Menu
Log in

NEWS & UPDATES

Read our organization's latest statements, view updates, and access information on today's trending topics and news stories.

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 
  • 23 Dec 2023 1:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    12/12: Maine criticizes IRS for reversal over taxing $450 heating aid checks

    AUGUSTA, Maine — The administration of Gov. Janet Mills objected Tuesday to a reversal by the Internal Revenue Service that would tax $450 winter energy relief payments issued to Mainers in early 2023. The IRS published guidelines this summer indicating the payments distributed between January and March to more than 880,000 people would not be subject to federal taxes before verbally informing Maine’s tax agency on Dec. 7 that they would be taxable, according to a Tuesday news release from the state Department of Administrative and Financial Services.

    Read the full article here.

    12/13: Portland's rental market is cooling for the 1st time in years

    PORTLAND - Landlords in Maine’s largest city report that the rental market is cooling down for the first time in years, with demand lessening for the generally pricey units that are now available.

    Read the full article here.

    12/13: County to host listening session on homelessness in Lakes Region

    When you hear about people struggling with homelessness, it’s natural to think of the growing crisis in Portland and other big cities. But a person can experience homelessness or housing insecurity anywhere – including the Lakes Region. We know this to be true; we’ve heard too many examples in our small towns of families living in their cars, seniors seeking emergency support, young people (including students) couch-surfing without a place to call home, and even people here living outside as the frigid Maine winter takes hold.

    Read the full article here.

    12/14: As real estate market cools, MaineHousing programs face steep cuts

    State housing officials are warning that a slowing real estate market, and legislative requirements, could diminish revenues for assistance to shelters and other housing initiatives. The Housing Opportunities for Maine Fund relies on the state's real estate transfer tax to fund several programs, including shelter, rental and homeownership programs.

    Read the full article here.

    12/18: Portland council approves funding for North Deering affordable housing plan

    The Portland City Council voted unanimously Monday night to help fund a new affordable housing development in North Deering. The developers, Maine Cooperative Development Partners, bought three parcels of land at 165 Lambert St. in May 2022 and initially proposed building limited equity cooperative housing. But the group has since decided to turn at least some of those units into traditional affordable housing after partnering with Preservation of Affordable Housing.

    Read the full article here.

    12/18: For renters on the edge of eviction, tenants unions are increasingly part of the answer

    Spencer Jacob wants to form a tenants union at Redbank Village, a neighborhood of modest duplexes built as workforce housing in the 1940s in South Portland. But other Redbank renters, many of whom are living on the edge of eviction and unable to afford higher rent elsewhere, are fearful. 

    Read the full article here.

    12/19: EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Newly Inaugurated Portland Mayor Mark Dion on Homelessness, Rent Control, Welfare, & Socialists

    The Maine Wire sat down Wednesday with the City of Portland’s newly elected and inaugurated Mayor Mark Dion for an interview on his outlook for the city’s future and several of the issues he will confront during his term. Dion, former Cumberland County Sheriff and District 5 City Councilor, won the city’s mayoral election in a rank choice runoff after receiving nearly 40 percent of the Election Day vote.

    Read the full article here.

    12/20: York Beach property owners fight new rules for Airbnb, Vrbo rentals, calling it a 'tax'

    YORK, Maine — Owners of short-term rentals called newly proposed regulations for their industry unnecessary Monday, arguing York has had seasonal rentals for a century without oversight. The proposed regulations, presented to the town's Selectboard Monday, could go to voters for approval in May. The proposal comes amid a rapid rise in online rentals like Airbnb in town and complaints from residents.

    Read the full article here.

    12/20: Maine lawmakers learn about social housing in other states

    One of the ideas currently being considered by Maine lawmakers is to create publicly-owned housing, also known as social housing, that the tenants themselves would manage. A bill, LD 1867, which would create the Maine Community Housing and Rural Development Authority, would do just that.

    Read the full article here.

    12/19: City of Portland postpones sweeping Maine's largest homeless encampment

    The decision came early Tuesday morning after councilors voted 7-2 Monday night in disapproval of sweeps. The move comes after a storm destroyed tents and clothes.

    Read the full article here.

    12/19: Lewiston City Council unanimously passes measures to increase housing

    Lewiston City Council unanimously approved amendments Tuesday which will encourage affordable housing in line with LD 2003 which Maine's legislature passed in 2022. The City Council unanimously passed more than a dozen measures Tuesday, bringing the city into compliance with state legislation to increase housing.

    Councilors also unanimously approved amendments to the interlocal agreement with the Auburn Water District, which adopts new boundaries for the watershed district on Lake Auburn.

    Read the full article here.

    12/20: Habitat for Humanity accepting applications for homes in Saco and Sanford

    With housing prices out of reach for so many, Habitat for Humanity offers households an alternative to the traditional housing market. Habitat partners with local York County households who have a need for safe and affordable housing and have the ability to pay an affordable mortgage. Homes are constructed using volunteer labor, donated materials, and fundraising. Once the home is completed the homeowners’ mortgage payments are recycled to support the construction of future Habitat for Humanity homes.

