How Counties Provide Million Dollar Giveaways to Wealthy Developers
Article prepared by famous author and investment banker Jeffrey Hooke.
Background: Hoping to promote moderate-income housing, many U.S. municipalities and counties provide huge giveaways to real estate developers and corporate landowners. Legislation and zoning amendments increase building heights, density limits and land values, without guaranteeing much more moderate-income housing than would otherwise be the case.
Example: Consider the following scenario in Montgomery County, Maryland. Under 2004 regulations, a developer owns land zoned for a 10-story building with up to 160 condominiums. Of the 160 units, 20 (i.e., 12.5%) must be reserved for moderateincome residents(MPDU’s).