Saturday, July 24, 2021

"Affordable housing projects often draw resistance from neighbors"

"Housing costs are soaring across southern Maine, driving families from the towns where they were raised and bringing tensions to a boil as young residents and retirees struggle to compete against an influx of out-of-staters and well-off buyers.

That dynamic, which has intensified across the country during the pandemic, has unsettled quiet Cape Elizabeth, an affluent coastal community just south of Portland, where a proposal to build the town’s first affordable housing project in 50 years has pitted neighbor against neighbor and raised hard questions of who can afford to live here.

“This is a community of tremendous privilege and wealth, but there are other people in this town who are not well-off,” said Jamie Garvin, the Town Council chairman who supports the 49-unit project. “People are being priced out of the community they’ve lived in for a number of years.”

Continue reading the article online (subscription maybe required)

Portland, Maine is not alone in having this affordable housing discussion. With the Housing Production Plan being worked on currently, this is a timely topic. Public comment on the Plan closed at the end of June. The revised draft is expected to come back out for review and comment as it needs approval from both the Planning Board and the Town Council. The plan is a component of the overall "Master Plan" for Franklin for which the update process is scheduled to begin next year.

Current draft of the Housing Production Plan

The most recent virtual meeting on Housing took place July 14, 2021 and the audio recording is available here

FM #580 - Community Conversation on Housing & Race - 07/14/21 (audio)
FM #580 - Community Conversation on Housing & Race - 07/14/21 (audio)

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