    Read the full article here.

    12/20: Bowdoin College to help employees find housing with forgivable loans

    BRUNSWICK - Bowdoin College is trying to help employees find housing by giving them forgivable loans. Bowdoin is offering employees up to $50,000 in loans. The only criteria are that the employees must be buying their first home within 40 miles of campus and stay with the school for 10 years to have loans forgiven.

    Read the full article here.

    12/21: Cape Elizabeth affordable housing panel to recommend 125 units be built over next decade

    Cape Elizabeth’s Housing Diversity Study Committee next week will finalize its long-awaited report with over 60 recommendations on how to create more housing options in Cape Elizabeth. Recommendations include setting a goal of building 125 affordable housing units in the next 10 years and considering some town-owned properties for housing, both of which the committee debated at a meeting on Monday.

    Read the full article here.

    12/21: Lincoln Village development applicant sues Saco over Planning Board decision

    SACO -The applicant behind Lincoln Village, a 332-unit proposed residential development that the Saco Planning Board rejected earlier this year, is suing the city of Saco in Maine state court. The applicant and plaintiff in the case, 321 Lincoln Street Development LLC, alleges that the Saco Planning Board’s decision was “arbitrary, capricious, unlawful, legally erroneous, and unsupported by the evidence in the record” when it voted down the development’s final application on Oct. 24.

    Read the full article here.

    12/21: Homebuilders step up construction of single-family homes as 30-year mortgage rate eases

    Single-family housing starts have now risen 3 months in a row and are outpacing home completions for the first time since the spring of last year.

    Read the full article here.

    12/22: Maine’s new ‘land bank’ for vacant properties is still debating its mission

    Maine cities and towns will soon have a state agency they can turn to for help redeveloping vacant properties. First, those running the new “land bank” need to settle on a mission. The Maine Redevelopment Land Bank Authority was established by lawmakers in April 2022 to help municipal planners and governments redevelop vacant properties, putting Maine among 21 other states to set up such a program at the state level.

    Read the full article here.

  • 24 Nov 2023 12:12 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    11/23: Bangor is building less new housing than far smaller Maine towns

    “In Maine, over the last like 10 years or so, economic growth and the growth in available jobs has been more concentrated in the Greater Portland area, which goes all the way down to York County,” James Myall, an economist with the liberal Maine Center for Economic Policy, said. “So there probably is a greater demand for housing there.”

    Read the full article here.

    11/23: From the Ground Up: Supporting Legislation to Continue Tackling the Housing Shortage

    To continue meeting this moment, we are focusing on initiatives that will make building easier. On Nov. 14, I testified before the Joint Select Committee on Housing in support of two bills that strive to support home production. The first bill is LD 1134, An Act to Improve Housing Affordability by Amending the Definition of “Subdivision” Under the Site Location of Development Law, which I sponsored.

    Read the full article here.

    11/22: New shelter for asylum seekers opening in Portland

    PORTLAND, Maine — Since nearly 300 asylum seekers were bussed out of Portland over the summer, Martha Stein said the demand for housing has not slowed down at the Hope House, a transitional housing facility in Portland for asylum seekers. "We wish we had a place for everyone, but we do the best we can," Stein said. Stein estimates that while her organization housed 250 asylum seekers in Portland this year, hundreds remain homeless in the city as the winter approaches.

    Read the full article here. 

    11/20: Saco Planning Department publishes accessory dwelling unit guidebook

    As communities across Maine look to make progress on the issue of housing, Saco has published a guidebook to help residents better understand accessory dwelling units. The 10-page packet gives background information on ADUs, lists benefits, provides a cost/benefit worksheet, offers design and construction best practices, and links to further educational resources. “As our department receives questions about Accessory Dwelling Units, we tried to help answer these questions and provide a resource for residents who want to learn more about Accessory Dwelling Units,” said City Planner Emily Cole-Prescott. “Similar guides can be found in other communities, so we thought it would be great to have a resource specific to Saco.”

    Read the full article here.

    11/18: Ecomaine gets $2 million grant to promote recycling among residents of multifamily homes

    Ecomaine, a Portland recycling and waste-to-energy facility that serves 74 communities, has received a $2 million federal grant to promote recycling among apartment dwellers and residents of other multifamily homes in Maine. Funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the grant from the Environmental Protection Agency will support Ecomaine’s “effort to increase Maine’s recycling rate through outreach to residents of multifamily dwelling units.”

    Read the full article here.

    11/18: Developer plans to create apartments for seniors in former Oxford woolen mill

    OXFORD — A nonprofit organization has purchased the former Robinson woolen mill next to Thompson Lake to develop it into 70-plus apartments for seniors, the Board of Selectmen was told Thursday night. The Caleb Group of Lynn, Massachusetts, bought the 5-acre property at 283 King St. on Nov. 9. It develops and manages affordable housing in 30 communities throughout New England, including Lewiston, Bangor, Portland, Old Orchard Beach, Biddeford, Saco, Sanford and North Berwick, Maine.

