This spring I was offered a professorship at the University of Southern Maine, working in my area of expertise. For professors, this is a life-changing opportunity that uproots us to find that perfect job in a far-flung area of the country. However, living in southern Maine is nearly unaffordable and housing is in scarce supply.

My husband and I have felt these financial stressors, but our situation is not unique. Many USM students – Maine’s literal future – are being priced out of their current apartments. Some have to move mid-semester, which dramatically affects their grades during the upheaval.

USM is an urban campus, providing a large portion of southern Maine’s workforce, yet the economic reality of Portland is destroying the housing stability students need to thrive.

Proposals like Fair Rent Portland, and at-large City Council candidates who support them, like Joey Brunelle, are vitally important to the success of Portland’s future workforce.

Jeanne Heil

Portland