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(a) Establishment. The Department must establish and administer a workforce housing program.
(b) Purpose. The purpose of the program is to promote the construction of housing affordable to households with incomes at or below 120% of the area-wide median income. The construction of that housing is intended to:
(1) allow households with incomes at or below 120% of the area-wide median income to have greater housing choices in the County;
(2) increase the availability of housing in the County for public employees and other workers whose income cannot support the high cost of housing that is located close to their workplace and who, as a result, are increasingly priced out of housing opportunities;
(3) assist County employers in reducing critical labor shortages of skilled and semi- skilled workers by providing housing that will be accessible to the worker’s workplaces; and
(4) reduce traffic congestion by shortening commute distances for employees who work in the County but who otherwise would live elsewhere and encouraging more employees to live in Metro Station Policy Areas.
(c) Relationship to other affordable housing programs. This program is intended to complement the moderately priced dwelling unit (MPDU) program under Chapter 25A and other County programs designed to promote affordable housing.
(e) Regulations. The County Executive must adopt regulations under method (1) to administer this program. These regulations:
(1) must set maximum sale prices and annual rent limits, sale price and rent ranges (which must promote a variety of different prices or rents at each workforce housing location), minimum unit type and bedroom requirements, and income eligibility standards;
(2) must govern notice to the Department of sales and rentals, foreclosures, and other relevant procedural matters; and
(3) should, wherever possible, be similar to or at least consistent with the regulations that govern the MPDU program.
The regulations governing eligibility must include some preference for applicants who either reside in the County or work or have received a job offer in the County.
(h) Annual report. Each year by March 15 the Director must report to the Executive and Council, for the previous calendar year:
(1) the number of workforce housing units approved and built; and