Counties Support Exploring Tools to Address Housing Crisis

On February 7, 2023, Associate Policy Director Dominic Butchko testified before the House Environment and Transportation Committee in support of HB 0239 – Accessory Dwelling Unit Promotion and Policy Task Force with amendments.

The Senate Education, Energy, and the Environment Committee will consider the bill’s cross-file, SB 0382, on February 21.

This bill establishes a task force to study state and local government efforts to promote the creation of Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on land previously zoned for single-family residential use. ADUs are essentially secondary units constructed in some manner on the same lot, parcel, or tract as a primary dwelling unit. The Maryland Association of Counties (MACo) wholeheartedly supports HB 0239, as ADUs have the potential to work as yet another tool local government can use in their multipronged approach to combating the housing crisis. To strengthen the intent of the bill, MACo also recommends that the General Assembly consider amendments shifting the focus of the study to ADU best practices and infrastructure needs.

From the MACo Testimony:

HB 239 brings together a significant cross section of housing stakeholders and charges them with developing a comprehensive menu of ADU best practices. Counties recognize ADUs as a legitimate tool in combating the housing crisis, but resist one-size-fits-all mandates that do not take into account highly localized considerations. This bill serves to strike a balance between overly burdensome mandates and the need for serious action. MACo praises the sponsor for graciously working with counties and other stakeholders to develop amendments and move forward toward workable solutions.

More on MACo’s Advocacy:

Follow MACo’s advocacy efforts during the 2023 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database

Learn more about MACo’s 2023 Legislative Initiatives

Read more General Assembly News on MACo’s Conduit Street blog