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GET INSPIRED! BLOG
 

 
GET INSPIRED - Celebrating Our Accomplishments and Innovating for the Future
Each month during the anniversary year, we will be posting historical highlights, updates on our programs, stories of personal successes, and news of important events. There will be several opportunities for you and your colleagues to engage with us and see the impact of our programs.


Gold Line

April 2024 Blog

 

An Earth Month Environmental Progress Update From HOC & HOCP
 
Like the rest of you, the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) and the Housing Opportunities Community Partners (HOCP) are acutely aware of the need to take care of our one and only Planet Earth. That’s why in this month of April - Earth Month - we focus this blog’s attention on our efforts to protect the environment. Those efforts are evidenced in the buildings we build, the properties we maintain and the young lives we serve.
 
As we strive to ensure all Montgomery County residents have the opportunity to live in safe, high-quality affordable housing, we work hard to create vibrant, inclusive and environmentally sustainable communities that will enhance the quality of life for our residents. 
 
The specifications of all new multifamily buildings that HOC plans require the incorporation of the latest technologies and adherence to the strictest industry standards for green construction and energy innovation. That means all of the buildings in HOC’s development pipeline will be as energy efficient as possible and meet rigorous certification requirements. Some will even meet Passive House and Net-Zero standards. For our residents, that could translate into lower monthly utility bills.
 
Building a More Sustainable Future

These projects, listed below, encompass the construction of mixed-use developments comprising residential units, commercial spaces, recreational amenities, and green spaces, all designed to meet the highest standards of sustainability and energy efficiency.
 

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The Leggett, Silver Spring

Opened in May 2023, The Leggett is also a good example of how HOC brings housing affordability to green energy initiatives. In addition to featuring all Energy Star-rated appliances, The Leggett is expected to receive LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold certification. This prestigious designation reflects the building’s incorporation of best practices in energy conservation, water use reduction, enhanced indoor air quality, and other environmental improvements. 

Read more about The Leggett here>>>

 

 
 
 

  
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The Laureate, Derwood

Located just steps away from the Shady Grove Metro Station, The Laureate is a transit-oriented, mixed income, mixed use LEED-certified apartment community. That means the building, which opened in 2023, demonstrates a foundational commitment to sustainability, encompassing essential practices in energy efficiency, water conservation and material selection, all of which help to minimize its environmental impact. 

Read more about The Laureate 
here>>>
 
 
 
 
Picture3Garnkirk Farms Apartments (Clarksburg)

This 184-unit apartment building, projected to open in late 2024, will provide affordable rental opportunities as part of the larger Garnkirk Farms community, located near the COMSAT site, Clarksburg Outlets and central Clarksburg. It is designed to LEED Platinum and Net Zero Energy Ready standards with universal design for accessibility for all residents. The LEED Platinum certification is the highest level of certification, reserved for buildings that demonstrate leadership in sustainability and have implemented cutting-edge green building technologies and strategies.
 
  
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Hillandale Gateway

Hillandale Gateway, with an anticipated Fall 2026 opening, is an ambitious new all-electric, mixed-use, mixed-income, intergenerational community totaling 463 apartment homes, retail space, ancillary parking with EV charging stations, an outdoor amphitheater, and a new transit center to connect residents to the broader DC metro area. The residential buildings are designed to achieve several certifications, such as LEED-H Midrise v4 Platinum, DOE Zero Energy Ready Home, ENERGY STAR Multifamily New Construction, Enterprise Green Community, and WELL certifications. The large array of solar panels planned for the building will provide energy for the entire Hillandale Gateway campus and will be a resiliency hub for the surrounding community during power outages. 
 

Preserving Tomorrow Today 
 
At the same time, HOC’s Maintenance Division also is working to limit the environmental impact of our existing properties. We recently began a water efficiency and conservation study of 14 properties, with the goal of identifying water conservation measures.
 
HOC’s non-profit affiliate, HOCP also is a builder – a builder of brighter futures. For almost 10 years, HOCP has been supporting educational, out-of-school programming in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) to HOC youth of all ages. Young inquiring minds learn about robotics, water conservation, engineering, computer graphics and other inspiring science topics. We are confident that these activities will inspire our youth to pursue rewarding STEM careers and to become tomorrow’s leaders in protecting our precious Planet Earth.
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March 2024 Blog

Honoring the Legacy of Women Who Have Served and Led HOC and HOCP
 
The history of the Housing Opportunities Commission (HOC) and HOC’s non-profit affiliate, the Housing Opportunities Community Partners, Inc. (HOCP), is indelibly imprinted by the contributions of their numerous women leaders over the past half-century. Today, in fact, women comprise nearly half of HOC’s senior management team, fully one half of HOC Commissioners and more than one half of Community Partners Board Directors.

