Why Montgomery County Needs 20,000 More Rental Units

by Nena Perry-Brown

Why Montgomery County Needs 20,000 More Rental Units: Figure 1

Earlier this week, the Montgomery County Planning Department presented some of the preliminary findings of a study regarding the county’s rental market. One of the most stark revelations uncovered by the study is that the county is short by about 20,000 rental units for households earning less than 30 percent of area median income (AMI).

“As a result [of this shortage], 80 percent of households earning less than 30 percent of area median income are cost burdened,” the study stated. “Of all renter households in the county, about 50 percent are cost burdened.”

The study also revealed that the county has an aging supply of apartments for rent, with 55 percent of rentals constructed before 1980 compared to only 14 percent of rentals having been built after 2000. However, the large share of older units helps keep those rentals relatively affordable for households that earn at least 50 percent AMI.

Overall, rentals comprise 30 percent of the county’s housing units and tend to be concentrated near employment centers and Metro stations. One promising facet of the rental supply (at least in contrast to the District) is that 39 percent of the county’s rentals have three or more bedrooms.

The Rental Housing Market Study was commissioned two years ago by the Maryland National Capital Park and Planning Commission and the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs to examine whether the county is meeting the rental housing demand for all of its residents.

During this phase, consultant RKG Associates gave the county’s Planning Department an overview of the data in preparation to furnish recommendations going forward. The final study should be completed and released in early 2017.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/measuring_moco_rental_housing_mkt/11942

1 Comment

  1. Michael Bufalini said at 4:00 am on Tuesday December 6, 2016:
    The referenced study, which is located at http://bit.ly/2h12NK2, uses data from 2010-2014. Many thousands of apartments in the county have been built since then, and though the quantity may have addressed the shortfall of apartments for high-income renters (also shown in the chart above), it probably has not addressed the 30% AMI shortfall. The other thing to note in this chart is that even in 2010-2014 there was an overall surplus of apartments, before the significant amount of building in the last couple of years. The challenge at the 30% AMI rent level is to find subsidies or very low cost areas (both of which are difficult to find). Current County regulations offer incentives if 30% of units are affordable, but that does not help if there is a surplus of apartments. This shortfall of low-cost rentals requires more financial commitment from the County.

DC Real Estate Guides

Short guides to navigating the DC-area real estate market

We've collected all our helpful guides for buying, selling and renting in and around Washington, DC in one place. Visit guides.urbanturf.com or start browsing below!

Northern Virginia

Profiles of 14 neighborhoods across Northern Virginia

Looking to Give People A Reason to Stay Past 6pm
Happily Straddling the Line Between City and Suburb
Columbia Pike
Arlington’s Neglected Stepchild is Getting a Makeover
Crystal City
Turning Lemons into Lemonade
Lyon Village
Developing An Air of Exclusivity?
Hitting Its Growth Spurt
An Urban Village Hitting Its Stride
Del Ray
Virginia’s Small Town Near the Big City
Eisenhower Avenue
The Vibrancy Might Take a Few Years
The Quiet Neighborhood By the Beltway
Old Town
Mayberry By The Potomac
132 Commerical-Free Acres
Downtown Falls Church
Staying the Same in the Midst of Change
Tysons Corner
Radical Change Could Be On The Way

See more Northern Virginia »


Profiles of 14 neighborhoods in suburban Maryland

Small-Town Living in the State Capital
Bedroom Community Gets Buzzing Cache
Cabin John
In With The New While Maintaining the Old
Chevy Chase
Affluence, Green Lawns and Pricey Homes
Downtown Silver Spring
Experiencing a Resurgence After a Bumpy History
A Suburb on Steroids
Rockville Town Square
Despite the Dynamism, Still Somewhat Generic
Takoma Park
More Than a Little Bit Quirky
A Foodie Magnet on the Verge of Change
Capitol Heights
Kudzu, Front Porches and Crime
Glass Half Full or Half Empty?
Mount Rainier
Artists, Affordable Homes and A Silo Full of Corn
National Harbor
A Development Rises Next to the Potomac
Riverdale Park
A Town Looking For Its Identity

See more Maryland »

Northwest DC

30+ neighborhood profiles for the city's biggest quadrant

16th Street Heights
DC's Sleeper Neighborhood
Where (Almost) Everyone Knows Your Name
AU Park
One of DC’s Last Frontiers Before the Suburbs
DC’s Northern Neighborhood on the Cusp
DC’s 535 House Neighborhood
Cathedral Heights
Do You Know Where That Is?
Chevy Chase DC
Not to Be Confused With the Other Chevy Chase
Cleveland Park
Coming Back After A Rough Year
Columbia Heights
DC’s Most Diverse Neighborhood, But For How Long?
An Island of Serenity East of the Park
Dupont Circle
The Best of DC (For a Price)
Foggy Bottom & West End
Where the Institutional Meets the International
Forest Hills
Ambassadors and Adventurous Architecture
Foxhall Village
350 Homes Just West of Georgetown
Friendship Heights
A Shopping Mecca With a Few Places to Live
History, Hoyas and H&M
Glover Park
One of DC’s Preppier and More Family-Friendly Neighborhoods
A Posh View From Embassy Row
LeDroit Park
A Quiet Enclave in the Middle of the City
Logan Circle
Trendy Now, But Not By Accident
Mount Pleasant
Sought-After Homes Surround Main Street in Transition
Mount Vernon Triangle
From Seedy to Sought-After
The Long, Skinny Neighborhood at the City’s Northwest Edge
Park View
It’s Not Petworth
Penn Quarter/Chinatown
DC’s Go-Go-Go Neighborhood
Getting a Vibrancy of Its Own
The Duke’s Former Stomping Ground
Shepherd Park
DC’s Garden of Diversity
Spring Valley
A Suburb With a DC Zip Code
Not To Be Confused With Takoma Park
Not Quite Like Its Neighbors
U Street Corridor
The Difference a Decade Makes
Woodley Park
Deceptively Residential
Adams Morgan
No Longer DC’s Hippest Neighborhood, But Still Loved by Residents

See more Northwest DC »

Southwest DC

The little quadrant that could

Southwest Waterfront
A Neighborhood Where A Change Is Gonna Come

See more Southwest DC »

Northeast DC

Profiles of 10 neighborhoods in NE

New Development Could Shake Up Pastoral Peace
A Little Bit of Country Just Inside the District’s Borders
Not to Be Confused With Bloomingdale
Fort Totten
Five Years Could Make a Big Difference
H Street
A Place To Party, and To Settle Down
The Northeast Neighborhood That Few Know About
Michigan Park
A Newsletter-On-Your-Doorstep Community
Evolving from a Brand to a Neighborhood
Ripe for Investment Right About Now
The Difference 5 Years Makes
Big Houses, A Dusty Commercial Strip and Potential

See more Northeast DC »

Southeast DC

6 neighborhoods from Capitol Hill to East of the River

Capitol Riverfront
Still Growing
Hill East
Capitol Hill’s Lesser Known Neighbor
Congress Heights
Gradually Rising
Notable for Its Neighborliness
Historic Anacostia
Future Promise Breeds Cautious Optimism
Eastern Market
A More European Way of Living

See more Southeast DC »