Tenants, Landlords on Tenterhooks, Affordable Housing at Risk

Arlene Montemarano and her husband were neighbors before they were married. Rather than sell off their extra house when they moved in together, they turned it into affordable housing for residents of Silver Spring.

At around $500 a month, Montemarano’s four rental units went for an unbeatable price in Montgomery County, where the average monthly rent for an efficiency apartment often costs more than $1,200 dollars. She and her husband viewed it as a public service, and enjoyed meeting new tenants during the 12 years they rented the property.

“These rooms have never been empty, because the need’s great, always, for that kind of affordable shelter,” Montemarano said. “We actually have loved helping to fill that need. We’ve met many lovely and interesting people. Some stayed for a limited time, others for many of those 12 years.”