Are we building enough homes?

Are we building enough homes?

In a recent post on Greater Greater Washington, Dan Reed for Just Up the Pike shows that White Flint is second in Montgomery County for the number of residential units in the pipeline with 3,827 homes waiting  to be built.

If you add all of the county’s master plan or sector plan areas up, there were about 47,000 homes that have been approved to be built as of May 2018. This is what county officials call “the pipeline.” Of those 47,000 homes in the pipeline, 15,000 of those homes have building permits and are in some stage of construction. That leaves about 32,000 homes that are waiting to be built.  Nearly all of these homes are located in  urban areas with access to transit.

The pipeline may not be enough to meet current and future population growth. Montgomery County grew by 70,000 people since 2010, or about 25,000 households. But the county only added about 21,000 homes, leaving a deficit of 4,000.

On top of that, according to the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MWCOG), we expect about 208,000 new people to move here in the next 20 years, and we’ll need about 87,000 new homes for those people. So we need about 91,000 homes, and we’ve approved 48,000. That’s 43,000 houses that we need to build.

And the homes we’ve already approved to build may not be where we need them to be. It can take decades to build all the homes in the pipeline — there are homes that were approved in the 1980s and 1990s still waiting to be built — and, as a result, the pipeline doesn’t always match current trends.

Twenty years ago, most of the county’s growth and investment was happening on the suburban fringe, while closer-in urban areas were declining. Today, that trend has basically reversed, and it’s in those closer-in areas where home prices are rising the fastest due to demand.

You can read the rest of the article, including a more detailed analysis of what’s preventing homes from being built in certain areas of the county as well as the consequences of this housing shortage at

Amy Ginsburg



Gayle Cinquegrani

What’s the difference between White Flint and North Bethesda?

    Amy Ginsburg

    Good question. We’ll try to find out.
    Amy Ginsburg

    Amy Ginsburg

    From Dan Reed:
    Everything here refers to the county’s planning areas as they’re broken out in the pipeline (which there’s a link to in the original piece), so the boundaries of White Flint are the White Flint Sector Plan, and North Bethesda refers to everything around it, perhaps including Rock Spring and White Flint 2.

    Thanks, Dan


      I’ve seen some projected plans for White Flint 2, and they include support for demolishing some of the last “affordable” apartments in this area. Seems like there is buzz about how “unsafe” they are, as they were built in the 60’s. I found that a bit funny, because since I am from NYC, this is considered relatively new housing sometimes. It appears to me to be yet another appeal by developers to turn this community into a live work playground for the well heeled. Sure, throw in a few MPDUs, but it will never be the amount of units needed. It’s the same old story, I’m afraid. Send the lower income people to the low income corrals into the hinterlands, where it will now take them 2 hours by bus and train to get to work. I see the writing on the wall. Too bad “lower income” in this area may include people who are making some decent money, relatively. I am extremely mass transit oriented—I walk and take buses more than I drive, but if there is a plan to send the working people out on the purple line somewhere because this property near the metro is too precious, then that is another doomed scenario, as all that property will fall victim to the same kind of development.

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