    Read the full article here.

    11/14: Avesta hires former Maine House speaker from Biddeford

    Avesta Housing, at nonprofit affordable housing provider in northern New England, has hired former speaker of the Maine House of Representatives Ryan Fecteau for a newly formed role of senior officer of policy and planning. As a member of Avesta’s real estate development team, he will support Avesta’s organizational advocacy efforts and work on municipal-level coordination to move new affordable housing developments through key milestones.

    Read the full article here.

  • 14 Oct 2023 11:15 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    10/11: Maine gets another $226K for low-income heating assistance.

    Maine has received an additional $226,115 in federal funds to support the state's Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program, commonly referred to as LIHEAP. Although funded by the U.S. government, LIHEAP funds are administered by states and accessed by residents through their local Community Action Agency. Eligibility for LIHEAP is based on income, family size and the availability of funds.

    Read the full article here.

    10/11: Rent Control Is A Disaster. Don’t Let It Spread Across The Nation.

    America’s renters – more than one-third of the nation’s households – are in for trouble. Left-wing politicians are demanding rent regulation from coast to coast. Wherever it is adopted, the result will be a disastrous reduction in the rental housing supply, leaving renters desperate for places to live. New York City is the poster child for the failures of rent regulation. The U.S. Supreme Court is currently mulling a challenge to the constitutionality of the city’s rent regime.

    Read the full article here.

    10/11: Real estate, banking officials call on Fed to stop raising interest rates

    “Don’t bite off more than you can chew on the expectation that you’ll be able to refinance and do a more affordable payment later," Chief Financial Analyst for Bankrate.com Greg McBride said. "A lot of people made that mistake back in the housing boom from 2003 to 2006, and that was a decision that came back to haunt them.”

    Read the full article here.

    10/11: The South Portland Housing Authority is celebrating a new 42-unit affordable housing building on Main Street.

    “It just shows how much of a priority affordable housing is and how much it’s become on the political forefront as it should be,” said Mike Hulsey, the executive director for the South Portland Housing Authority.

    Read the full article here.

    10/11: Community voices concern over rejected proposal to turn half of Bath golf course to housing space

    BATH, Maine — Bath community members say they are worried about the future of a beloved local landmark. The Bath City Council voted down a proposal last Wednesday to eliminate half of the Bath Golf Club's course to make way for townhouses, setting off a wave of concern and disbelief within the community. 

    Read the full article here.

    10/10: MOUNT DESERT — Select Board members Martha Dudman and Geoff Wood didn’t pull any punches when talking about short-term rentals at last week’s board meeting. Dudman: Short-term rentals ‘gutting’ towns

    “I personally believe that we should put a cap on the number of short-term rentals allowed in this town,” Dudman said. “It’s a growing problem. It’s bad enough now and it’s only going to get worse. Short-term rentals are gutting our communities, turning popular tourist areas all over the world into places where a bunch of people are renting houses, and no one is living there year-round.”

    Read the full article here.

    10/10: PORTLAND, Maine – A developer has submitted a proposal to turn Portland’s iconic Time and Temperature building at 477 Congress Street into apartments and a hotel.

    GreenMars Real Estate Company submitted a site plan and conditional use application to revamp the building. The plan includes 140 apartment rooms, a 136-room hotel, amenity spaces for guests and residents, and new stores on the ground level.

    Read the full article here.

    10/10: Proposed bills would raise threshold for encampment sweeps, identify places for temporary campsites

    Sponsors of the two bills said the long-term aim is more housing availability, and that people in encampments deserve dignity and respect.

    Watch News Center Maine piece here.

    10/10: With homelessness on the rise in Maine, state lawmakers float proposals to address encampments

    Under one proposal, the state would authorize sites within various municipalities around Maine where unhoused people could camp at night. The bill's sponsor, state Rep. Grayson Lookner, D-Portland, said the idea would be to allow nighttime camping only, while providing storage and sanitation services for unhoused people during the day.

    Read the full article here.

    10/10: Maine still needs a lot more housing to meet this target, annual permitting for new homes would need to nearly double. 

    Over the last five years, an average of 4,800 Maine homes per year were permitted. To meet the demand foreseen in the state-sponsored report, an additional 3,700 to 4,500 homes would need to be permitted each year.

    Read the full article here.

    10/10: Maine town bans campgrounds to block plan for homeless commune

    The town unveiled a draft moratorium ordinance Sept. 18, which said that Bradford is “suddenly faced with the prospect of increased development pressure from proposals for rooming houses and shelters.” Residents have concerns about the location, operation of such places, health and safety, environmental effects, adjacent property values and other factors, the document said.

    Read the full article here.

    10/10: Few short-term rentals could be viable, affordable homes for the average Mainer, report says

    For example, the study finds that seasonal rentals make up one-tenth of the housing stock in Hancock County. But 3% of them would be considered affordable and practical homes to rent or buy. Short-term rentals make up 6% of the housing stock in Lincoln and Franklin Counties, but 2.5% and 1.76% of those homes, respectively, are considered affordable to the average Mainer, the analysis finds.