Taking note of their accomplishments is only fitting this March, as the nation celebrates Women’s History Month, and this year, as HOC marks its 50th anniversary and HOCP its 25th year of service to Montgomery County.
 
chelsea AndrewsCHELSEA ANDREWS, HOC PRESIDENT / EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
2022 - PRESENT

Like the leaders who preceded her, current HOC President/Executive Director Chelsea Andrews brings a spirit of innovation, experience and passion to the task of heading an organization dedicated to providing affordable housing and supportive services to residents of Montgomery County. Since joining HOC in July 2022, Ms. Andrews has steered the agency through its ongoing recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, deployment of the innovative Housing Production Fund (HPF) and the 2023 opening of The Laureate and The Leggett, two major new apartment communities that have reset the bar for what affordable, mixed-income, multi-family developments can be.

Ms. Andrews oversaw development of a new Five-Year Strategic Plan and the articulation of the set of core values that will guide HOC’s way forward.

“I’m honored and proud to lead such a dedicated group of people who work so hard on behalf of our customers,” Ms. Andrews said. “I’m equally proud to be continuing the work of the women who built the foundation of this great organization over the years.”
 

Current Members of HOC Executive Team

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Executive Team S2
 

Current Members of HOC Commission & Community Partners Board Directors
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Below are brief retrospectives of some of the key women who have served and led our agency throughout the years.
 
Comm Simon 1
JACKIE SIMON, HOC COMMISSIONER / CHAIR
2014 - 2023

Jackie Simon served on the Board of the Housing Opportunities Commission from March 2014 through June 2023. She has been a stalwart supporter of affordable housing throughout her life and career and has fiercely advocated for the rights and opportunities for people with disabilities. During her tenure as Chair from 2017 through 2020, HOC opened The Lindley, a new mixed-income, multi-family apartment community in Chevy Chase. Ms. Simon also oversaw the conversion of public housing units at the Elizabeth House, as well as the initial phases of development at Elizabeth Square - The Leggett senior housing complex. Ms. Simon also was at the helm for the critical pre-development planning of three innovative construction projects - Residences on the Lane, Hillandale Gateway and Wheaton Gateway.

Ms. Simon’s impact on HOC and its customers over the years has been immeasurable. She has been extremely interested in the Tony S. Davis Memorial Scholarship for HOC high school graduates. She championed the Fatherhood Initiative Program, which each year assists hundreds of men become better fathers. Importantly, she always has stressed the importance of ensuring that HOC’s resident services programs and real estate developments provide far more than the minimum requirement for accessibility by seniors and individuals with disabilities. 
Shauna Sorrells 1
SHAUNA M. SORRELLS,
LPA DIRECTOR 2016-2019; HOC CHIEF OF STAFF 2019

Although Ms. Sorrells was with HOC for less than four years, she left a lasting impact on our agency and on everyone with whom she worked. She was an expert in affordable housing issues, a role model for aspiring women leaders and a true professional who was driven by the passion to make a positive difference in our community.

As the Director of the Legislative and Public Affairs Office, Ms. Sorrells significantly raised HOC’s profile among stakeholders at all levels of government and throughout the non-profit community of Montgomery County. She expanded the scope and caliber of work of the LPA office and guided HOCP to embark on new fundraising endeavors, most notably the bi-annual Inspire Celebration. 

After her untimely passing, HOC and HOCP created the Shauna M. Sorrells Memorial Award, which is given at each Inspire Celebration gala to agencies and individuals who show the same dedication to improving the lives of the underserved as did Ms. Sorrells.
 

SallyRomanright 1
SALLY ROMAN, HOC COMMISSIONER / CHAIR, HOCP BOARD DIRECTOR
2007 - 2017

Sally Roman’s service on the Board of the Housing Opportunities Commission from 2007 through 2017 brought HOC a wealth of experience in housing and Montgomery County community issues. 

Prior to joining HOC, Ms. Roman spent 15 years at the Montgomery County Department of Park and Planning, where she served as both a Master Planner for Housing and Demographics and the Department’s lead planner for housing issues. After retiring from Park and Planning, Ms. Roman worked very closely with the Montgomery County Council to update the Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit (MPDU) Law. 

