MPDU Process for Developers and Builders

Planning and Development Review Process

Minimum Threshold and Percentage Required

The requirement to provide a certain percentage of Moderately Priced Dwelling Units (MPDUs) applies to any new development in the City of Annapolis with 10 or more units. This requirement applies even if the development is phased in over time. 

The percentage of MPDUs required is 15% of the total number of units for rental properties and 15% of the total number of units in the development of for sale properties. Developments that do not receive a density bonus are still required to provide the required number of MPDUs. The City of Annapolis Planning and Zoning Department (P&Z) sets the actual percentage and number of MPDUs required as part of the review process for the project.   

Required Agreements for Development Review Process - The Agreement to Build MPDUs and Declaration of Covenants

There are two main agreements the Applicant must execute with the Department of Planning and Zoning (P&Z) during the development review process: the Agreement to Build Moderately Priced Dwelling Units (20.30.040 Application and inclusionary housing plan) and The Declaration of Covenants. Both documents are required before the city will approve a record plat.   

Once P&Z approves the MPDU requirement, part of the development review process, the Applicant must execute an Agreement to Build Moderately Priced Dwelling Units with P&Z. This agreement must be executed before the final record plats are recorded in the Anne Arundel County Land Records. 

Along with the standard form document, the Agreement to Build must include:   

  • a listing of the individual addresses (if available) of the MPDUs and the market rate units; and
  • a copy of the final approved site plan (8½" x 11" or 8½" x 14" – reduced) with the MPDUs clearly highlighted.   

Assuming the Applicant submits a complete and acceptable Agreement, P & Z will make every effort to return the executed document within 7 to 14 days so that the Applicant may obtain building permits.   

The Agreement to Build is the document that enforces the development requirements of 20.30.040 of Chapter 20 Moderately Priced Dwelling Units. Among other things, this agreement must require that:  

  • a specific number of MPDUs must be constructed on an approved time schedule; 
  • in single-family dwelling unit subdivisions, each MPDU must have two or more bedrooms; and 
  • in multi-family dwelling unit subdivisions, the number of efficiency and one-bedroom MPDUs each must not exceed the ratio that market-rate efficiency and one-bedroom units respectively bear to the total number of market-rate units in the subdivision. 

Additionally, the Agreement requires that the construction phasing requirements for building MPDUs comply with the law so that:  

  • MPDUs are built along with or before other dwelling units; 
  • no or few market rate dwellings are built before any MPDUs are built; 
  • the pace of MPDU production reasonably coincides with the construction of market rate units; and 
  • the last building built must not contain only MPDUs.
  • Please refer to Chapter 20 to review the full requirements of the law. 

The Declaration of Covenants is signed at the same time as the Agreement to Build and is recorded once the Offering Agreement (see Sales and Rental Process) is executed and prior to sale.  

Amendments to the Agreement to Build 

If at any time the MPDU requirement for a development changes (due to a site plan amendment, for example), or if the construction schedule contained in the agreement changes, the Applicant must notify P&Z and request an amendment to the Agreement to Build to reflect the changes. Failure to do so may result in sanctions ranging from "stop work" orders to civil fines. 

The Sales/Rental Process for MPDUs

MPDU Offering Agreements 

The Offering Agreement, 20.30.050 Compliance should be submitted to P&Z once the applicant is ready to make the MPDUs available for sale or rent to eligible MPDU certificate holders. In "for sale" developments, the Offering Agreement may be submitted no more than 365 days from the expected delivery date of the MPDUs.  Larger developments, or developments that are built out over a greater length of time, may require more than one Offering Agreement to make all the required MPDUs available to certificate holders. P&Z staff will work with the applicant to schedule multiple offerings in the most efficient manner.   

For rental developments, the Offering Agreement may be submitted up to 120 days from the date the rental units will be available for use and occupancy by qualified tenants. In the case of staggered unit delivery over a longer period, more than one offering agreement may be required. 

Applicants may hold initial discussions with P&Z staff to explore sales prices and rents at any time during the development and planning phases. However, the final sales prices and rents for MPDUs are set at the time the Applicant submits, and P&Z approves, an Offering Agreement for a specific number of MPDUs in a development. The methodology used to determine sales prices and rents for MPDUs is outlined in 20.30.040 of Chapter 20 Moderately Priced Dwelling Units

At a minimum, the Offering Agreement must contain: 

  • the applicable standard form Offering Agreement (either for sales units or rental units) with the number of units indicated; 
  • the lot/block, street addresses, and tax account numbers of the MPDUs; 
  • a recorded subdivision plat, a copy of the approved preliminary plan and/or site development plan designating the location of the MPDUs; 
  • an executed copy of the applicable covenants (in recordable form); 
  • a copy of the floor plans for each unit type; and 
  • completed price calculation worksheets for each unit type (for sales units), or approved rent schedule by unit type (for rental units).  

