All posts by Patti Mallin

Home Sharing in Takoma Park: Webinar Thurs, May 20 at 7pm


Thinking about renting out a room in your home and have concerns about finding the right housemate?

Just got your Accessory Dwelling Unit approved and licensed but don’t know how to move forward finding tenants?

The nonprofit Housing Initiative Partnership (HIP), with the support of Montgomery County, has launched a home-sharing program to successfully identify and match renters who are seeking affordable housing options with homeowners who have attractive and safe spare bedrooms in their homes, or Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs) on their property, to rent long-term.

Join the City’s Housing staff as we host a webinar with representatives from HIP to explain the details of the Home Share program and how to participate.  We’ll also hear from a Takoma Park resident already taking advantage of the program.

The webinar will be held via Zoom


Contact Patti Mallin, Licensing Specialist, at or 240-315-6721.

Grants and rebates available for weatherization, energy savings


The City offers residential sustainability grants to Income-qualified residents for FREE weatherization (insulation, draft reduction, and potentially heating and cooling equipment and appliances) by applying here.

Additional rebates are available for all residents who make energy efficiency improvements.

All residents looking to keep the cold air out, warm air in, and reduce utility bills at home can get a FREE ENERGY SAVING KIT from Montgomery County:

Kits contain:

  • door sweeps,
  • rope caulk for those leaky windows,
  • window insulations kits, and more.
  • requests must be received by March 31, 2021.

Creating Affordable Home Ownership Opportunities


Habitat for Humanity Metro Maryland, in partnership with the City of Takoma Park, plans to convert a multi-family rental property  located on Garland Avenue into two affordable homeownership opportunities.


The project began when the City of Takoma Park assigned its Right to Purchase to Habitat to buy the Garland property in November of 2020. The City also provided $200,000 from the Housing Reserve Fund to invest in the development of affordable homeownership opportunities.


Habitat will divide the existing structure, which now includes three rental units, into a duplex, creating two separate and distinct homeownership properties.


This project is a demonstration of how Missing Middle Housing typologies can be incorporated into established single-family neighborhoods. Splitting the property into two units helps to drive down the development cost per unit and ultimately the sales prices for each home. The property is also within one mile of a future Purple Line stop further emboldening the need to create, restore and preserve affordable housing opportunities, ensuring that all residents can access our public infrastructure investments.


Habitat will completely gut the home and rebuild it like new. The rehab will include a focus on sustainability starting with participation in the City of Takoma Park’s initiative to forego the use of fossil fuel in homes by abandoning the existing gas service to the home. This will be the first example of gas abandonment in the City in residential development. HFHMM will also incorporate an energy efficiency standard in its building practices, including continuous spray foam insulation for the entire envelope of the structure drastically reducing air leakage. Habitat will also install water sense fixtures, LED lighting, smart thermostats, and Energy Star mechanical equipment and appliances.


Once the project is complete, Habitat will sell the completed units to individuals living and working in our community but unable to afford a home through the traditional market. Habitat provides an affordable mortgage, ensuring that borrowers are not cost burdened. Providing access to affordable homeownership is critical for our communities so that families can build generational wealth. By providing homeownership opportunities for families at more income levels we can work to break down the racial wealth and ownership gaps and build more equitable communities.


Learn more at the project page.

Proposed Changes to Stormwater Utility Fee Structure


Click here to Access the Interactive Map

A letter was sent to owners of single-family residential properties in the City to inform them of discussions to be held this month by the City Council on changing the stormwater fee from a flat rate to a tiered rate based on the impervious surface area. The total amount of revenue from the combined residential and commercial stormwater fee remains the same – about $700,000 – but is more equitably charged among the properties.

A presentation will be given to Council on February 10 and a public hearing held on February 24. After that, more site-specific information may be sent to individual property owners based on the Council discussion. Please watch the presentation on February 10 and contact Daryl Braithwaite at with any questions.

City of Takoma Park Police Department Joins National ABLE Project


The City of Takoma Park Police Department has been accepted into the Active Bystandership for Law Enforcement (ABLE) Project, Georgetown University Law Center’s national training and support initiative for U.S. law enforcement agencies committed to building a culture of peer intervention that prevents harm.

By demonstrating agency commitment to transformational reform with support from local community groups and elected leaders, the

City of Takoma Park Police Department joins a select group of more than 60 other law enforcement agencies and statewide and regional training academies chosen to participate in the ABLE Project’s national rollout. To date, hundreds of agencies across the country have expressed interest in participating.

