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Housing Analysis

We should not increase housing subsidy programs in this area. These programs interfere with the free market forces of supply and demand and cause overcrowding which accelerates the spread of urban blight in Montgomery County. It would also force people who do not qualify for subsidies to pay more rent and more taxes than otherwise because they would need to compete for housing with people who are subsidized. Residents will pay higher taxes to fund a program which will cause them to pay more for housing. As we have seen in other areas it will bring poverty, crime and social tensions to a once prosperous community.

The current MPDU program in Montgomery County forces builders to build higher density housing so that a few lucky people get large subsidies. Builders put up little resistance because they are allowed to build more homes per acre of land than they could previously. Any increased costs are passed on to the buyers who pay more and get less. Those of us who bought new homes during the past twenty years had to pay a higher price than we would have without this program. What did you get for this higher cost? Less space, more traffic, crowded classrooms, etc. Inevitably the artificially high prices will collapse when people no longer see this area as desirable, and that will cause real problems. We must all learn to live within our means.

Ironically, the poor suffer almost as much as everyone else does. Although a few lucky ones were financially helped, many more that do not qualify are hurt. Consider these facts. If these programs did not exist, the low-income people benefiting from them would have bought homes in less expensive areas. This would have helped support prices in those areas. But because of this program and others, homes in the poor areas did not appreciate as much due to the lower demand. This means that those poor people, who worked hard and saved enough money to buy a home without relying on the government, were hurt because their homes did not increase in value as much as they would have. Lower priced condos in particular were devastated by this and other programs. In some areas condos actually declined in price over a period of two decades. This was during a time when homes in the upper-middle class areas doubled, and in some cases more than tripled in price.

Americans for Self-Determination
406 Longdraft Rd.
Gaithersburg, MD 20878
(301) 990-8983