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Moderately Priced Dwelling Units

Montgomery County, Maryland’s Model of Inclusionary Housing

Brittany Wong, Gerrit Knaap, and Willow Lung-Amam

May 2021, English

Montgomery County, Maryland, is a relatively wealthy suburb of Washington, DC. Once predominantly racially white, Montgomery County’s nearly one million current residents are racially diverse, with an increasingly large minority population that accounts for more than 55 percent of the total county. Generations of residents have been attracted to the county’s strong and stable economy, which is diverse but largely dependent on the federal government. The politically progressive county is widely known for its pioneering approach to land-use policy, including its “wedges and corridors” plan and rural reserve policy. Its signature Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit (MPDU) program is well regarded as the oldest, and among the most successful, inclusionary zoning programs in the United States.

This case study assesses both the historic and current landscape of social equity in the county and to what extent the MPDU program has helped to promote social, economic, and spatial equity across its diverse populations and neighborhoods.