Backed by prominent civil rights and law enforcement leaders, the evidence-based, field-tested ABLE Project was developed by


Georgetown Law’s Innovative Policing Program in collaboration with global law firm Sheppard Mullin LLP to provide practical active bystandership strategies and tactics to law enforcement officers to prevent misconduct, reduce officer mistakes, and promote health and wellness.

ABLE gives officers the tools they need to overcome the innate and powerful inhibitors all individuals face when called upon to intervene in actions taken by their peers.

We are very excited to have our staff participate in the ABLE training,“ said Chief Antonio DeVaul. “We always seek out training that will increase trust and transparency within our community.”

“As we work to reimagine public safety and seek to rectify injustices in our institutions, we must also ensure individuals have the ability and skills to take action against bias and violence,” said Takoma Park’s Mayor Kate Stewart.  “Our participation in the ABLE Project is an important step to ensure accountability and continue the culture change in our police department needed to serve every member of our community.”

Those backing the City of Takoma Park Police Department’s application to join the program included the NAACP Montgomery Chapter and the Washington Adventist Church.

Professor Christy Lopez, co-director of Georgetown Law’s Innovative Policing Program, which runs ABLE, explained: “The ABLE Project seeks to ensure every police officer in the United States has the opportunity to receive meaningful, effective active bystandership training, and to help agencies transform their approach to policing by building a culture that supports and sustains successful peer intervention to prevent harm.”

Chair of the ABLE Project Board of Advisors, Sheppard Mullin partner Jonathan Aronie, added: “Intervening in another’s action is harder than it looks after the fact, but it’s a skill we all can learn.  And, frankly, it’s a skill we all need – police and non-police.  ABLE teaches that skill.”

The ABLE Project is guided by a Board of Advisors comprised of civil rights, social justice, and law enforcement leaders, including Vanita Gupta, the president of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights; Commissioner Michael Harrison of the Baltimore Police Department; Commissioner Danielle Outlaw of the Philadelphia Police Department; Dr. Ervin Staub, professor emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Amherst and the founder of the Psychology of Peace and Justice Program; and an impressive collection of other police leaders, rank and file officers, and social justice leaders.

  • See the complete list of the ABLE Project Board of Advisors.
  • For more information about the ABLE Project, visit the program’s website.
  • See a list of the ABLE Standards to which every participating agency must adhere.
  • These articles share more information about active bystandership generally, and the ABLE Project in particular.

The ABLE Project Train-The-Trainer event begins later this month.  By the end of December, the City of Takoma Park Police Department instructors will be certified as ABLE trainers; and over the coming months, all of the Department’s officers will receive 8 hours of evidence-based active bystandership education designed not only to prevent harm, but to change the culture of policing.  Look for our progress in this critical area that will be on the web page soon.

For more information regarding the City of Takoma Park Police Department, contact Catherine Plevy, Public Information Officer at

For more information on the ABLE Project, contact Liza, ABLE Program Manager, at

Community Stories Film Festival, November 20-22


The City of Takoma Park is proud to partner with Docs in Progress, supporting emerging documentary filmmakers by teaching the skills and providing the tools they need to shape their stories.  By developing, encouraging, and celebrating new and diverse voices via documentary film, Docs in Progress also seeks to lessen the racial divide in storytelling.


Documentary Dialogues Takoma is a multi-year program that uses video as a vehicle for reflection, self-expression, and empowerment by engaging Takoma Park residents through hands-on video production activities and film screenings. This project educates, inspires, and transforms people’s interaction with documentary film. Activities include The Community Stories film festival, running from November 20-22.


Community Stories Film Festival, November 20-22

25 Films, 7 Live Q&A Sessions Over 3 Days. 

The 2020 Community Stories Film Festival, presented by Docs In Progress, showcases people, places and events from the Maryland, Washington DC, and Northern Virginia region. This year, COMMUNITY STORIES will be virtual and free via Eventive on November 20-22.


The City of Takoma Park’s Community “Quality of Life” Grant program provides financial support for projects that provide greater access and participation in the arts and sciences for predominantly low-and moderate-income Takoma Park residents.

Information Session for TKPK Job Seekers with STEM backgrounds


The City of Takoma Park is proud to partner with Upwardly Global (UpGlo), an organization focused on integrating immigrant and refugee professionals into the U.S. workforce. With funding from the City’s Community “Quality of Life” Grants program, UpGlo has developed a program to serve Takoma Park residents with science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) backgrounds who are underemployed in their professional fields. Watch this short video for an overview of Upglo’s program and impact.

