Legislation Introduced Allowing Montgomery County Inspector General to Investigate Housing Commission

Bethesda Beat article (2019-01-18) reported the Maryland Senator Ben Kramer has introduced legislation that would authorize the Montgomery County Inspector General to investigate the County’s Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC). In the article Kramer, stated that he introduced the legislation after receiving complaints about HOC from both constituents and HOC employees. Some of the complaints stemmed from a dispute between HOC and Macedonia Baptist Church over a historically-black cemetery.

HOC Chair Jackie Simon questioned the need for the bill but noted that the HOC was not taking a position on it. From the article:

“I think it’s part of that discussion as far as the total lack of transparency with HOC, and what I have heard repeatedly with HOC and a lack of concern from their executive director with regard to the public,” [Kramer] said. “I certainly understand their [the church’s] concerns and there just seems to be a measure of disinterest from the executive director with regard to community concerns, and I think that’s troubling.” …

The chairwoman of the HOC, which runs affordable housing programs and properties in the county, said Thursday the commission took “no position” on Kramer’s bill, and she didn’t understand the motivation behind it.

“We already are audited by a variety of institutions and organizations, so I don’t know what he is possibly basing this on,” said Chairwoman Jackie Simon.

In the article, Simon also stated she was not aware of any alleged complaints by HOC workers.

The article also discussed ongoing tensions between the HOC and protesters.