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

A “People’s Counsel” may sound promising, but the history of the position in Montgomery County says otherwise—too often in the past, this county post was used as a tool to block affordable housing. That’s why our affordable housing partners oppose Maryland House Bill 1364, and we do too.

HB 1364, introduced by Senator Ben Kramer, would require Montgomery County to restore and fund the office of the People’s Counsel. The bill would give the County Executive the power to appoint a publicly-funded lawyer to “represent the public interest of county residents” in land use planning matters. The County Council would have no role in the appointment and would be required to approve annual funding for the position.

Email your delegates about HB 1364!

Last year, following the defeat of similar bills that CSG strongly opposed, Senator Kramer helped create a workgroup of citizens, affordable housing developers, and other stakeholders which produced thoughtful recommendations for how best to make Montgomery County’s planning process more accessible to the public. The People’s Counsel wasn’t one of them. 

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.