ACTION ALERT – Montgomery County Housing Trust Fund
The Montgomery County Council’s budget deliberations are in full swing and we need you to be a champion for programs that support affordable housing in the county. Access to quality, affordable housing serves as an important source of stability for our neighbors who face economic challenges, and the county’s housing trust fund is the primary tool for building and preserving housing for low-income households.
On Thursday, Feb. 13, the Montgomery County Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development (PHED) Committee will take up the capital budget for the County’s housing trust fund, known as the Housing Initiative Fund (HIF). The County Executive has recommended a total of $22 million for housing production, or level funding from last year. In addition, he has proposed setting aside $10 million for a new “Affordable Housing Opportunity Fund,” a dedicated private-public fund to preserve affordable housing. These additional funds will provide a needed boost to preserve affordable housing before it is lost, but we also need additional resources in the HIF to accelerate the development of new housing that is affordable to low- and moderate- income renters. At the local level, emails from residents often prove to be the deciding factor in budget decisions.
It is critical that Councilmembers hear from YOU on this issue before Thursday as the committee’s recommendation will carry substantial weight with the full Council. Please email the Council to let them know that you care about residents having access to affordable housing and support additional resources for the HIF.
Below is a message you can copy and personalize to urge County Council to support strong funding for affordable housing. Click here for a list of Councilmembers’ email addresses.
Dear Council President Katz and Members of the Council:
I am writing to express my strong support for robust funding of the Housing Initiative Fund (HIF), to support preservation and creation of affordable housing in Montgomery County, and to request that the Council increase funding in the capital budget for Affordable Housing Acquisition and Preservation. As you know, Montgomery County, and the region, are experiencing an affordable housing crisis.
The Council of Governments adopted regional housing targets to meet current and future housing needs, and the County Council took action to support this effort. In an independent effort, the Urban Institute projected that Montgomery County will need to create more than 20,000 units of housing for households with incomes of $55,000 or less in the next 10 years to meet the demand. If the County is serious about meeting the housing targets it has endorsed, we must find a way to ramp up production and preservation efforts and devote the necessary resources beginning with this budget.
On Thursday, the Council’s PHED committee will take up the HIF budget. I urge you to increase funding over and above the County Executive’s budget request, and to take bold steps to accelerate the development of affordable housing in the county.