Do you know there are a lot of people who want to live in Montgomery County and simply can not find a house? This is not just an affordable housing issue, this is a housing crisis. There are people who make over $150,000 a year as a couple and can not get a house. Buyers are taking never seen before risks to buy houses such as waiving home inspections, waiving appraisal contingencies, paying $50,000 to $100,000 over appraised value to buy a house!!!! I tell people right now that the real estate market is a 150% seller’s market in Montgomery County. (Yes, a little bit of hyperbole I know.)
We are not alone with this housing shortage. A lot of metropolitan areas have a housing shortage but there are ways to help make the situation better. This answer might seem obvious but we need to build more houses. We need more condos, townhouses, and single-family houses. They are all being bought before they can be built. Ask the builders near Shady Grove Metro or Bloom in Montgomery Village and they will tell you they can not keep up with demand. We need to streamline the building permitting process so that properties can be shovel-ready quicker.
We have a lot of vacant or near vacant office spaces that are near Metro Stations and mass transit. We can convert those buildings to residential apartments or condos.
“Often, real estate and architectural experts say, the bureaucratic processes are too difficult and the conversions are too costly, and many developers and property owners would rather wait out the pandemic than begin a yearslong process.”
The county needs to make zoning flexible so that empty office buildings can cost-effectively be converted into apartments and condominiums. Some building owners may be willing to convert if it makes financial sense to them and they can see the profits in the future.
In order to be an inclusive county, we need to have housing for all. We need to have housing for our firefighters, policemen, and teachers to afford to live in the county. When I am in the office, I will work very hard to increase the housing supply so that as many people as can live in the county want to live here. We promote a county that is live, work, and play but we have to improve the life and work aspects to make the county a better place.
Vote Andrew Einsmann District 7 County Council Democratic Primary June 28th
Authorized by Friends of Andrew Einsmann, Ann Einsmann, Treasurer