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Group Outlines Steps to Improve Quality of Life and Stabilize Neighborhood

About a year ago, in July 2012, the Mayor and Council established the Neighborhood Stabilization and Quality of Life Work Group to develop and explore new strategies for addressing issues related to the increasing use of single-family houses as group rental houses over the past several decades.

The initiative came after the Council suspended the enforcement of rent control ordinances for a year and try out other ways to address the root cause of the law – improve the quality of life and stabilize the neighborhood.

There had been a long-term trend of increasing numbers of single-family houses being converted to group rental houses over the past several decades. The Council expressed a desire to ensure availability and maintenance of affordable housing in the City, protect the standard of living of all City residents, and strengthen and stabilize the City’s neighborhoods.

The full Work Group and the individual task forces held numerous committee meetings from November 2012 through June 2013 to identify and discuss potential strategies for addressing the above issues. Additionally, they also held two public forums during this period, on January 29 and April 30, to provide an opportunity for members of the broader community to express their concerns and comments about neighborhood stabilization and quality of life issues.

The group decided to create four task forces to work on the following issues:

• Issue Reduction: Strategies for reducing problems that have negatively impacted the quality of life for people who live in the community, including loud parties, noise, excessive alcohol consumption, public urination, trash, and vandalism.
• Homeownership: Strategies for reversing the trend of conversions of owner-occupied properties to rental properties and attracting more University faculty and staff and other owner-occupants to purchase homes in College Park.
• Community Building: Strategies for building positive relations between students and long-term residents and creating a stronger sense of community.
• Housing Diversity: Strategies for expanding housing options available to students, with a particular emphasis on affordable housing.

I will make a series of posts to go over the details about the group’s findings and strategies to implement them.

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2 Comments to “Group Outlines Steps to Improve Quality of Life and Stabilize Neighborhood”

  1. By harry, August 22, 2013 @ 9:40 am

    This seems to only address the issue of student rentals. What about the increasing number of single family homes that are housing multiple families? I know of several houses that have five or more adults plus children residing in them. Why doesn’t the city work to mitigate this issue?

  2. By Fazlul Kabir, August 22, 2013 @ 11:43 am

    Hi Harry, Thanks so much for your comments. The City does enforce, however, if the multiple families are all related there is nothing that prevents this arrangement. Please let me know about specific addresses and I can ask our staff to check the addresses against information they have obtained regarding certain properties. You can email me at fkabir@collegeparkmd.gov . Thanks again.