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Affordable Housing

Testimony to County Council, Dec 5, 2017

As we all know, the housing shortage in our county cannot be separated from the issue of transit and sustainable land use. A lack of housing of all kinds, but especially affordable and low-to-middle income housing, results in longer commutes and greater sprawl development. To make the most of our county and state investments in WMATA, the Purple Line and Ride-On, it is crucial that as many people live near transit as possible. MPDUs in or near transit-oriented development help meet that goal. They also help ensure that living near transit does not become a luxury good solely available to the wealthy.

I write to express the Action Committee for Transit's (ACT) strong concerns about Bill 34-17 and our strong support for Bill 38-17.

Bill 34-17 — Allowing off-site production of MPDUs is likely to result in clustering MPDUs away from transit and transit oriented development. ACT cannot support the bill in its current form.

Bill 38-17 — The Action Committee for Transit strongly supports Bill 38-17. This bill would increase MPDUs in high-income areas, particularly in the western portion of the county. This will make it possible for more people to live near employment centers in the western portion of the county. It is particularly relevant in light of the recent Transportation Planning Board report which identified balancing out the east-west divide in our region, allowing more people to live near work, as a key way to reduce sprawl and congestion and make better use of the transit we currently have.

Separately, our hope is that this will increase the number of MPDUs near transit centers.