PRINCE GEORGE’S COUNTY COUNCIL ADDRESSES COUNTY’S AFFORDABLE HOUSING CONCERNS WITH UNANIMOUS APPROVAL OF DEDICATED FUNDING FOR HOUSING INVESTMENT TRUST FUND
Passage of CB-4-2021 Represents Key Investment in Affordable Housing in Prince George’s County
The Prince George’s County Council, during session on Tuesday, March 30, 2021, unanimously enacted Council Bill – 004-2021, establishing a sustainable, dedicated source of funding for the Housing Investment Trust Fund, which supports the creation of affordable housing for all County residents.
This legislation implements a recommendation in the February 2020 Housing Opportunities for All Work Group Annual Report to expand and diversify financing for housing with an increase in the County’s Housing Investment Trust Fund. CB-004-2021 amends the County Code to reallocate 20-percent of the County’s recordation tax or no less than $10 million to support the fund; permits the County Council to reduce the amount dedicated to the Housing Investment Trust Fund when there is a declared national recession; and requires an annual report.
Council Chair Calvin S. Hawkins, II says passage of this legislation is a critical step forward to achieving the County’s housing goals. “The Council, with the partnership of County Executive Alsobrooks, is working to strengthen the County’s housing commitment. Depositing an ongoing committed stream of revenue for affordable housing into the County’s Housing Investment Trust Fund, is an important policy decision that enables our ongoing efforts to promote and preserve housing stability and affordability for all current and future County residents.”
Bill sponsor, District 3 Council Member Dannielle Glaros, who also chairs the Council’s Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee, and serves as the County’s Housing Opportunities for All Workgroup co-chair, speaks to the Council’s continuing work on housing initiatives. “The Prince George’s County Council has worked diligently over the past several years to advance Housing Opportunities for All in Prince George’s County. I am thrilled that the Council has moved this policy recommendation forward from the Housing Opportunities for All Workgroup, to establish a dedicated source of funding for the Prince George’s County Housing Investment Trust Fund.”
Prince George’s County’s Department of Housing and Community Development Director, Aspasia Xypolia, who also co-chairs the Housing Opportunities for All Work Group, says the COVID-19 global pandemic produces additional challenges. “This pandemic has highlighted the impact that housing instability has for far too many lower-income residents. As a result, pervasive issues of inequality experienced by this community have been exacerbated. Preserving and creating quality, safe homes that residents of all incomes can afford will not immediately resolve these social injustices, but the Housing Investment Trust Fund can play a key role in contributing to the creation of healthy and inclusive communities where access to opportunity is increased.”
Housing Investment Partnership (HIP) Executive Director Maryann Dillon, agrees. “HIP strongly supports the passage of CB-4-2021. We have seen during this COVID crisis how many working families are teetering on the brink of homelessness because they face rents they can’t afford. Creating a reliable stream of funds dedicated to the Housing Investment Trust Fund is a huge step forward so that mission-focused nonprofits such as HIP can create new and preserve existing affordable housing in Prince George’s County.”
Enterprise Community Partners, a nonprofit working with the Council to develop a comprehensive housing strategy in Prince George’s County, congratulates the funding decision. "We applaud Prince George's County for this decision. Housing trust funds are a proven, best practice solution in communities across the country," said Melissa Bondi, Enterprise Community Partners Mid-Atlantic State and Local Policy Director. "A dedicated funding source provides predictable, flexible capital to preserve and produce more homes to meet the affordability needs of Prince George's residents."
CB-004-2021, which will also enable the County to better capitalize on housing market opportunities in the region, becomes effective June 30, 2022.