CASA and the National Center for Smart Growth release a housing report to protect nearly 5,000 working families in Langley Park from being displaced by the potential development surrounding the Purple Line Stations.

Posted January 20, 2017 /

LANGLEY PARK, MD. (January 20, 2017) – CASA and the University of Maryland’s National Center for Smart Growth (NCSG) will outline findings of a new study on the effects of the Purple Line on affordable housing in Langley Park during a press conference at CASA’s Headquarters located at 8151 15th Avenue, in Hyattsville Md. at 11 a.m. Monday, January 23.

The study, “Preparing for the Purple Line: Affordable Housing Strategies for Langley Park, Maryland,” looked at the people and economy of this mostly-immigrant community at the edge of Prince George’s County and how it would fare once the new public transportation project was completed.

“Affordable housing could be all but wiped out in Langley Park,” said CASA’s Executive Director Gustavo Torres. “The irony here is that the Purple Line was designed to help communities that need public transportation and now these communities will be forced out.”

“The report offers recommendations to ensure that existing residents do not bear the disproportionate burden of new development, but can also share in its prosperity,” explained Dr. Willow Lung-Amam, faculty at the (NCSG) and the lead author of the report, “If protections are put in place, the Purple Line is a tremendous opportunity for this community to have more quality housing, access to more and better jobs around the region, and grow its existing small businesses.”

According to the study, Langley Park faces significant threats to the long-term stability of its residents and housing stock. Increasing costs, overcrowding, substandard housing conditions, and foreclosures make residents particularly vulnerable to housing instability.  The per capita income in Langley Park is $18,267 compared to Prince George’s County which is $32,637.

Juan Cuellar, who has been living in Langley Park since 1996, said the current housing conditions are concerning. Bug infestation, deteriorating apartments and rising rents are common in apartments in the area. Juan fears the Purple Line will increase his rent, but it will not increase his income or the opportunities to earn more.
“I don’t know how much longer I can afford to live in this area,” Cuellar said. “If we are forced to move out, I don’t know where we will go.”

During the press conference, residents, housing advocates, Prince George’s County officials, and the report’s authors will speak about the need for affordable housing in Langley Park.

The report provides a list of recommendations for policy makers, private developers, community leaders and others to capitalize on the opportunities the Purple Line presents without displacing current residents, and ensuring long-term housing affordability in Langley Park.