Under her leadership as Commission Chair from 2015 to 2017, HOC undertook significant development, redevelopment and modernization projects to ensure every Montgomery County resident has access to high quality, amenity rich, affordable housing. During Ms. Roman’s tenure, HOC launched the HOC Academy to expand tools and resources that help prepare HOC customers, both youth and adults, to excel in the classroom and the workplace.

Upon leaving the Commission board, Ms. Roman became a board director of HOC’s non-profit affiliate, the Housing Opportunities Community Partners, Inc. (HOCP), where she continued to use her experience and wealth of knowledge.

AnnieAlston 1ANNIE B. ALSTON, HOC EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
1971 - 2011

Ms. Alston joined HOC even before the agency was reorganized and rechartered in 1974. With 39 years of service, she was the longest-tenured employee. 

Ms. Alston began her long and outstanding career in 1971 as an intake and placement clerk. In 1980 she was one of 26 people selected from a national pool of 600 governmental employees to participate in a two-year Department of Housing and Urban Development Intergovernmental Executive Leadership Program. After receiving a Master’s Degree in Public Administration she was promoted to Assistant to the Executive Director/Human Resources Director (1983) and served in that capacity until 2001, when she was promoted to Chief of Staff. In January 2009, Ms. Alston made history by being the first woman to be appointed Executive Director of HOC, the role she held until her retirement in February 2011.

Her impact on HOC cannot be overstated. She developed and implemented numerous policies and programs ranging from the Personnel Policy and Customer Service Guidelines to Emergency Preparedness and the Executive Leadership Program. Thanks to her comprehensive work experience at all levels, from the front-line to executive staff, Ms. Alston was the best fit for the role of chief negotiator for HOC during the agency’s adoption of its first Collective Bargaining Agreement with the UFCW Local 1994 Municipal & County Government Employees Organization. Her experienced guidance also brought  HOC through the first difficult years of the nation’s Great Recession.

Ms. Alston’s commitment, sound judgment, leadership, diplomacy, empathy, and extensive knowledge of the agency were instrumental in HOC’s growth into a nationally recognized public housing authority and housing finance agency.


LillianDurham 1Dr. LILLIAN DURHAM, RESIDENT SERVICES DIVISION DIRECTOR
1987 - 2011

Dr. Durham enjoyed a distinguished career with HOC for more than 24 years after joining the agency in 1987 as a Resident Services Supervisor II.  Over the next 10 years, she worked under the tenure of the Division’s Director, Patricia Scissors. Together, these two women trailblazers implemented innovative programs that improved the lives of thousands of HOC households. 

It was during this period that the Family Self Sufficiency Program (FSS) and Permanent Supportive Housing Program (PSH) were introduced at HOC. Thanks to the advocacy, wisdom and experience of Dr. Durham and Ms. Scissors in the 1990s today’s FSS and PSH programs help hundreds of families each year.

Dr. Durham also can be credited with the formation of the Resident Advisory Board, which gives HOC residents the opportunity to engage in the planning and evaluation of HOC services and programs. The groundwork established by Dr. Durham has helped to ensure the ongoing activity of the RAB to the present day.

 Pat Scissors Retired
PATRICIA SCISSORS, RESIDENT SERVICES DIVISION DIRECTOR
1973 - 2001

Ms. Scissors had an illustrious 40-year career in nursing and social work. For 25 of those years, Ms. Scissors worked in various roles at HOC. She began as the coordinator for elderly programs in 1973. She was promoted to a Resident Services Supervisor position in 1981 and then appointed as the Resident Services Division Director in 1986, a role she would keep until her retirement in 2001. 

Under her direction, the Resident Services Division expanded from a small operation of just three people to a major resident resource service with 70 staff and $10 million in new funding from federal, state, county and private sources. Many of today’s programs coordinated by HOC’s Resident Services Division, such as the Family Self- Sufficiency Program, the Supportive Housing Program and others have their roots in Pat Scissors’ tenure as director.

Ms. Scissors was one of the founding board directors of HOC’s non-profit affiliate HOCP in 1999. It was quite innovative at the time, for a public housing authority to create a non-profit affiliate. By working with community leaders, Ms. Scissors and her fellow founding board directors demonstrated progressive vision on expanding the ways public and private entities can work together to increase the quantity and quality of social service programs for the underserved. Pat Scissors continued to volunteer as an HOCP board director for more than 10 years after her retirement from HOC.

