Group will study zoning and land use restrictions to identify barriers to affordable housing
AUGUSTA – Members of Maine’s new Commission to Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Zoning and Land Use Restrictions have now been appointed and the group will hold their first meeting on Thursday, August 12. The Commission will be chaired by Senator Craig Hickman and Speaker Ryan Fecteau. Fecteau’s bill, LD 609, Resolve, To Establish a Commission To Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Zoning and Land Use Restrictions was passed into law this year as an effort to tackle systemic issues holding Maine back from building and renovating more affordable housing.
“Maine is facing an affordable housing crisis,” said Speaker Fecteau. “Our work is about cutting the red tape standing in the way of building and revitalizing more affordable housing here in Maine. In too many municipalities, a web of various zoning and land use ordinances and state laws, some decades old, are preventing sensible affordable housing projects — big and small — from coming to fruition. We aren’t only thinking of erecting new housing; we hope to explore ways to incentivize the revitalization of buildings and housing stock that already exists across Maine.”
“We’ve got to act now. Affordable housing is a major concern for our economy and workforce, not to mention for the dignity of older Mainers and the outlook for young families with kids,” said Senator Craig Hickman. “If young families can’t afford to live here, they won’t stay here. The commission will establish model policies with incentives for local jurisdictions to adopt on their own. It will not establish mandates that communities must enforce.”
The first meeting of the Commission will be held on Thursday, August 12that the State House in Augusta at1:00 pm. Members of the public may provide comments in person or remotely by registering here. Thursday’s meeting agenda will be posted here. The meeting will also be livestreamed via the Legislature’s YouTube Channel.
For the duration of the Commission’s work, interested parties can find meeting materials and other related documents posted on the Commission’s webpage of the Legislature’s website. The full list of Commission Members can be found here.