HOC Presentation to Planning Board.

HOC Presentation to Planning Board.

Montgomery Housing Commission presents to the Planning Board, emphasizing its Strathmore Court affordable housing property.

Requests TMX (Transit station MiXed) zoning. Chairman Hanson points out that there may be another new zoning pattern, but it will have many of the same characteristics as TMX. Then asks for extra FAR (density allowance). White Flint Plan should address affordable housing directly. Proposes a few extra paragraphs. Should refer to “policy documents” from 1993, which is the current housing policy. Encourage flexibiilty and creativity to achieve housing, and especially affordable housing goals. Asks for a complete table of numbers, rather than just scattered descriptions. Current housing units, jobs, and square footage for just the sector, but also the surrounding area. Cmsnr Robinson: I have no objection to a table, but how would that be accurate? Project maximum? Could use a range. Should be clear that guidelines should be flexible in composition percentage between housing and commercial. Robinson: what about other direction? HOC would not advocate that, in light of current housing stock availability. Robinson: what about putting reverse percentage on other properties? Not sure. Hanson: how would you feel about amount of affordable or workforce housing was not counted in base FAR? Off the top of my head, I would welcome that. hanson: talking about the full spectrum of affordable housing. Need a mechanism to ensure diversity to oppose pressures to get highest yield housing. Definitely¬†exploring idea. Intriguing idea. Hanson: in some places, link housing and employment expectations. Cmsnr Presley: flexibility puts much more burden on planning process as we go through to make sure that obligations are satisfied.

HOC proposed language is in two parts: general housing issues, and affordable housing. Talks to affordable housing opportunities. Incentives and flexibility for projects providing high levels of affordable housing, innovative uses of construction, and use by non-profit housing construction companies. Cmsnr Alfandre: spreading throughout community, how do you feel about that? We encourage that. Alfandre: important to add expressly. Would you rather see concentration than spreading the numbers around? Whichever would give a higher number. Our policy is mixed-income housing. Up to 30%. Cmsnr Cryor: non-profit housing development? Faith-based or what? Big one is Montgomery Housing Partnership, and HOC itself. Cryor: is that field growing? Is there a slowdown in the number of people who can create it? It got a big boost in the 90’s, from Federal HUD designated some funding to go to nonprofits. Cryor: go back to financing. At what point are these plans practical? Not practical if can’t get money to do it. Well, there are special pots of funding for mixed-income housing. Cryor: a ceiling. At a certain point, can’t get the financing. Are there any other ways to approach this? WF will be extraordinary. Bigger than Bethesda. So the more people who know how big this is, the more people will support the real goals for this, which is for the next century. Tax credits, revenue bod financing. Not possible at this moment, but in future.

HOC has developed successful projects in the past. Including in WF: the Grand has 78 units.

Barnaby Zall

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