Affordable Housing

More than a decade after the Brookings Institution released the seminal Region Divided report, the Washington region is still divided, with parts of D.C. and the east side of the region not sharing in the prosperity of our economy.

Despite some progress in the last decade, many eastern communities continue to fall on the wrong side of the regional divide with slow job growth, poorly performing schools, high crime, and a devastating home foreclosure crisis. Meanwhile, even in wealthier communities throughout the region many families struggle to keep up with rising housing costs, a situation made even worse by the a lack of diversity in housing types and transit-oriented development.

Addressing this challenge is the most important mission of CSG. With our focus integrating the interconnected issues of land use, housing, and transportation, we are uniquely situated to address this divide through changes in infrastructure policies and our work in local communities across the region. Providing more housing options close to jobs in job-rich areas, creating incentives for jobs to be focused at underdeveloped Metro stations on the east side of the region, focusing businesses in transit-accessible locations, and linking affordable housing and transit, are among the key solutions.

Latest Happenings


Testimony: CB 15 – Omnibus revisions to Zoning Ordinance to implement Plan 2035 (Prince George’s, Support)

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March 20, 2024 (updated 4/17/2024) Hon. Tom Dernoga, ChairPHED CommitteePrince George’s County Council Wayne Curry Administration Building1301 McCormick Drive, Largo MD Dear Chair Dernoga and members of the Committee: Please accept this testimony on behalf of the Coalition for Smarter Growth (CSG), the leading organization advocating for walkable, bikeable, inclusive, transit-oriented

Take Action: Don’t weaken Gov. Moore’s affordable housing bill

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Gov. Moore’s Housing Expansion and Affordability Act proposes easing restrictions on new affordable, mixed income housing near transit and on government and non-profit lands. But newly proposed amendments in the House of Delegates Committee on Environment and Transportation would weaken the impact of this important bill. The vote on these amendments will take place Thursday afternoon.

Take Action: Delegates need to hear from us—don’t fund a tool to block affordable housing

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Email your delegates today to tell them that we should use public funds to implement effective, targeted strategies like those identified by the workgroup to make the planning process more equitable and accessible—not to fund another potential obstacle to affordable housing.

Testimony: Faith Housing ZTA 24-01 (Montgomery County, Support)

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The main objectives of this ZTA in our view are: 1) to meet our county’s housing need by providing an additional, affordability-focused pathway to build more housing; and 2) to reduce the existing barriers to qualifying institutions who seek to build housing. With that in mind, we believe the ZTA could even more successfully achieve these goals if projects were approved through the site plan approval process rather than the conditional use approval process. 

Testimony: Housing Expansion and Affordability Act of 2024 (MD, Support with Amendments)

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SB 484 would open up more opportunities to build needed housing, overcoming impediments for both market-rate and affordable home construction. We support this bill but suggest two amendments to strengthen it.