    Read the full article here.

    10/10: Maine is set to see some of the nation’s biggest home price hikes

    They are expected to rise everywhere over the next year, according to data from Zillow. One area of Maine is expected to see one of the biggest jumps in the country, and it might surprise you.

    Read the full article here. 

    10/9: Investors are snapping up 1 in 5 Maine homes

    That report found that homes are becoming less affordable and harder to find in Maine. But many real estate agents said this week that they don’t feel an increased presence of investors in the market, nor do they think Mainers are being pushed out of home sales.

    Read the full article here.

    10/8: Our View: Communities must step up on housing – or step aside

    Local control of housing in Maine has resulted in high costs and low supply. Something has to change. How can families expect to get by when they are overwhelmed by the cost of housing, or they are forced to live so far from their work, schools and day cares that they spend hours of each day on the road?

    Read the full article here.

    10/8: Short term rentals provide space for tourists, concerns for neighbors

    During the pandemic, Lisa Peluso watched as more and more people from outside New Hampshire bought homes in Lincoln to rent out, driving up home prices for others. “People just sold everything and made as much money as they could and didn’t think twice about anything else,” said Peluso, a town planning assistant who oversees permits required for short-term rentals.

    Read the full article here.

    10/8: Building a welcoming, resilient Maine ahead of the climate crisis

    Maine could become a “climate haven” if it builds more affordable housing with better access to public transit, jobs and social services. A new tool shows in granular detail the ways in which neighborhoods across Maine and the U.S. are vulnerable to climate change — not just in terms of impacts from increasing extreme weather and rising seas, but in their public health, the condition of their infrastructure and other socioeconomic factors that can make or break a community’s ability to survive and thrive through a crisis.

    Read the full article.

    10/8: It's a global climate solution — if it can get past conspiracy theories and NIMBYs

    Now the 15-minute city idea is spreading with mayors in the United States, including Justin Bibb, the 36-year-old mayor of Cleveland, Ohio, who made building 15-minute cities one of his top priorities when he came into office last year. But this climate solution is running into obstacles, from zoning regimes that prioritize single-family homes to conspiracy theories that have stirred up death threats for the idea's proponents.

    Read the full article here.

    10/6: Homeless encampment in Bangor cleared out, but where does this leave its prominent ‘Tent City’ population?

    According to the Community Health and Counseling Services (CHCS), there are over 100 unhoused people located in Bangor, Maine. A study conducted by the Maine Housing State Authority found that there were 4,258 people experiencing homelessness across the state as of January 2023. It was also discovered that 53% of these homeless families have at least one child.

    Read the full article here.

    10/6: Short-term rentals aren’t the big culprit in Maine’s housing crisis

    Some Maine cities and towns have zeroed in on short-term rentals during the housing crisis, but a study released this week found that they don’t often compete with homes on the market except in populated areas and tourism destinations.

    Read the full article here.

    10/6: Addressing Maine’s Housing Shortage

    My Administration has been focusing on improving the things that people need to live and work in Maine successfully. Things like high-speed internet, good schools, safe communities, good-paying jobs, and a clean environment. Those efforts are attracting new families to our state and strengthening our economy. That’s all good news, but one of the greatest impediments to our economic growth is the lack of affordable housing for our growing workforce.

    Read the full article here.

    10/6: Study finds Portland’s historic districts don’t push up housing costs or displace people

    The city's 12 historic districts also have become more racially diverse at a similar rate to the rest of the city, according to the new report.

    Read the full article here.

    MAINE, USA — On Wednesday, Maine policymakers released the "State of Maine Housing Production Needs Study." 

    This report outlined the housing difficulties of the state.  "Started out, you found the house. You and the seller or the selling agent had a conversation. You come up with the price point that you want and you usually end up going under contract," Jermaine Walker, real estate agent for eXp Realty, said. "Today's market, you're putting in an offer. You're being informed that there might be six or seven other offers on the table. Come with your highest and best offer.

    Read the full article here.

    10/5: Attracting young Maine women and teens to construction industry

    The National Association of women in Construction (NAWIC) and the Associated General Contractors of Maine (AGC Maine) welcomed hundreds of students and 60 vendors at the second annual Maine Construction Career Day on October 5th, 2023.

    Read the full article here.

    10/5: How Maine can meet its lofty new housing goals

    Portland, Maine-It may take enhanced tax credit programs, repurposing old or empty building and growing Maine’s labor force to meet lofty housing targets set in a landmark state report, developers and policymakers said.

    Read the full article here.

  • 06 Oct 2023 1:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    9/27: Housing crisis | Lessons to be learned from Maine?

    The housing crisis knows no borders. While the federal and Quebec governments are stalling, our neighbor, Maine, has just authorized the addition of accessory dwelling units to any house statewide in an effort to rebalance the housing market.

    Read full article here.

    9/27: Gov. Mills says state has done what it can to help Portland's homelessness crisis

    Portland city leaders say they have repeatedly asked Governor Janet Mills for help with the homeless encampment crisis. The city continues to close encampments, saying they're public health and safety hazards.

