Purple Line Corridor Coalition 2023 Progress Report

There was much progress along the Purple Line corridor in 2023 — including equitable development beyond the light rail tracks. Take a look at PLCC’s end of year report to see what the Purple Line Line Corridor Coalition and a few of our partners have been up to.

Message from the Director

Six years ago, community leaders and advocates came together to sign the Purple Line Community Development Agreement, representing our region’s commitment to a collective agenda beyond the Purple Line’s tracks. Since that time, the Purple Line Corridor Coalition (PLCC), a collaborative housed at the University of Maryland’s National Center for Smart Growth, has been mobilizing to support affordable housing, small business preservation and growth, workforce opportunity, and vibrant and sustainable communities.

In 2023, the PLCC network made steadfast progress toward these goals. Partners expanded their geographic footprints, advanced policies that support affordability and tenant stability, and supported businesses facing construction disruption. PLCC’s housing development consultant provided assistance to real estate projects that could create up to 3,100 affordable homes in the next several years. We had opportunities to share these successes with a national audience.

PLCC also doubled down on long-range planning. With a new FTA Transit-Oriented Development planning grant pursued in partnership with MDOT/Maryland Transit Administration, we are generating strategies to prevent small business displacement and build affordable housing when suburban strip malls are redeveloped, and generating new knowledge to help guide investments in pedestrian infrastructure improvements before the Purple Line is complete. We also released an updated 20232027 Housing Action Plan that expands our focus on both affordable rental and homeownership pathways and seeks to engage tenants and community more actively in our housing systems.

Finally, we committed to listening. We participated in community-led planning in Long Branch. We heard from street vendors serving the Langley Park community. We are asking youth in Riverdale to photograph their experiences and share their views with leaders on how they would like to see their neighborhoods evolve. As we enter 2024, we are pursuing more opportunities for impacted communities to shape our systems, and to help disrupt power imbalances that too often are the root cause of displacement in Black and brown communities facing gentrification.

We hope you will read on to see the remarkable ways in which the PLCC network is responding to community change and seeking to generate a more just and equitable narrative for the future of the Purple Line corridor.

With warm wishes,
Sheila Somashekhar
PLCC Director

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