Comprehensive Housing Strategy Report for Prince George's County Issued

The Prince George’s County Department of Housing and Community Development recently released a draft Comprehensive Housing Strategy, intended to guide the County’s housing policy for the next decade.  The 189 page Draft Report is the result of work over the last 18 months that included work by its consultants, Enterprise Partners, housing need surveys, focus group interviews, public meetings, and an Advisory Group on which AOBA participated.

This is a very important document, since County elected officials and housing officials will use the report as a menu for future housing policy and legislation.  The report identifies housing goals to (1) Support existing residents; (2) Attract new residents; and (3) Build on strategic investments and submarket conditions.  There are 48 specific strategies and actions identified to achieve those goals, some benign, some possibly helpful.

However, there are about a dozen strategies and actions recommended – over AOBA’s objections - that have proven troublesome in neighboring jurisdictions, including:

  • Establish a taskforce to develop a comprehensive tenants’ rights policy by evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of common tenant protections and resources, such as:
    • Rent control
    • Source of income protection
    • Notice provisions (e.g., rent increase, lease termination, etc.)
    • Relocation assistance
    • Supplemental rental grants
  • Establish a tenant-landlord office and liaison
  • Adopt legislation to establish inclusionary housing requirements in appropriate submarkets
  • Increase code enforcement resources to target more frequent inspections
  • Extend ability to exercise right of first refusal to county partners (like mission-driven developers)
  • Support tenant organizing and formation of tenant’s associations (as a way to assist with information-sharing and advocacy)
  • Increase the County’s Housing Investment Trust Fund
  • Establish tenants’ rights handbooks or tenants’ bill of rights

AOBA staff will be meeting with Council members to discuss the report.