Information Session for Takoma Park job seekers interested in applying for Upwardly Global’s free job searching services:


Session Info:

Date: Wednesday, November 18
Time: 5:30 pm – 7:00 pm

Who should attend?
Eligible job seekers with STEM backgrounds

Virtual session to learn about free job-searching services

Register here

The City of Takoma Park is excited to offer this program to residents because working with UpGlo can lead to life-changing individual success stories. UpGlo helps clients move from unemployment or “survival” jobs as rideshare drivers, cashiers, and nannies to careers as Data Scientists, Financial Analysts, and Software Engineers– jobs that can break the intergenerational poverty cycle and enable newcomers to realize their full potential in their newly-adopted home.  

More information on eligibility criteria and Upwardly Global’s Program is available online at

Volunteers and Employers can also help Upwardly Global’s mission and work in Takoma Park. 

COVID Impacts City Leaf Collection Program


To protect the health of Public Works employees, their families, and the larger community in the pandemic, the City will not be hiring the usual number of seasonal workers to assist with vacuum leaf collection this year and we anticipate a slower than normal response rate to removing leaf piles at the curb.

For this and for environmental reasons, we strongly encourage residents to mulch or compost all or most of the leaves in their yards. Leaves can also be bagged and collected on the Monday yard waste collection. The City will be offering vacuum leaf collection, but it will be less frequent than in past years.

This year’s collection will divide the City into three zones with one leaf collection vehicle per zone. The collection period will be extended from November 16 to December 31. This arrangement is expected to reach every street in a 3 to 4 week period. The length of time that a leaf pile will remain on the curb is likely to increase by an additional week or two.

Streets that receive collection on posted days (State Highway routes) will still receive two collections on the scheduled date as usual. The City explored other options, including canceling vacuum leaf collection this year and requiring all leaves residents wished to be collected to be bagged in paper bags, but that option does not work as well with available vehicles and staffing.

The City will be mailing the annual leaf collection notice this month and will have updated information on the City’s website. The Leaf Collection Hotline will remain available (301 891-7626) however, the City will not be able to provide collection as frequently as previously provided.

Residents should consider more environmentally beneficial alternatives for managing some or all of their fall leaves.

Grantee Spotlight: Cyberninjaz


The City is excited to partner, for the first time in FY21, with Cyberninjaz. Founded in 2014 by educators and professionals with a passion for workforce development, Cyberninjaz’s programming helps kids and young adults develop into more educated, disciplined, empowered, and well-rounded individuals with the skills needed to work in the modern digital era.

Through the “Quality of Life” Grant program, Cyberninjaz is offering FREE and all-virtual, after-school STEAM courses Monday thru Saturday starting October 26th. Classes for each course last one hour and are held twice a week, and students may sign-up for more than one course concurrently.

Classes begin the week of Monday, October 26, 2020Register today.

  • Explore Physics on Monday/Wednesday between 4 – 5 pm (Ages: 11+)
  • Intro. to Programming on Monday/Wednesday between 5 – 6 pm (Ages: 8+)
  • Web/UX Design on Tuesday/Thursday between 4 – 5 pm (Ages: 8+)
  • 3D / Game Design on Tuesday/Thursday between 5 – 6 pm (Ages: 13+)
  • Cyber Security on Friday between 5 – 6 pm, and Saturday between 1 – 2 pm (Ages: 13+)

The City of Takoma Park’s Community “Quality of Life” Grant program provides financial support for projects that provide greater access and participation in the arts and sciences for predominantly low-and moderate-income Takoma Park residents. 

Sign up for Tree Care Workshops to be Held in October and November


The City has partnered with Maryland Sustainable Ecologies to offer Saturday workshops on tree issues. The 30-minute workshops will take place remotely on Zoom, beginning at noon on each of the days indicated.

Remaining Session topics:

  • Session 3 – Common pests, diseases, and invasive species
    Saturday, November 14
    Time: 12:00 pm – (30-minute session)
  • Session 4 – Legal considerations and how to hire a contractor
    Saturday, November 21
    Time: 12 pm (30-minute session)

The sessions will be taught by Board-Certified Master Arborist, Richard Jones, and Meg Smolinski, ISA-Certified Arborist, Maryland Sustainable Ecologies has developed the course content from nearly 25 years of cumulative experience in arboriculture, safety, tree care, and best practices in the tree world.

  • Each workshop can have up to 25 participants.
  • Attendees can register for one or all of the sessions
  • To register, please send an email to:
  • Provide your name, address, and which session you want to attend.