If, towards the end of the 180-day priority market period, it appears MPDUs will remain after all the names provided by P&Z have been exhausted, the Applicant must contact P&Z to discuss next steps.

Sales and Rental Process

The sales or rental process for an MPDU is a private transaction between the Applicant and the MPDU certificate holder. While P&Z certifies program participants as eligible and provides names to the Applicant P&Z does not act as an intermediary, or involve itself in the process. 

Each MPDU purchaser must qualify for and secure mortgage financing. Every MPDU renter must meet the necessary credit checks and income tests as other rental applicants, and must have the resources (which may include rental assistance from third parties) to pay the monthly rent. 

The sales and rental agent is a partner in helping P&Z enforce the MPDU program rules.  P&Z does its best to qualify applicants as “eligible” under the law, but the sales agent is a resource to help ensure the MPDU program serves the households it is intended to serve.  Each household certified as “eligible” receives an MPDU Eligibility Certificate (for sales, for rental, or for both). The primary eligibility criteria are below; if the sales agent discovers a potential purchaser no longer meets these eligibility criteria, please notify P&Z right away: 

“Eligible” means a person or household (20.30.020 Definitions):

  • Whose income is one hundred percent (100%) or less than the family median income for the Baltimore Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), with adjustments for household size, as reported by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD);
  • Who holds a valid certificate of eligibility that entitles the person or household to buy or rent an MPDU;
  • Who does not currently own a home; and

(a)  Is a City of Annapolis resident or has been employed within the city for at least the past 12 months prior to applying for a certificate of eligibility under Section 20.30.100, or

(b)  Is in the employ of the City of Annapolis beyond their probationary period, or

(c)   Is a teacher or staff member in an elementary, middle or high school within the city limits or in any school that is included in the Annapolis Senior High School district as defined by Anne Arundel County Public schools; or            

(d)  Is a person who has been employed within the United States Naval Academy or the Annapolis Naval Base for at least the past twelve months prior to applying for a certificate of eligibility; or

(e)  Is a resident of Anne Arundel County and has a disability as defined by the Social Security Administration (may purchase or rent 90 days after the property becomes available). 

Before offering any MPDUs for sale or rent, the applicant must notify P&Z of the proposed offering and the date on which the Applicant will be ready to begin marketing the units to eligible persons. The notice must include: 

  • whether the units will be sold or rented
  • the number of units offered
  • the number of bedrooms
  • the floor area for each unit type
  • a description of the amenities offered in each unit and a statement of the availability of each unit for sale or rent
  • a vicinity map of the offering; and
  • other information or documents as P&Z finds necessary to determine compliance with this chapter.  

Within 30 days of receiving the notice, P&Z staff will work with the sales agent to begin marketing the units.  P&Z will mail an interest form to MPDU certificate holders. From the interest form mailing, P&Z will generate a list of names that will be forwarded immediately to the applicant's sales agent. P&Z will pick 2 to 2.5 times as many names as there are MPDUs available to send to the sales agent. The sales agent then then contact the MPDU certificate holders in the order that their names appear on the list to arrange for a sales meeting. If the sales agent has MPDUs left over after the initial list is exhausted, the agent must contact P&Z to request more names. This process will be repeated as often as necessary during a 180-day marketing period. 

Sales and Rental Forms 

To enforce the MPDU program's rules and requirements, P&Z requires several forms for each MPDU purchaser or renter. The MPDU program generates some of the forms, while others are copies of forms signed at the contract signing, leasing date, or settlement. 

Sales: The following forms are required for each purchaser of an MPDU; some must be signed at contract signing, and some are due after settlement has occurred: 

At contract signing:

 After settlement (within 45 days): 

  • a copy of the final settlement sheet 
  • a copy of the two-party deed 
  • a copy of the financing statement recorded against the proceeds of sale

After settlement (within 14 days) if purchaser receives MPDU settlement expense assistance:

Rental: The following documents must be sent to the MPDU office within 14 days of the date of lease ratification on an MPDU rental unit: 

Contact Information

For more information on the MPDU program's requirements for Applicants and sales agents, the process of Offering MPDUs for sale or rent, please contact Theresa Wellman, MPDU Program,