Montgomery County is home to the nation’s longest-running inclusionary housing program. The county recently added a compliance option under which developers of high-rise buildings can meet their affordability obligations by converting market rate homes to deed-restricted affordable homes, subject to administrative approval. While no conversions had been completed as of mid-2015, a few recently approved developments were utilizing this option.

One example is Hampden Row in downtown Bethesda. Toll Brothers, the developer of a seven-story, 55-unit condominium development is buying down the affordability of 12 market rate rentals in a mixed-income property located within the same Bethesda planning policy area, but approximately three miles northwest of Hampden Row.

The on-site obligation for Hampden Row would have been nine affordable condominiums. Toll Brothers will make a payment of $1.434 million to make 12 off-site market rate rentals affordable to low-income households.

The county agreed to an Alternative Location Agreement with Toll Brothers after finding that the monthly condominium fees of the property would have made the total ownership costs of the below market rate homes unaffordable to the program’s targeted households, who earn up to 70 percent of area median income (AMI). It was also significant for the county that the developer agreed to provide a greater number of affordable units off-site.

For More Info:

Lisa Schwartz, Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs
Email: [email protected]