    Read full article here.

    9/28: Developing housing in Portland: Are city rules helping or hurting?

    Portland, like much of Maine, is dealing with a housing shortage, especially affordable housing. But many residential developers say new zoning rules in Portland are making it tough for them to provide new options. 8 Investigates dug into more than a decade of data to see what is going on and got local developers on the record.

    Read full article here.

    9/28: Portland mayor calls for city, state to work together to address homelessness crisis

    For a long time, city leaders have been asking her administration for more help, which she says has been happening. This is a concern that's been going on for some time, where the city manager and councilors have been asking for more assistance from the state, saying Portland can't handle the problem alone.

    Read full article here.

    9/28: Maine ACLU Demands Portland Stop 'Criminalizing Homelessness', Calls Encampment Sweeps 'Inherently Racist'

    The ACLU of Maine joined the Communist Party for Socialism and Liberation and other advocacy groups Tuesday to urge the Portland City Council to end its policy of encampment sweeps and to testify against their proposed expansion of the city’s Homeless Services Center (HSC).  The Maine ACLU joined protesters outside Portland City Hall before a scheduled workshop on the City Council’s proposal to use an emergency declaration to relax city building ordinances in order to add 150 bunk beds to the HSC, at a cost of over $130,000. 

    Read full article here.

    9/29: WMTW Portland Investigates What’s Driving The Maine City’s High Cost Of Living

    Residents in Portland, a coastal city in Maine, are facing a single issue to their cost of living that makes residing there almost beyond the reach of most people. The challenge is one associated with cities like Austin, Texas; Los Angeles; and other major metros that are experiencing rapid uncontrolled growth.

    Read full article here.

    10/2: As Old Orchard Beach wrestles with short-term rental rules, tourism and housing collide

    A proposal for a moratorium on new short-term rentals is unlikely to move forward in the tourist-heavy town, but the council may still discuss whether more regulation is needed.

    Read full article here.

    10/2: Portland City Council strikes down proposal that would have opened 50 new homeless shelter beds

    Portland will not be moving forward with adding 50 new shelter beds at its homeless services center on Riverside Street after the city council voted against the measure Monday night.The move would have added 50 more beds to the 208 already there, allowing the Encampment Crisis Response Team to offer more spaces to unhoused people who want it, before shutting down the encampment. 

    Read full article here.

    10/2: 40 Under 40: Laura Reading is an advocate for affordable housing

    Significant professional accomplishment: Creating 615 new units of affordable housing in Maine, with another 234 in predevelopment. More than just these numbers, my hope is that these units are providing a stable foundation for residents to thrive.

    Read full article here.

    10/2: Inside a pioneering affordable housing project in a pricey Maine city

    ROCKLAND, Maine — Shannon Denison lived for eight years in a St. George apartment with a mold problem that the landlord did not fix. She lives with family now in South Thomaston with her husband and three daughters. They can’t afford escalating rent prices in Rockland and the surrounding area, so when she was referred to apply for a new Habitat for Humanity house, she went right for it.

    Read full article here.

    10/2: “We need to do a lot more enforcement”: Cumberland DA Jackie Sartoris Talks Portland Homeless Encampments on WGAN

    Cumberland County District Attorney Jackie Sartoris joined Matt Gagnon on Newsradio WGAN Monday morning to discuss Portland’s encampment crisis and the issues her office faces due to a backlog of cases and lack of staffing at the Cumberland County Jail. Sartoris told Gagnon that the homeless encampments in Portland are “definitely getting worse.”

    Read full article here.

    10/2: Supreme Court Denies Challenge to New York’s Rent Regulations Law

    Decision Deals Blow to Property Owners of 1 Million New York City Rent-Stabilized Apartments. Without giving a reason, the highest U.S. court denied the petition filed in May by the Community Housing Improvement Program and the Rent Stabilization Association of N.Y.C., groups representing tens of thousands of the city’s rent-stabilized property owners, and some individual property owners. The case was filed after lower courts dismissed their complaint first filed in July 2019 with the Eastern District of New York.

    Read full article here.

    10/3: Housing remains top issue in Portland, outgoing mayor says in final state of the city address

    "Some people say we have no new housing being built in Portland. What's happening? We're behind the eight-ball. Why aren't we contributing to the housing crisis?" Snyder said. "Other people will say there's non-stop construction in the city of Portland. When will it end? Well, it both feels true lots of times. We want more housing, we want it faster, and we're constantly being stopped at construction sites."

    Read full article here.

    10/3: What is considered to be affordable housing in Maine?

    Maine’s housing crisis seems to be in the headlines just about every day. Last month, state officials told lawmakers they’re adding about 500 to 600 affordable housing units each year, lower than the goal of 1,000 due to what they say is high construction costs.

    Read full article here.

