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(a) The County enacted the Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit (MPDU) law in 1973 to:
(1) help meet the goal of providing a full range of housing choices for all incomes, ages and household sizes;
(2) meet the existing and anticipated need for low and moderate-income housing;
(3) ensure that moderately priced housing is dispersed throughout the County consistent with the General Plan and area master plans; and
(4) encourage the construction of moderately priced housing by allowing optional increases in density including the MPDU density bonus to offset the cost of construction.
(b) In 2004, the County Council amended the MPDU program to:
(1) Reduce the loss of MPDUs by extending the control period for for-sale MPDUs from 10 years to 30 years and for rental MPDUs from 20 years to 99 years;
(2) Allow different income eligibility standards in recognition of the higher cost of construction of certain types of housing;
(3) Increase the number of developments required to provide MPDUs by lowering the base requirement from any development with 35 or more units to 20 or more units; and
(4) Place additional requirements and structure on the approval of an alternative payment made to the Housing Initiative Fund in place of providing MPDUs.
(c) In 2018, the County Council finds that:
(1) The availability of affordable housing continues to be a problem for low and moderate-income households.
(2) The 2015 report “The Greater Washington Region’s Housing Needs 2023” projects that Montgomery County will need 14,960 new housing units for households earning less than 80% of area median income.
(3) The 2017 Montgomery County Rental Housing Study reports that 68% of households with incomes between 50% and 80% of area median income report paying more than 30% of income for rent and 15% report being extremely rent burdened, paying more than 50% of income for rent.
(4) The creation of income-restricted affordable housing through construction and preservation is critical as market rents continue to increase. The American Community Survey reports that there were 9,189 fewer rental units with rents between $750 and $1,499 from 2010 to 2014.
(5) MPDUs are one important element for providing income-restricted affordable housing. There were 664 new MPDUs offered for sale or rent in 2015 and 2016. As of 2017 there are about 5,300 MPDUs county-wide.
(6) Additional density can offset the cost of constructing MPDUs. It is appropriate to consider different base requirements for MPDUs in conjunction with the approval of different densities and heights in master plans and sector plans.
(7) There is unmet demand for MPDUs with two, three, and four bedrooms. Providing flexibility that allows MPDU agreements based on floor area or square footage, rather than requirements based on the number of bedrooms in market rate units, can help to address this need.
(8) Appropriate alternative payments to the Housing Initiative Fund can, in certain circumstances, be used to create more MPDUs in the same Planning Area than providing the MPDUs on site.
(9) Montgomery County is committed to its policy of providing affordable housing in all areas of the County to provide opportunity to households of all incomes in each Planning Area.
(10) MPDUs can be used in partnership with other housing supports to provide affordable housing to households with very low incomes such as those with incomes below 50% or 30% of area median income. (1974 L.M.C., ch. 17, § 1; 1979 L.M.C., ch. 21, § 1; 1989 L.M.C., ch. 27, § 1; 2018 L.M.C., ch. 20, § 1.)