The lack of affordable housing is one of the leading drivers of poverty and instability in Montgomery County and has always been a top priority for AIM. It is a burning issue that comes up over and over again in both individual meetings and listening sessions. In Montgomery County alone, it is estimated that the housing shortage is between 45,0000 and 60,000 units and is constantly growing. This means that tens of thousands of the very people who are employed by Montgomery County-teachers, nurses, firemen, grocery store clerks-can no longer afford to live in it.
In 2002, in order to address the growing affordable housing problem in Montgomery County, AIM leaders, clergy and congregations worked with County Executive Duncan and the County Council to put more money into the Housing Initiative Fund (HIF). This fund is used to give flexible loans and grants to builders of affordable housing. AIM leaders and our allies organized to raise the funding from the original $2 million to a peak of $54 million.While this proved a great success, in 2008 the spending was cut by $24 million. At an electoral assembly organize by AIM and our allies, County Executive Leggett promised to restore the fund to $54 million back into the HIF and to create 1,000 new units of affordable housing but when the budget was released in December, Leggett did not follow through. However, AIM leaders, clergy and congregations worked with the County Council to ensure the fund was not cut in a tight budget year.
AIM leaders, clergy and congregations have also ensured the County Council and County Executive hold affordable housing as a top priority through the Moderately Priced Housing Law. This law mandates that between 12.5% and 15% of new developments larger than 20 units must be made affordable. At Crown Farm in Gaithersburg, a developer bought the land to built apartments but petitioned the local government to not have to put in affordable units. AIM leaders organized to ensure the County Council members and Mayor Sydney Katz retain the affordable units despite the developer’s wishes to make himself more profitable.
Ultimately, AIM has been extremely successful in our efforts to increase the amount of affordable housing in Montgomery County. In the last 15 years alone, AIM members have organized to create over $490 million of affordable housing stock in the Housing Initiative Fund. Though, tens of thousands of Montgomery County workers and residents still cannot afford to live in the county. AIM members therefore continue to keep affordable housing as a top priority until all people have affordable, safe and clean housing available to them. Learn more about the current campaign here>>
In the News
Justice for Historic African-American Communities
The ribbon cutting to open the new Good Hope Neighborhood Recreation Center took place on Oct. 6 in the Good Hope neighborhood of Silver Spring, Md. Local officials, residents and community members all gathered to witness the opening of the last of the four centers located in historic African-American neighborhoods to undergo renovations in Montgomery County.
Good Hope along with Ross Boddy, Scotland and Plum Gar recreation centers were overlooked and neglected for many years and dating back to the 1990s, neighborhood leaders weren’t even able to get basic repairs done in the community centers. Centers were dealing with issues such as flooding and broken windows, according to social advocacy group, Action In Montgomery (AIM).
Strong Commitments on Housing, Education and Immigration from Executive Candidates
May 30, 2018 at The People’s Community Baptist Church
It was standing room only when AIM leaders gathered to clarify the commitments of the County Executive Candidates to AIM’s bold proposals for the future of Montgomery County. The AIM demands were developed over a year of listening sessions with 3000 people throughout the county and the focus was on specific community solutions.
Montgomery County Faith Leaders Assert Political Agenda–Afro American
Montgomery County’s clergy of color are working together across race and faith perspective to represent the needs of their congregations and ensure all voices are heard as the 2018 election season approaches.
Pastor Haywood Robinson Jr., president of the Montgomery County Black Ministers Conference and pastor of the People’s Community Baptist Church in Silver Spring, Md., joined with 20 multiethnic churches and community organizations under the Action in Montgomery (AIM) banner to host the county’s largest candidate forum, packing more than 1,200 people in the Norwood Road sanctuary to hear from six of the seven candidates for Montgomery County executive last week.
Maryland IAF Marches on Homeland Security’s Baltimore Office
Chanting “Clarity! Compassion! No Confusion!” a group of about 50 Maryland immigration advocates marched from Baltimore City Hall to the local office of the Department of Homeland Security on Thursday to demand a meeting with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The group of community advocates and local clergy called on the agency to clarify its policies on detaining and deporting undocumented immigrants. They also asked for information on where those who are arrested are held and requested that immigration officers remove the word ‘POLICE’ from their uniforms, to better distinguish them from Baltimore Police.