    10/3: Maine is heading for a reckoning on the housing crisis

    Those sets of facts should be underscored by a landmark report on Maine’s housing needs that will be released Wednesday by the administration of Gov. Janet Mills and MaineHousing, the state housing authority. Greg Payne, the governor’s housing adviser, teased it to lawmakers last month, and it will be unveiled ahead of a statewide conference in Portland.

    Read full article here.

    10/3: Old Orchard Beach Town Council rejects short-term rental moratorium

    Town councilors in Old Orchard Beach unanimously rejected a moratorium on short term rentals on Tuesday, after an overwhelming majority of residents spoke out against it at a meeting last month. New short-term rental applications will continue to be approved, which is a win for many rental owners, but a disappointment for some long-term residents.

    Read full article here.

    10/4: State announces plan to sweep Portland’s Marginal Way homeless encampment

    Dozens of tents at the site, which occupies about half of the state's Marginal Way park-and-ride lot, will be cleared on Nov. 1.

    Read full article here.

    10/4: Gorham to hold hearing on pace of construction at proposed Robie St. housing development

    The Planning Board will hold a workshop Oct. 16, but a contract zone public hearing has yet to be scheduled.

    Read full article here.

    10/4: Maine needs at least 84,000 new homes within seven years, study says

    A first-of-its-kind study paints a sobering picture of Maine’s housing market. The state needs as many as 84,300 new homes of all kinds within the next seven years to meet current and future demands. And the study concludes that failing to build or reinvest in more homes may have serious implications for Maine’s labor force and economy.

    Read the full article here.

    10/4: Maine needs nearly 80,000 new homes to fix deficit and meet expected demand by 2030, study finds

    A new report from a collaboration of Maine housing experts shows Maine is short more than 84,000 homes needed to account for current short supply and expected population growth.

    Watch Maine Housing Q&A here.

  • 27 Sep 2023 3:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    9/26: Portland City council considers declaring state of emergency to add beds at homeless services center

    Portland City Council is considering declaring a state of emergency in order to temporarily add more beds at the Homeless Services Center to serve a growing homeless population in the city. The council held a workshop on Tuesday to look at the plan and advocates gathered outside city hall to protest and urge the council not to move forward with the proposal.

    Read full article here.

    9/26: Maine's housing crisis contributes to a big increase in student homelessness

    The state of Maine is launching a first-of-its-kind program under which schools can financially assist families with rent, utilities and other household expenses. As Maine Public Radio's Robbie Feinberg reports, it comes as the state has seen a huge surge in students experiencing homelessness.

    Read full article here.

    9/25: Maine on Track for Record Level of Eviction Filings This Year

    Data from the Maine Judicial Branch shows that evictions in the state have increased dramatically since the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, and this year’s numbers are on track to rival the 15-year high reached back in 2014.

    The figures, made available from the Maine Judicial Branch, reflect the number of eviction filings made with the courts, as opposed to the number of judgements entered.

    Read full article here.

    9/25: How the Homelessness Problem in Maine Compares to Other States

    About six in 10 of the people experiencing homelessness in 2022 had access to emergency shelters, transitional housing programs, or safe havens, while the remainder were unsheltered. Rates of unsheltered homelessness -- which includes those sleeping on the streets, in abandoned buildings, and in wooded areas -- are also on the rise.

    Read full article here.

    9/25: Waterville Planning Board to consider 2 plans that would provide 43 apartments

    The Planning Board is expected to consider two plans Tuesday that would bring 43 new apartments to Waterville — six in the downtown area and 37 on King Street in the city’s South End.

    Read full article here.

    9/24: Pilot program to help rural Mainers repair homes damaged in Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas

    The federal government is expanding a pilot program intended to help low income residents in rural Maine repair storm damaged homes if they live in Presidentially Declared Disaster Areas. 

    Department of Agriculture Rural Development Director Rhiannon Hampson says this program is for the state's most vulnerable residents who have fewer resources available to recover from a natural disaster.

    Read full article here.

    9/23: 10 people displaced after fire at Westbrook apartment building

    Crews extinguished the flames and searched the apartment where the fire stated, as well as adjacent units to ensure no one was trapped, Westbrook Professional Firefighters posted on Facebook. Photos on the post show the building was not fully engulfed, with smoke and damage on one side of the building.

    Read full article here.

    9/22: Maine is lagging in its heat pump goal for low-income homes

    Maine had no trouble meeting a 2019 goal of adding 100,000 new heat pumps to homes by 2025, so Gov. Janet Mills unveiled a more aggressive benchmark in July. But an additional, less-talked-about goal of installing 15,000 heat pumps in low-income households by 2025 has been harder to meet. A review of state data show Maine progressed about a third of the way to that goal in the last three years.

    9/22: Portland Mayoral Candidates Explain How They Would Tackle the City’s Homelessness Crisis

    One of the city’s biggest, most visible problems right now is the homelessness crisis. Both the city and the state have recently dismantled some of the encampments that have been around in Portland. Often though, that just moves people from one encampment to another. 

    Read full article here.