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February 2024 Blog

  

Celebrating Historic Emory Grove 

Emory Grove United Methodist Church (1974)

In February - Black History Month - we turn our attention to one of Montgomery County’s most historic communities: Gaithersburg’s Emory Grove.

Founded by freed African American slaves, the Emory Grove community is named for Methodist Bishop John Emory and traces its origins to services held on Aug. 15, 1868. Located where Midcounty Highway and Woodfield Road intersect, just two miles south of the Montgomery County Airpark, Emory Grove is thought to have been formally established in 1871, when the Baltimore Conference of the Methodist Church adopted the charter and by-laws of what became known as the Emory Grove Camp-Meeting Association of Baltimore City.

Emory Grove became widely known for hosting some of the region’s largest Methodist “camp meetings,” often drawing more than 10,000 people. The Emory Grove United Methodist Church was constructed in 1874. At its peak, Emory Grove’s 300 acres were home to approximately 500 residents and its baseball field hosted numerous Negro League games. 

But over time, as families relocated elsewhere, the community dwindled. In the 1960s and early 1970s the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) began to focus on expanding affordable housing as part of the nation’s urban renewal efforts. 

Emory Grove was included in that effort and, with HUD’s support in 1970, Montgomery County built 105 affordable housing units, 54 of which were Public Housing units at Emory Grove. Since 1974 - the year HOC was established - Emory Grove Village has been an important component of HOC’s portfolio of affordable housing communities and its commitment to enhancing the lives of residents who called Emory Grove home. 

HOC and HOCP: Working Together for Emory Grove Youth

For many years, Housing Opportunities Community Partners (HOCP) - the nonprofit affiliate of HOC - has supported the youth of Emory Grove by securing grants that provide a wide variety of enrichment programs. Children there received professional tutoring and participated in HOCP-funded homework clubs that helped them do better in school. Bicycle clubs and hands-on nutrition and cooking activities reinforced the importance of physical activity and self-care. In addition, numerous addiction prevention education programs educated the youth about the dangers of substance abuse.

Developing Emory Grove’s Future

In the coming decades, Emory Grove Village will undergo a major transformation and revitalization. Through collaboration among Montgomery County, HOC, and the Emory Grove United Methodist Church, HOC has undertaken an innovative redevelopment effort that calls for new townhomes to be constructed on newly created street grids, which will improve pedestrian access and connectivity.

The plan also includes updates to the community center to continue youth and other community engagement activities. The county also plans to renovate Johnson’s Local Park to update existing amenities and explore possibilities for new amenities to upgrade experiences for recreation and community gathering in the park. The overall goal is to reestablish the camaraderie and interconnectedness of the original community, with Emory Grove United Methodist Church as its reaffirmed heart and historic center.

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January 2024 Blog

HOC: For 50 Years, Solving the Puzzle of Affordable Housing

The Housing Opportunities Commission of Montgomery County (HOC) was born 50 years ago in 1974, but did you know - or do you remember - that year is noteworthy for several other reasons? True facts about 1974:

  • “Hammerin’” Hank Aaron, the trailblazing African American baseball player, launched his then-record-setting 715th home run over the left-centerfield wall at Atlanta’s Fulton County Stadium (he was later inducted into both the Negro American League and the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame).
  • Hungarian architecture professor Ernõ Rubik invented a multi-colored cube puzzle, which he used as a learning exercise to teach his students about three-dimensional spaces.
  • Congress made housing discrimination on the basis of sex and credit against women illegal. It passed the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, abolishing banks’ practice of requiring single, widowed or divorced women to have a man cosign their credit application.

Those three milestones, incongruous at first glance, actually are similar in that they are accomplishments that once were considered unachievable. In that way, they also reflect the successes of HOC.

In its first six years, the Housing Authority of Montgomery County (HAMC) - predecessor to HOC - was like public housing authorities everywhere, using federal dollars to build and acquire public housing.

(Elizabeth House)

Our first property was Elizabeth House in downtown Silver Spring. In addition to providing 160 apartment homes, that building was HAMC’s first headquarters.

