Important Developments to ROFR in Prince George's County, MD

Ballard Spahr LLP

Ballard Spahr LLP

The Right of First Refusal (ROFR) program in Prince George’s County, Maryland, continues to evolve with the implementation of two new initiatives through the Department of Housing and Community Development.

First, the County has issued its second Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to expand the current roster of 15 ROFR developers who serve as potential assignees for the exercise of the County’s ROFR. The deadline to apply for the RFQ is January 31, 2022, at 5 p.m. After this date, the roster of ROFR developers is not slated to be reopened for two years.

Second, the County established a ROFR Preservation Fund, earmarking $15 million in funds from the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 to subsidize financing for the acquisition, rehabilitation, and operation of rental properties, including those acquired by its ROFR developers.

Historically, the County has utilized the ROFR program as a method to encourage affordable housing opportunities. Since fall 2020, when the ROFR law was significantly changed, we have seen the County exercise its ROFR and assign its rights more frequently to those on its pre-qualified roster list. With this expansion of the ROFR developer roster, the availability of the ROFR Preservation Fund, and other incentives such as PILOTs, it is reasonable to assume the County may continue to exercise and assign its ROFR rights. Ballard Spahr attorneys are working proactively with DHCD to explore alternatives for the ROFR process that might accommodate the needs of the County without significantly impacting the interests of contracting parties. In the interim, investors and developers seeking to transact in the County should be aware of these new developments and plan accordingly.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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