  • 18 Sep 2023 5:06 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    9/11: New Lewiston Housing Development to provide ‘core’ to drive riverfront growth

    The City of Lewiston’s ongoing plans to develop its riverfront area are about to get a boost from Auburn Mayor Jason Levesque in the form of two new housing and retail projects on Middle and Lowell streets.

    Read full article here.

    9/12: What impact do short-term rentals have on Maine's housing crisis?

    There's no better way to experience a city than to live like a local. Short-term rentals, like Airbnb and VRBO, can offer that for visitors and provide income for owners. One of my good friends is a retired vet, and he is able to live in Portland because he lives in the apartment building and the other units are short-term rentals. That's how he can be here," Brit Vitalius told Maine's Total Coverage.

    Read full article here.

    9/13: 6 efforts that are tackling the shortage of affordable housing in Maine.

    It’s a well-established fact that Maine is in need of affordable housing. It was a topic of discussion before the pandemic, and the issue was made worse by the pandemic itself, when Maine saw an influx of cash buyers coming into the market. 

    Read full article here.

    9/13: Inside Maine's Housing Crisis: An 8 Investigates special: Inside Maine's Housing Crisis

    We talk with renters, landlords, new Mainers and those struggling to find housing. When defining the crisis, it depends on who you ask: Renters, who make up 25 percent of the state's market, say rapidly rising rent points to the housing crisis.

    Read full article here.

    9/13: Preble Street proposes plan to shelter people living on Portland streets before winter

    The seven-pillar plan involves adding more caseworkers, finding more housing units, and creating more shelter.

    Watch here.

    9/14: Auburn to take up final readings on slate of zoning changes to increase housing

    The City Council will take up final readings Monday on potential rezoning of four areas of the city that have proven to be controversial. During a first reading this month on applying the T-4.2B zoning to four additional areas of the city, the council supported the change in all but one area.

    Read full article here.

    9/14: Bath celebrates redevelopment of historic downtown building.

    The former W.T. Grant department store, built in 1936 on Centre Street, underwent a $3 million renovation and now includes apartments, coworking space, a theater and an art studio.

    Read full article here.

    9/15: Central Maine Community College contracts with local hotel to house students

    Central Maine Community College is contracting with Center Street Value Inn at 170 Center St. to house students at the hotel, calling it Mustang Hall.

    Read full article here.

    9/15: Bangor toddler became sick after landlord failed to fix lead paint.

    Lawsuit says-Lowry attempted to cover up the lead paint instead of remediating and removing it at standards required by the state of Maine.

    Read full article here.

    9/15: Maine Faces Setback in Affordable Housing Development

    In Maine, the low-income housing tax credit has long been a crucial financial tool for subsidizing affordable housing projects. These tax credits are issued by the federal government to states, which then distribute them to private developers. 

    Read full article here.

    9/16: Protesters gather at City Hall to protest encampment sweeps.

    Organizers say they want the City Council to pass an ordinance that will stop further encampment sweeps until longer-term solutions to the housing crisis are in place. About 100 people gathered on the steps of City Hall in Portland on Friday afternoon to protest the sweeps of homeless encampments executed by the city. The sweeps began in May with the Bayside encampment and continued last week when the Fore River encampment was dismantled.

    Read full article here.

    9/16: The Argument for Increasing Access to EV Charging for Residents of Multi-Unit Dwellings

    Residents in multi-unit dwellings who wish to install an EV charger have to coordinate with a landlord, condo board, or fellow tenants. Currently, nine states have “right-to-charge laws which require property managers to allow charger installations by residents. Right-to-charge laws are not always necessary since some property managers choose to install chargers even without pressure from residents. 

    Read full article here.

    9/17: A drive around Lake Auburn reveals clear signs of the development.

    They are literally signs. “Protect Lake Auburn” is the motto gracing the expansive and well-maintained lawns of dozens of homes not far from the water. They are often paired with support for Jeff Harmon, who is trying to knock off Mayor Jason Levesque in November.

    Read full article here.

  • 11 Sep 2023 7:06 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    September 5: High demand, fewer benefits expected to create 'perfect storm' for Maine's heating season

    Temperatures in Maine are still summer-like, but advocates say high heating costs and an expected decline in federal aid are creating concerns about the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program ahead of this winter.

    Read the full article here. 

    September 6: Rules meant to keep Maine tenants safe can actually leave them homeless

    Marla Reagan began carefully documenting her living conditions after mold started appearing on the walls, ceilings and window sills of the Sanford apartment where she lived with her son.

    Read the full article here. 

    September 6: 16 Mainers receive $10,000 in down payment and closing cost aid through ‘First Gen’ program

    Winthrop, Maine Surging mortgage rates and low inventory can make home ownership feel out of reach for many Mainers, but a new program is already making a big difference for a small group of people.

    Read the full article here. 

    September 7: The Housing Diversity Study Committee listened to a presentation to better understand LD 2003 and the changes necessary to comply with the new law.

    Cape Elizabeth’s ad-hoc Housing Diversity Study Committee held a meeting on Aug. 28 at the town hall where the town had a presentation hosted by Matt Panfil, planning director of the Greater Portland Council of Government.