Breaking New Ground

In the early 1970s Montgomery County activist and Council Member Elizabeth Scull (for whom Elizabeth House was named) and others became concerned that affordable housing developments were being clustered to create so-called “concentrations of poverty.” Scull, along with HOC’s first executive director, Bernard Tetrault, spearheaded passage ofa new Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit (MPDU) ordinance, which came to be known as “inclusionary zoning.” It requires developers to set aside a portion of the homes they build to be rented or sold at below-market prices. Importantly, it allowed affordable housing to be interspersed in new developments throughout Montgomery County’s many neighborhoods.

With its 1974 conversion into the Housing Opportunities Commission the new quasi-governmental entity continued to be the County’s Public Housing Authority, but with a far broader mandate: find opportunities for affordable housing through innovative financing, purchasing MPDUs to rent to low-income families and pursuing mixed-income development.

HOC Defying “Conventional Wisdom”

Much like “conventional wisdom” held that Babe Ruth’s home run record - which stood for 39 years - would never be broken and the absurdity that women needed men to guarantee their credit, most thought that “deconcentrating” poverty could never be achieved. Montgomery County defied that notion, so successfully that our model has been adopted by scores of jurisdictions nationwide. But ours remains by far the nation’s largest inclusionary zoning program.

Over the years, as federal dollars became scarcer and scarcer, HOC time and again has picked up the Rubik’s cube that is affordable housing financing, twisted it, turned it and looked at it from all sides to develop more innovative solutions.

In 1989 the Commission developed Timberlawn Crescent in North Bethesda as a mixed-income property without federal subsidies. Timberlawn pioneered a model that focused on building affordable housing that was indistinguishable from high-end market-rate housing.

HOCP: Responding To The Community’s Needs

In 1999 HOC innovated yet again, this time by forming the non-profit affiliate Housing Opportunities Community Partners, Inc. (HOCP) to provide supportive services to HOC residents. The goal: to change the trajectory of residents’ lives by empowering their self-sufficiency. As it celebrates its silver anniversary this year, HOCP counts into the thousands the number of Montgomery County residents it has helped rise up.

New Headline-Grabbing Mixed-Use

HOC’s latest twist of the cube in affordable housing already is attracting attention nationwide. The Laureate is our brand new 268-unit mixed-income, mixed-use, new construction project near the Metro red line’s Shady Grove Station in Derwood opened its doors in 2023.

(The Laureate)

This is the first new development to utilize the County’s Housing Production Fund (HPF). The Laureate, built in partnership with Bozutto and EYA, is a key component of Montgomery County’s Westside master development plan but also is a demonstration of the viability of the HPF concept. The HPF provides revolving, low-cost, construction-period financing for the development of affordable, multi-family housing.

The ribbon at The Laureate had barely been cut when Delta Associates lauded HOC with its 27th Annual Apartment and Condominium Industry Award for Excellence, recognizing the importance and value of HOC’s HPF innovation.

The New York Times also took note of the unique promise that The Laureate and our HPF represent by spotlighting them in an in-depth August 2023 feature article.

The Next 50 Years

There are over 37,000 Montgomery County residents in need of housing. All of us at HOC and HOCP have committed to continue innovating and working harder and smarter - to continually reimagining the Rubik’s cube of affordable housing - to put roofs over our neighbors’ heads and, like Hammerin’ Hank, to knocking it out of the park with the services we provide to help them succeed.

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December 2023 Blog

Reflections on significant accomplishments in 2023 

This month HOC is reflecting on the significant progress it made in 2023 toward accomplishing its mission of providing affordable housing and supportive services to low- and moderate-income families in Montgomery County.

Here are just a few of HOC’s 2023 achievements:
  • Opening of The Laureate: The Laureate is a 268-unit mixed-income, mixed-use development in Derwood, located just steps away from the Shady Grove metro station. It is the first development project to utilize HOC’s innovative Housing Production Fund (HPF).
  • Opening of The Leggett: The Leggett is a 267-unit, 16-story mixed income development for seniors in the heart of Silver Spring, which incorporates health and wellness services and fitness facilities to help seniors thrive.
  • Launch of the New Strategic Planning Process: HOC kicked off its five-year strategic planning process in June. The strategic plan will serve as the foundation for addressing Montgomery County’s critical affordable housing needs and for creating positive outcomes for HOC’s clients.
  • Single Family Mortgage Purchase Program: As a result of five successful programs through the Montgomery County Housing Assistance Fund (McHAF), HOC in August released phase one of $3 million in funding from the Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Development. McHAF helps eligible homebuyers purchase a home in Montgomery County.

