Affordable Housing A Major Challenge In Frederick, According To One Alderman

He also says a ‘menu’ of solutions is  necessary to solve this problem.


Frederick, Md (KM). Affordable Housing is one of the biggest challenges facing the city of Frederick. That’s according to Alderman Roger Wilson. “Affordable housing is a problem not just here in Frederick, but in the region,” he says. “It will impact our economy as we go forward.”

Earlier this year,k the United Way released the ALICE study, which found that 32% of Frederick County households struggle to afford the basics such as food and housing.   ALICE is an acronym for Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed.

The ALICE report says many these individuals who are struggling work as cashiers, wait staff, administrative and nursing assistants, security guards and in the retail and food industries. It also says many of these families make more than twice the Federal Poverty Level.

Alderman Wilson says the city needs to develop a “menu” of options to deal with the scarcity of affordable housing for these individuals. and families. He says one of them may require a change in the city’s Moderately Price Dwelling Units program, where developers set aside a certain percentage of moderately priced dwelling units in their communities. . “We’re looking  to making some changes to our Moderately Priced Dwelling Units, and putting together a policy that requires any new development that you put a larger percentage of moderately price dwelling units in that development,” he says.

He says there could be changes to the Payment in Lieu program, where developers who don’t want to build moderately priced dwelling units in their communities can pay a fee which goes toward affordable housing. . “To make sure that developers  pay their fair share to help out part of the local jurisdictions in those affordable housing developments,” says Wilson.

Some people have said one way to bring in more affordable housing is to reduce or eliminate a lot of fees and regulations which they say drive up the cost of homes in the county. “I am open to seeing what fees are valid or relevant now. But reducing them: : I’m not interested in that,” says Wilson.

But one idea that Wilson says he would like the city to consider is “tiny houses.” We would like to see tiny homes here in Frederick,” he says.

Tiny homes have become popular in recent years. They do present challenges for builders, developers and those who live in them. They come in all sizes and shapes.


By Kevin McManus