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2022 NACo Achievement Award Winner

Montgomery County, Md., MD

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About the Program

Category: Information Technology (Best in Category)

Year: 2022

Montgomery County, Maryland is home to more than a million residents. As for any large agglomeration with a rapidly growing and diverse older population and working families who earn below the Area Median Income (AMI), affordable housing is a particular challenge. COVID‐19 has exacerbated the situation. A core mission of the Department of Housing and Community Affairs (DHCA) is to preserve and increase the supply of affordable housing. To support the mission, the department undertook to leverage the large amount of housing data at its disposal captured through its Annual Rental Housing Survey, a comprehensive collection of information about tenant services, rents, unit sizes, structure types, and affordability programs. To that end, DHCAIT set out to consolidate that information, automate its capture, and improve its quality and relevance. It then developed a web‐based application supporting a variety of searches against the information, paying particular attention to usability and convenience while remaining as comprehensive as the data allowed. DHCA‐IT took special care to accommodate our seniors seeking affordable or age‐restricted rental housing, who may possess limited computer skills, by focusing on design, layout, and functionality. The result of DHCA’s effort is Rental Marketplace, tailored for Montgomery County with data captured directly from multifamily properties. It is a user‐friendly and responsive website that enables the public to query the County’s pool of affordable rental housing for working families, seniors, or other special requirements.