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Deer Isle residents hope more affordable housing will lure staff back to a shuttered nursing home

BDN nursing home.jpg
Bill Trotter
via the Bangor Daily News
A car drives past Island Nursing Home on Route 15 in Deer Isle on December 21, 2020.

DEER ISLE, Maine (AP) - A task force wants to reopen a nursing home on Deer Isle but first the island needs to solve an affordable housing crisis.

The task force was formed after the Island Nursing Home announced in August that it would be closing, blindsiding the community and providing a hole in services for older residents.

Since the closure announcement, the task force has been assessing the nursing home's housing needs, the community's existing housing stock and potential workforce housing opportunities.

Ronda Dodge, the president of the nursing home board, said the nursing home had between 26 and 28 people decline job offers because they could not find housing in the area.