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Preserving Neighborhood and Exploring Affordable Housing

At this week’s Council meeting, we’ll discuss two important topics on the housing situation in College Park. In the two parts discussion, the City Council will look into the data on the single-family and rental homes and explore ways to preserve the neighborhood against the conversion of single-family homes into rental homes. Additionally, the Council will discuss how to increase the supply of affordable housing in the College Park

  • Preserving Neighborhood – Single Family Vs Rental Homes

Many single-family neighborhoods in College Park have had comparatively high percentages of

detached rental houses, particularly for local university students. Single-family houses are attractive for student rentals due to the affordability and less restrictive environment compared to apartment buildings and on-campus dorms. Property owners of detached housing can generally obtain more total rent from four or five renters than they could obtain from a typical family.

Despite the addition of new apartment units off-campus and new dorms on-campus, the number of for-rent detached single-family homes has generally remained constant. In some neighborhoods, anecdotal evidence indicates that previously owner-occupied housing is being purchased by investors to offer for rent and that investors are out-bidding potential owner-occupants. The City Council and staff often receive complaints about noise and other disruptive issues with rental houses that code enforcement, contract police, and University police deal with on a regular basis.

  • Exploring Affordable Housing:

The City Council has often asked about affordable housing units when evaluating residential development proposals, and the Council hears from students and other groups about the cost of

rental housing in the City. This discussion will provide an opportunity for the Council to review general definitions of affordable housing, some data regarding housing and affordability in College Park and the region, and various strategies that could be used by the City, County, State, the Partnership, and the University to support housing affordability and also preserve homeownership. The Council will discuss various policy options for increasing the housing supply.

 

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