Councilmembers Unveil Tenant Assistance and Protection Package to Address Growing Crisis in Housing Affordability

Per Montgomery County: Councilmembers Natali Fani-González, Andrew Friedson, Gabe Albornoz, Marilyn Balcombe, Sidney Katz, and Dawn Luedtke today announced a bold new proposal to alleviate pressures on the County’s most vulnerable renters. Like most similar jurisdictions throughout the country, Montgomery County faces a housing affordability crisis. The County has a tremendous housing challenge, with 41,000 housing units needed by 2030 to accommodate population growth and alleviate pressure on county renter households that are cost burdened. Based on a County-specific study, extensive research including from the NYU Furman Center, and the real-world experiences of other jurisdictions across the country, particularly Oregon, Minnesota, and California, the Tenant Assistance and Protection Package will provide direct assistance to the most vulnerable residents, protect against rent gouging, provide access to homeownership to build generational wealth, and increase supply of income-restricted affordable housing.

Anti-Rent Gouging Legislation
The first component of the Tenant Assistance and Protection package is anti-rent gouging legislation that eliminates excessive rent increases in a way that doesn’t threaten new housing construction which is essential for Montgomery County to meet its regional targets. The legislation would cap maximum rental increases in multi-unit buildings at eight percent plus inflation (based on the consumer price index). The legislation provides for a 15-year exemption for new construction and provides an allowance for building owners undergoing major renovations or financial hardship to ensure safe and dignified housing.

$30 Million in Rental Assistance 
Essential support for renters in need of financial assistance is also a key component of the comprehensive package that would increase Montgomery County’s Rental Assistance Program to $30 million. This additional $18 million investment represents a 150 percent increase from pre-pandemic levels. This puts more resources directly into renters’ hands who need it the most.

The sponsors of the Tenant Assistance and Protection Package are calling on County Executive Marc Elrich to include these funds in his recommended budget, due for submission to the Council on March 15.

$4.5 Million in Homeownership Access
With the goal of increasing homeownership opportunities in historically underserved communities and to help residents build generational wealth, the package includes $3 million in funding to support first-time homebuyers, with $1.5 million allocated homeowners who are most at risk of losing their homes. This $4.5 million in funding would come from the 2022 American Rescue Plan Act.

Concurrently, led by Chair Friedson, the Planning, Housing and Parks Committee is developing a new revolving affordable housing fund with a goal of reaching $50 million. This fund will support nonprofit housing providers modeled after the successful Housing Production Fund created in 2022 and augmented in 2023.

This comprehensive package of robust rental assistance, increased affordable housing production, and anti-rent gouging regulations follows research and lessons learned from other jurisdictions to target support and protections to the most vulnerable residents without discouraging desperately needed investment in housing production and building maintenance.

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Karen joined the Well-Paid Maids team as a cleaner in January 2021, and she was recently promoted to an operations manager! This well-deserved promotion is part of Well-Paid Maids' effort to deliver better customer service with responses to phone calls and emails seven days a week. To celebrate Karen's promotion, we caught up with her to learn more about her time at Well-Paid Maids, the area's only certified living-wage cleaning company.

 1. Why Well-Paid Maids?

Karen: I saw the company was paying a living wage and had great benefits. Also, they were very flexible with my schedule, especially since I have kids.

 2. How has it been working at Well-Paid Maids?

Karen: I feel very appreciated at the company. This is the first job where I feel I'm able to speak about any issue and that management will support me.

 3. How has working at Well-Paid Maids benefitted you?

Karen: Because Well-Paid Maids pays a living wage, I can now spend more time with my kids and not work double shifts like I did at my old job.

 4. How do you plan to spend your PTO this year?

Karen: I look forward to traveling to El Salvador to visit my family there.

 5. How would you describe Well-Paid Maids as an employer in three words?

Appreciated, valued and opportunity

Submit your own Announcement here.

Washington City Paper is hosting its annual Best of D.C. contest -- and Well-Paid Maids is eyeing the Best Maid Service category. If you missed it: Well-Paid Maids has secured first place for the past three years. Can you help us snag gold again? Simply go to the ballot and write in your vote for the best maid service. In case you need a refresher before you vote, Well-Paid Maids is the only certified living-wage cleaning company in the D.C. area. We pay our cleaners, who are W-2 employees, at least $24 an hour and offer benefits like insurance, 24 paid days off per year and more. Voting is open until June 10 at 5 p.m., and the winner will be announced July 18. (We'll keep you posted!) Thank you for your support -- and if you still haven't booked a spring cleaning yet, now is the time!

Submit your own Announcement here.

Movie being filmed in McLean, VA, needs your support

A local community movie is filming in our area in June and needs contributions!

Local actors, teens, teachers, housewives, and retired residences are trying to make this film happen but we need your help.

This is an educational short story about teens learning how to navigate when they don't feel accepted by their friends and what to do to find acceptance. Yet this film isn't just for teens. In your life have you ever felt like you weren't accepted??

Come be a part of the audience for this film! Invite your friends. Be a part of this film being produced right here in our area.

This is a social impact film that will show locally and internationally at film festivals in 2025 and also at colleges.

More information can be found here. DONATE TODAY:

https://www.filmindependent.org/sponsored-projects/ultimate-bias/

https://www.silvanomarifilms.com/jis

This is a not-for-profit film and donations are tax-deductible.

Free Community Father-Daughter Dance

Fathers and father figures, create unforgettable memories with your daughter at our free community father-daughter dance on June 1st, from 6-8 pm. Hosted outdoors at Olney Baptist Church. This event offers a delightful outdoor experience complete with a DJ spinning tunes, interactive games, a charming photo booth, delicious treats, and exciting raffle prizes. Fathers/father figures and daughters of all ages are warmly welcomed to share in this special evening together. Join us for an evening of joy, laughter, and cherished moments!

In the spirit of giving back to our community, we are partnering with Quest to Feed Montgomery to make a meaningful difference in the lives of those in need. We kindly ask each attendee to bring along a non-perishable food item to donate during the event. Every contribution, no matter how small, will go a long way in supporting families facing food insecurity in our area.

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