Gaithersburg, Rockville Help Tenants Displaced by Fire
In the wake of a devastating fire on April 1 at Gables Upper Rock, the cities of Gaithersburg and Rockville have entered into an agreement that will allow The Cadence at Crown in Gaithersburg to offer 13 Moderately Priced Dwelling Units (MPDU) to Rockville MPDU certificate holders who had signed or were in the process of signing leases at the apartment complex where the fire took place.
The fire destroyed the 149 units in the second phase of the Gables rental complex, which was set to welcome its first residents at the end of April.
“Our two municipalities came together very quickly to help these displaced families,” said Gaithersburg City Manager Tony Tomasello. “This unique arrangement is expediting the process of helping relocate these families, many of whom had already relinquished their current leases. Gaithersburg is happy to help in this dire situation, and we know that the favor will be returned should our residents be in need one day.”
“It’s great to be able to count on our neighbors,” Barb Matthews, Rockville’s City Manager said. “After the fire, we knew some of our residents would be displaced, and we wanted to help them find new homes as quickly as possible. We were particularly concerned for residents occupying MPDUs, given the shortage of affordable housing in the area. Our planning staff reached out to Gaithersburg and together we set this resolution into motion the day after the fire.”
Both Gaithersburg and Rockville require developers to set aside a certain percentage of units as MPDUs for low- and moderate-income buyers. At Crown, the City is administering the Montgomery County MPDU program, which restricts eligibility to households at or below 70 percent of Area Median Income (AMI). The eligibility for MPDUs in Rockville is set at 60 percent of AMI.
There are 73 MPDU rental units at The Cadence at Crown. The Rockville certificate holders will have the opportunity to lease new units at approximately 40 percent below market rate.
Planning for the reconstruction of the damaged building at the Gables at Upper Rock is underway. Construction is expected to start in the summer or fall.