Montgomery and Prince George’s Ink Purple Line Affordable Housing Deal

Leaders from Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties have signed an agreement to help preserve affordable housing and equitable economic growth along the developing purple line.

Bethesda Magazine reports:

The agreement espouses four goals for local governments and planning boards along the route: help local businesses prosper, expand the local labor force, create housing opportunities for all incomes and promote vibrant, sustainable communities.

The agreement is not legally enforceable, but the leaders said it could provide a moral guide to future leaders who will have to handle the new development and economic growth expected after the Purple Line is completed in 2022.

The article explains that the agreement was drafted by the Purple Line Corridor Coalition, a group  whose members include resident and business groups, local governments, and community organizations.

While not legally binding, the signatories pledge to work together to protect the residents and businesses. Signatories included Montgomery County Executive Ike Leggett, Prince George’s County Executive Rushern Baker, University of Maryland, College Park, President Wallace Loh and regional planers.

The agreement was developed out of concern that current long-time low income residents and small businesses will be displaced as neighborhoods lining the corridor experience economic growth. As noted in The Washington Post county leaders expressed understanding from past experiences of the need to protect those residents.

Prince George’s County Executive Rushern L. Baker III (D) said he has heard from residents, particularly in the heavily Latino Langley Park area, who welcome the Purple Line but are concerned about being priced out.

“This agreement says, ‘We hear you,’ ” Baker said. “We’re looking at ways . . . to give them every opportunity they want to stay there.”

Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) said he wished the county had had a similar commitment in place to protect small businesses as downtown Silver Spring was redeveloped.

For more information:

Montgomery, Prince George’s Leaders Sign Agreement to Pursue Equitable Growth Along Purple Line (Bethesda Magazine)

Montgomery, Prince George’s reach deal to preserve affordable housing along Purple Line (The Washington Post)