Preserving Affordable Housing Along Maryland Light Rail Line

A new plan lays out strategies to keep housing affordable for low- and moderate-income residents along the corridor of Maryland’s new Purple Line.

1 minute read

December 21, 2019, 9:00 AM PST

By Camille Fink

A recently released plan outlines ways to preserve affordable housing and minimize displacement along the route of the Purple Line, a new 16-mile light rail line coming to Maryland. The Purple Line Corridor Coalition is advising leaders and local organizations as the project moves forward on strategies to help ensure that gentrification does not drive up housing costs, particularly in economically distressed neighborhoods along the line.

"The plan makes 12 recommendations for the next three years — most are focused on how to foster housing construction, preserve existing affordable homes and protect vulnerable renters along the Purple Line, which will run between New Carrollton in Prince George’s County and Bethesda in Montgomery County," writes Ally Schweitzer.

The plan notes that half of renter households along the corridor are currently "cost burdened," spending at least 30 percent of their income on housing, and these residents will be vulnerable to housing cost increases when the rail line is completed. "But with construction of the transit line already underway, the plan calls for leaders, nonprofits and private sector leaders to start implementing some of its recommendations now," says Schweitzer.

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