Awards and Recognition
  • HPF Receives Award of Merit: In November, HOC received an Award of Merit from the National Association of Housing and Redevelopment Officials (NAHRO) for the innovative Housing Production Fund.
  • HOC Receives Certificate for Excellence in Financial Reporting: In November, the Government Finance Officers Association (GFOA) awarded HOC the Certificate of Achievement for Excellence in Financial Reporting for HOC’s comprehensive annual financial report.
  • The Laureate Receives Apartment and Condominium Industry Awards for Excellence: HOC’s The Laureate was selected for Delta Associates’ 27th Annual Apartment and Condominium Industry Awards for Excellence in the category of Best Suburban Maryland Mid-Rise Apartment Community.
  • HOC Featured in The New York Times: In August, The New York Times published a front-page article about HOC’s use of the Housing Production Fund to finance construction of The Laureate, and thereby addressing the affordable housing crisis in Montgomery County.
  • Hillandale Gateway Receives FY23 Resilient Maryland Award: In June, HOC was selected to receive a $100,000 Resilient Maryland award from the Maryland Energy Administration. Award funds are provided to help with the costs needed to complete feasibility analysis and preconstruction planning for HOC’s Hillandale Gateway multifamily affordable housing community in Silver Spring.
  • Stewartown Homes Project Receives “Platinum Excellence” Award: HOC’s Stewartown Homes project was awarded a Platinum Excellence award by ABC Greater Baltimore’s Excellence in Construction Program (EIC). The EIC program is the premier competition within the region that recognizes outstanding projects ABC members have built.

HOC and HOCP
As HOC’s non-profit affiliate, the Housing Opportunities Community Partners, Inc. (HOCP) is proud to secure grants and conduct fundraising projects in support of much-needed programs that propel HOC customers to greater levels of self-sufficiency and that inspire their youth to pursue higher education and fulfilling careers. Both HOC and HOCP keenly understand the importance of providing not just the bricks and mortar in housing. We also bring the social service supports that strengthen the stability of the households and that help to make each HOC customer’s “house” into a “HOME.”

Looking Ahead to 2024
Chelsea Andrews, HOC President and Executive Director, is proud of HOC’s 2023 accomplishments and excited about the year ahead. “The housing opportunities provided by HOC dramatically improve the lives of the growing number of our fellow residents who struggle with the high cost of living in this county,” said Andrews. “HOC’s Commissioners and our hard-working staff, along with our valued partners, are committed to delivering even more housing resources and supportive services to the Montgomery County community in 2024. We are looking forward to celebrating our official 50th year in operation, as well as celebrating 25 years of HOCP, our nonprofit affiliate. We are excited that 2024 will be a year of milestone celebrations for HOC and HOCP!”

November 2023 Blog

A look at our beginnings 

ElizabethHBack in 1968, Elizabeth House in downtown Silver Spring, was the first public housing property acquired by the Housing Authority of Montgomery County, the predecessor agency to HOC. This 160-unit building was named for Elizabeth Scull, who served on the Montgomery County Council from 1970-82, and who advocated for housing availability and improving the living conditions of low-income families. Thanks in part to her efforts, the Moderately Priced Dwelling Unit (“MPDU”) legislation was enacted. At the time a revolutionary concept, today the MPDC program has been replicated in many communities throughout the country.

In 1974, Montgomery County passed legislation that restructured the County’s housing authority into HOC, which became both a housing authority and a housing finance agency.

In 1999, HOC and community stakeholders formed HOCP, the nonprofit arm of HOC, helping families gain housing stability, and become empowered to break the cycle of poverty.

When HOCP was established, Elizabeth House provided affordable housing just for senior adults, many of whom were isolated because of low income and limited English language skills. Also, they had no way to join the young expanding internet, because of the growing digital divide among low-income households. HOCP saw the need and secured grants to install a free computer lab in Elizabeth House. Several computers were purchased or donated, internet connection was established and free instruction from volunteers was provided to all the residents of Elizabeth.  
 

Gold Line

 

Interesting fact
In the 1970’s, Elizabeth House was the site of the first HOC administrative offices. Fast forward to today, Elizabeth House is part of the “Elizabeth Square Project”, and is scheduled to be demolished in late fall 2023 to make room for “Elizabeth House IV”, a mixed-income apartment complex consisting of MPDUs, workforce housing units and market-rate apartments. Innovation continues at HOC! 


 

 
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