    Read the full article here. 

    September 10: Another citizen-initiated referendum goes before voters this November, but dueling interests suggest it might not be the last word.

    Nearly three years into rent control, Portland is still working through kinks in its policy. Those who wrote the ordinance say it’s helping stabilize costs for tenants and available housing. But city staff who oversee rent control say that parts of the ordinance are hard to implement and that they struggle to keep up with questions and complaints.

    Read the full article here. 

  • 01 Sep 2023 6:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    August 29: Ask the I-Team: Is it legal to charge rent for pets in Maine? 

    The I-Team at WGME recently investigated rental fees associated with pets. Maine does not have standardized leases, so pet fees are considered rent increases. In Portland, though, where rent control is applicable, the percentage amount a housing provider can increase a tenant's rent due to a pet is capped. 

    Read the full article here. 

    August 29: Cumberland seeks proposals for affordable housing project on Drowne Road 

    On Monday, the Cumberland Town Council voted to seek proposals for an affordable housing development. The project is in the early stages, with the council not able to provide answers on tax implications for residents or potential project costs. 

    Read the full article here. 

    August 30: Opponents rally over development of downtown Westbrook parking lots 

    The city of Westbrook is currently discussing building affordable housing wherethree downtown parkinglots are. Opponents are worried that removing the lots would affect downtown businesses and the Westbrook-Warren Congregational Church. 

    Read the full article here. 

    August 30: A vacant Bangor home is being turned into affordable housing 

    Design Wall Housing, a Maine-based nonprofit, is currently under contract to renovate a two-unit home in Bangor and turn it into affordable housing for two families. Design Wall Housing has received over $160,000 in grants for the project. 

    Read the full article here. 

    August 31: 'Literally nowhere for us to go': Homeless encampment in Portland park taken down due to safety reasons 

    On Thursday, the Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) removed the homeless encampment by Deering Oaks Park. Over 100 individuals were living at the encampment. Next week, there are plans to remove the encampment at Fore River Parkway as well. The park-and-ride encampment on Marginal Way is currently full.   

    Read the full article here.  

    August 31: University of Maine at Augusta expands student housing in nearby Hallowell 

    The University of Maine at Augusta has opened its third student housing facility, Cleveland Hall, in Hallowell. Cleveland Hall is about a 10-minute drive from campus. 

    Read the full article.

  • 25 Aug 2023 4:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    August 22: New Portland residential hall on University of Southern Maine campus to house students this fall 

    The University of Southern Maine opened its first residential building on its Portland Campus. The residence hall will house more than 500 grad students and upperclassmen this coming fall semester. The community is comprised of one-, two- and four-bedroom dorms and apartments. 

    Read the full article here.   

    August 22: Bradford residents oppose man's vision to build affordable housing commune 

    On Monday, the Bradford Board of Selectmen agreed to seek counsel on a land-use proposal put forward by Michael Tuller. Tuller purchased 35 acres of land with the vision of “building rural housing on undeveloped land” for “those experiencing homelessness.” 

    Read the full article here. 

    August 22: Workforce housing proposal in Northeast Harbor advances to final review 

    The Mount Desert Planning Board is in the final stages of reviewing an application to add an additional six workforce housing units to Northeast Harbor village. The application is being put forward by Mount Desert 365. The development would provide homeownership opportunities with eligibility requirements and conditions for future sales of the properties. 

    Read the full article here. 

    August 24: Report: Maine zip code is one of the hottest in the country for housing 

    Realtor.com ranked the town of Scarborough as number 34 in its list of hottest zip codes in the United States. Scarborough is the only town in Maine listed. Massachusetts and Connecticut were the only other New England states on the list. 

    Read the full article here.

  • 18 Aug 2023 5:30 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    August 15: Portland voters will again consider rent control changes this November 

    A citizen-initiated rent control proposal would exempt housing providers with nine or fewer units from Portland’s current rent control ordinance. Portland voters will see the proposal on the November ballot. 

    Read the full article here. 
     
    August 15: Portland reports fewer people living in tents, more placed in housing 

    The Portland Encampment Crisis Response Team reported their best week helping connect 12 individuals living in Portland encampments with housing. Portland plans to break up the Fore River encampment in early September, where 54 tenants are currently located. The city hopes to connect everyone with housing before then. 

    Read the full article here. 

    August 15: Challenges in tax credit market could harm seven affordable Maine housing projects 

    The nonprofit Evernorth reported that funding for seven affordable housing projects in Maine is in jeopardy. Evernorth informed developers of the issues of raising enough money from tax credits. 

    Read the full article here. 

    August 16: Temporary shelter for asylum seekers closes in Maine's largest city 

    On Wednesday, the Portland Expo closed as a temporary shelter. Those living in the shelter have been moved to hotels in Freeport and Lewiston. 

    Read the full article here. 

<< First  < Prev   1   2   3   4   5   ...   Next >  Last >> 

306 Congress Street
Portland, ME 04101

(207) 200-1301
admin@rhamaine.org


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software