Maine State Housing Authority Report Shows That Affordable Housing Is A Problem Throughout The State

Dec 2, 2019

Affordable housing is a problem throughout Maine, according to a recently released report from the Maine State Housing Authority.

Affordable housing is a problem throughout Maine, according to a recently released report from the Maine State Housing Authority.
Credit Susan Sharon / Maine Public file

Maine Housing Policy analyst Clyde Barr says that while home prices may be higher along the coast, lower incomes in rural areas are also a factor. In fact, the report found that a significant percentage of residents from York to Aroostook County say they are unhappy with both the cost and condition of their homes.

“So affordability hits every corner of the state,” Barr says. “And it isn't unique to the coastal or more affluent areas.”

Denise Lord is the senior director for communications and planning for MaineHousing, which commissioned the study. She says that while about 40 percent of respondents said they like where they live, nearly half of those who weren't satisfied said that it had become difficult to find "quality, affordable housing" in recent years. Lord says the report signals that policymakers must consider a range of solutions, including construction of new units, and repair of older homes.

"That's the challenge at a policy level, is pursuing solutions that complement each other and have meaningful impact in addressing the need,” Lord says. “And not going with single solutions."

Many survey respondents also supported policies, such as home sharing and new construction, to help address the issue.

Originally published Nov. 30, 2019 at 5:00 a.m. ET.