WE ARE ON THE FRONTLINES OF ADDRESSING OUR STATE'S AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRISIS
The Maine Affordable Housing Coalition works to ensure that all Mainers are adequately and affordably housed. We've developed a policy plan that will help address Maine's affordable housing crisis. We've put together an aggressive policy agenda that will help tackle our state's housing crisis. Sign the HOMEforME pledge to support our work to ensure that all Mainers have a place to call home.
The HOMEforME Pledge
We are asking all legislative candidates to support four key policies targeted at increasing access to affordable housing for all Mainers
Cut Red Tape to Improve our Zoning and Land Use Laws
Local zoning matters. Our housing crisis was created by federal, state, and local policies over decades. During the last legislative session, lawmakers understood that we needed statewide zoning action to address a patchwork of land use laws across our state. That's why they passed LD2003 in a bipartisan fashion.
In the coming weeks, The Commission to Increasing Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Land Use Regulations and Short-term Rentals will generate recommendations to share with the next legislature on how we can continue to improve zoning and land use laws to spur housing development.
We plan to work with lawmakers to defend our victories in LD2003 and to help implement new policies recommended by the commission that will cut red tape and lead to new affordable housing.
Pass a Housing Infrastructure Bond
Like our roads and bridges, housing is infrastructure. Nearly every year, lawmakers ask voters to approve bonds that fund improvements to the infrastructure that moves us, now it's time to make that same type of investment in the infrastructure that houses us.
We are facing a housing crisis in Maine and the status quo is not sustainable. Supply has not kept up with demand. We’ve built only 250 units of affordable housing annually on average. The need is 1000 units per year. There are over 25,000 people on affordable housing waitlists statewide. The primary way to address this shortage is by investing in building more units.
Like our roads and bridges, housing infrastructure investments are good for our communities and buinssess.
The legislature should give voters the opportunity to approve a housing infrastructure bond.
Using Existing Buildings and State Land for Housing
Maine needs more housing today to accommodate our workforce needs, our young people, and older Mainers, and these needs will only grow in the decades to come.
Our housing crisis requires that we take action to better use developed land currently held by the state. If the state currently holds developed land that is not being used or is being underutilized, we should leverage that asset to build quality, affordable housing.
We plan to ask the legislature to pass a bill that will cut red tape and lean on our state's current assets to help address our housing crisis throughout the state by creating a pathway to new projects on state-owned property.
The housing crunch is not going away. Current production is not sustainable since more people from other states are moving to Maine. 16,300 people moved here last year and only 6,800 building permits were awarded. 4 out of 5 permits were for single-family homes.
We can only address our housing crisis if we build more units. That's why we will ask lawmakers to support a suite of reforms that incentivize building everything from small accessory dwelling units to larger affordable housing projects.
The Finance Authority of Maine should work with banks to offer low-interest loans to families that want to build ADUs and our state should incentivize larger developments by creating a state match program that incentivizes towns to develop Community Land and Housing Trusts, with higher matches to municipalities for greater density.