Portland Council Approves Mandate for Affordable New Housing

Oct 20, 2015

PORTLAND, Maine - Maine's largest city has signed off on a plan to join more than 200 communities in the country that require a portion of units in new housing developments to be affordable to middle-income residents.

The Portland City Council voted 7-2 in favor of the measure on Monday. The Portland Press Herald  reports that the new rule requires that 10 percent of the housing units in new developments of 10 units or more be affordable to middle-income earners.

Mayor Michael Brennan supported the move, which was opposed by the city's Planning Board and developers.

Developers can receive incentives to offset the costs of the rule, which is called "inclusionary zoning.'' They can also avoid the requirement by paying the city $100,000 for every affordable unit they don't build.