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  • Writer's pictureMichael Hays

Commissioner Winder Wants to Hold Housing Affordability Summit

Although we did not receive questionnaire responses from the Democratic candidates running for Montgomery County Commissioner, Jamila Winder recently told the local press that she would like to hold a “housing affordability summit” early next year.


Rachel Ravina of the Lansdale Reporter wrote this week about candidate priorities in an election preview story:


For Winder, it’s the ever present need for affordable housing stock. “If we truly want Montgomery County to be the best place to live, work, raise a family, and we want to be equitable about it, we have to come up with creative ways to increase housing affordability.”

Her running mate, Neil Makhija, added:

“What are we going to do to incentivize townships to be part of a comprehensive housing plan? That’s going to be a key priority. What is the county doing to help show leadership, get all the townships to participate in a housing plan and a plan to address homelessness?”

Speaking of municipal participation and planning, Lower Gwynedd Township opened its doors this week for an open house related to its 10-year Comprehensive Plan rewrite. Sometimes referred to as “comp plans,” these documents help guide land development and updates to zoning codes. Comp plans spell out the future vision of the elected municipal leaders at that time, on policy topics as varied as transportation, housing, open space, business mix, and more.

Public participation at this stage is crucial!



We need to zone for and build more affordable places for Montco residents to live. See all the yellow on the map below? That is existing single-family housing in Lower Gwynedd Township. Denser apartments and triplexes (multi-family) are nearly absent, occupying dark maroon tracts to the north and near Ambler Borough.



The Montco 30% Project is in the process of tracking the status of all 62 municipalities on their respective comp plan updates. Two regional planning groups are preparing to hold public meetings on regional plans soon.

The Pottstown Metropolitan Regional Planning Committee, which includes Pottstown Borough, Lower Pottsgrove, New Hanover, Douglass, Upper Pottsgrove, West Pottsgrove, East Coventry, and North Coventry (Chesco), is set to begin that process in 2024. Meetings are streamed live on Zoom and held in-person at Pottstown Borough Hall on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 7 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Central Perkiomen Valley Regional Planning Committee is expected to hold a housing-focused meeting in March 2024 in preparation of its comp plan rewrite. CPVRPC includes the boroughs of Collegeville, Trappe, and Schwenksville, as well as the townships of Perkiomen, Upper & Lower Frederick. You can review the 2014 plan here. Meeting updates will be shared when available (3rd Monday of the month, 7 p.m.)

Stay tuned. Zoning matters – it is where the origin of housing shortages and exclusion begin. Let’s have our voices heard.






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