Testimony: Support for CB-86 & CB-87-2022

September 14, 2022

The Honorable Mel Franklin
Chair, Planning, Housing and Economic Development Committee
Wayne K. Curry Administration Building
1301 McCormick Drive, 2nd Floor
Largo, MD 20774  via: clerkofthecouncil@co.pg.md.us

RE: Support CB-86 & CB-87-2022

Dear Chairman Franklin and members of the Committee:

Please accept this letter on behalf of the Coalition for Smarter Growth (CSG). CSG is the leading non-profit organization in the Washington, D.C. region, including suburban Maryland, dedicated to making the case for smart growth. Our mission is to promote walkable, inclusive, and transit-oriented communities, and the land use and transportation policies and investments needed to make those communities flourish.

We are pleased to express our support for CB-86 and CB-87. These bills build on the many advances the County has made in recent years to address the housing needs of its residents. The Council and Executive have much to be proud of as these bills show how far we’ve come. 

CB-87-2022: Housing Policy and Implementation Advisory Board

CB-86 establishes a housing policy and implementation advisory board which is the final step to set up an board to support the progress the county has made through the Housing Opportunities for All strategy and workgroup. We commend the Council for its support and engagement with the workgroup, and the success of the Council in enacting key recommendations of the strategy and workgroup. Chief among these accomplishments is the $10 million annual commitment to the Housing Investment Trust Fund. This funding is a foundational commitment to building a better future for all Prince George’s families, helping them have a secure home to live in so they can pursue their aspirations. The Housing Policy and Implementation Advisory Board will provide consistent support to follow through on the important progress the County has made. 

CB-87-2022: Pre-authorization of PILOTs for ROFR purchases

We wish to express our support for CB-87 which provides a new tool for streamlined success for the Right of First Refusal (ROFR) program. Affecting more than 1,200 units to date, We commend the County for the impressive record of the ROFR program in a few short years. The program has used the right to preserve and improve the quality of affordable housing for Prince George’s residents. PILOT tax relief assistance is an important tool to support affordability for rental housing and strengthen the County’s efforts to preserve affordable housing and prevent displacement as rental prices rise. PILOT tax relief is a common tool to help keep income-restricted rental housing affordable. Pre-authorizing the use of PILOTs in ROFR purchases improves the efficiency and effectiveness of the County’s efforts to secure and preserve affordable housing. We ask for a favorable report for this bill. 

Thank you for your consideration,
Cheryl Cort