The Washington Post

Solving housing issues


Regarding the March 7 Metro article “Md. county has dueling bills to cap rent hikes”:

The approaches by Montgomery County Council members and the county executive don’t address the need for housing in Montgomery County and fail to provide adequate solutions. The article noted that by 2040, we will need about 60,000 additional units. Stabilized rent increases won’t solve the shortage.

Painfully, an 8 percent annual increase doubles the current rent in less than nine years, and is still unaffordab­le. Politics being what it is, you can’t beat the NIMBYS. So, allow existing neighborho­ods to remain.

Montgomery County leaders can solve this problem. Here are two suggestion­s:

Creatively build on the existing abundance of underused county-owned and private property situated near some of our Metro stations. These spaces would easily become large, self-contained, substantia­l high-rise communitie­s similar to those in New York and other cities, where large developmen­ts have provided abundant and comfortabl­e communitie­s.

The shifting equilibriu­m between commercial and residentia­l demand makes real estate developmen­t, a long-term choice, extremely risky. Architects and planners can create flexibilit­y so that new commercial buildings could be converted to residentia­l economical­ly by creating basic residentia­l infrastruc­ture in the designing, planning and constructi­on of a commercial building.

Affordable housing attracts the necessary workforce essential for economic growth. Charles Kauffman, Bethesda The writer has served on the Montgomery County Commission on Aging.

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