Prince George’s County launches fund to preserve affordable housing

Prince George's County Executive Angela Alsobrooks at Hamilton Manor Apartments in Hyattsville, Md.
Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks announces new fund that will support the preservation of affordable housing in the county, and will be used to help implement its Right of First Refusal (ROFR) program. The program was used during the sale of Hamilton Manor Apartments in Hyattsville, Md. (Mike Murillo/WTOP)

Prince George’s County, Maryland, on Monday announced a new fund to help with the availability of affordable housing.

The Right of First Refusal Preservation Fund was launched with $15 million coming over a three-year period from the American Rescue Plan.

“Prince George’s County is committed to preserving housing affordability, and we are working hard to diversify the county’s housing stock,” County Executive Angela Alsobrooks said. “We cannot have quality economic development without affordable housing.”

The fund will support the preservation of affordable housing in the county, and will be used to help implement its Right of First Refusal (ROFR) program. It requires property owners who want to sell a building of 20 rental units or more to notify the county’s Department of Housing and Community Development after they enter into a contract.

The department can exercise its ROFR rights and buy the property, or assign its buying rights to a third party.

The county recently intervened in the case of Hamilton Manor, a 245-unit multifamily apartment building at 3342 Lancer Drive, in Hyattsville. Two nonprofits selected by the county were the third parties in that purchase: the National Housing Trust and the Washington Housing Conservancy.

“As part of the purchase, we’ve agreed to keep three-quarters of the property affordable to households earning less than 80% of area median income,” said the trust’s director of real estate, J.T. Engelhardt.

Also on Monday, the county announced the launch of the Home Ownership Preservation Program, which will provide up to $30,000 to qualifying homeowners for everything from electrical and plumbing repairs to tree removal and accessibility modifications. Households earning less than 50% of the area median income can receive up to $50,000 in services.

You can learn more about both programs by emailing the county’s housing development program manager, Pam Wilson.

WTOP’s Mike Murillo contributed to this report.

Jack Pointer

Jack contributes to when he's not working as the afternoon/evening radio writer. In a previous life, he helped edit The Dallas Morning News and Chicago Tribune.

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