

Chris Gillis of the Maryland Housing Partnership, Stephanie Killian of Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs, Lisa Govoni of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission and Melissa Bondi of Enterprise Community Partners updated councilmembers on the status of the draft Housing Action Plan.

The plan includes 12 policy, financing and other recommendations to Montgomery and Prince George’s counties to ensure that at least 19,000 houses and apartments currently affordable to those that earn $70,000 annually or less remain affordable. In addition, the PLCC is working to ensure that the 8,500 houses and apartments that currently have protections that keep them affordable, remain in place. 

The four-page summary of the draft Housing Action Plan recommendations are available in both English and Spanish on the PLCC website for review and comment. The recommendations reflect the principles of the original Purple Line Community Development Agreement in 2017, which was endorsed by more than 150 community organizations, local governments, and other institutional stakeholders. It also includes more recent input from staff and elected leaders in both counties, meetings with community organizations, developers and civic and faith-based organizations. The plan also draws on a housing survey conducted with almost 600 residents, and elements from recently approved county plans, policies and zoning updates. Results from the survey will be included in the final Plan.

A presentation to the Prince George’s PHED is anticipated in October, prior to the finalization of the Housing Action Plan.

D.C. Comprehensive Plan Continuing to Move Ahead

In late September, the D.C. Council anticipates adopting the first chapter of its Comprehensive Plan amendments, known as the framework elements. The framework sets the vision and priorities for how the city will grow, protect and enhance the overall quality of life for all residents, as well as businesses, services and amenities today and in the future. 

Major elements of discussion have included establishing housing affordability as a top priority for the District, as well as an explicit inclusion of racial equity in Comprehensive Plan goals. Later this fall, DC’s Office of Planning will publish the remaining draft chapters of the Plan for public review. These chapters provide more data, maps and other specificity on housing, land use, transportation and many other elements within the plan.

New Leadership in Montgomery County

In early August, Montgomery County Executive Marc Elrich announced the appointment of several key housing officials to his administration, including:

  • Aseem Nigam as Director, Department Housing and Community Affairs
  • Frank Demarais as Deputy Director, Department of Housing and Community Affairs
  • Raymond Crowel as Director, Department of Health and Human Services

All appointments were confirmed by the county council earlier this summer.  

To learn more about our policy work in the Mid-Atlantic, contact Melissa Bondi.

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