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If we want more affordable housing in the DTSS area, we need more housing stock. It's unfortunate that some people would rather put their own small considerations above the needs of other people and society as a whole, but that is what has happened in some areas of Silver Spring. Converting a one-story self storage site into a building that could support several hundred residents is exactly the kind of thing that Silver Spring needs to do to be able to support more residents and ease the housing issues we have.

The idea that Silver Spring is overbuilt is foolish and shortsighted. The population of the US is still surging, and DC in particular is booming. The high rents are proof of a tight market, as is the vanacy rate.

We need more housing stock of apartments, condos and townhouses to meet demand. Unfortunately, Montgomery County and some of its residents are lagging behind the needs of people and the market. The market in DC and NoVa is booming again, but we just haven't brought enough new stock online for MoCo to enjoy some of what NoVa and DC are enjoying right now. Our outdated zoning has also held MoCo back, and our county is aging because it's less appealing than other jurisdictions for the next generations.

New apartment complexs help make older complexs cheaper. These complexs will allow DTSS to support more middle income and lower people. When I first lived in the area, I lived in an old building. It didn't have the fanciest features in the world, but it worked, and it allowed me to live in this area. I could not have afforded to live in most of the new buildings, but the new buildings help making older buildings more affordable.

Now I'm a bit older and farther along in my career, and was able to purchase a condo. But without more housing stock coming online, it will be harder for some people to live in this area. At a mimimum, we have to keep up with population growth in the DC region, but we really need more housing stock than that to help make this area more affordable. It's also good for the environment, traffic and human health to build more housing new transit stations than upcounty.

The answer is not more MPDUs. That's a market distortation that drives up pricing for middle class residents. If you make a few thousand more than the top-end of the MPDU range, it's very difficult to live around here. The answer is more housing stock, which will benefit all income ranges. I'm not against MPDUs, but a big push for them without a push for more housing will not help many middle income residents, and could in fact hurt there ability to live around here.

You've also pushed for accessory dwellings, and ideas like that will also help this area support a more diverse population. I am curious to why some people and some of our elected officials don't see the need for more housing and more housing types. Perhaps it is because our council members don't really understand urban areas.

by Patrick Thornton on Jan 28, 2013 12:19 pm • linkreport

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