We are at a loss in terms of housing in the Portland metro area. I am not certain that there is a house or condo in good condition that isn’t snatched up right away.

Something needs to happen because we are having a crisis for the service industry. We want them to work with us but we apparently do not want them to live among us.

Every attempt to do subsidized housing has ended in either a pretty view being dropped or “not in my backyard” opposition.

To people looking for this type of housing, I want you to realize this: People have literally shut down your ability to live close to work because your having a home will block a view they can travel five minutes to get.

However, I don’t like to kvetch without a solution in hand (And, no, freezing rental rates will not work). In fact, I have two; both will be expensive but will relieve the housing pressure the Portland metro area is under.

One is build subsidized housing at Mill Creek. The strip mall can still stay on the bottom floor, but they can build several stories, if not more.


The parking is there. There are two grocery stores right there, and more. This will create jobs, whilst it’s being built. Also, apparently more importantly, no one’s view will be blocked. The rent and/or fees will bring in money for a long time.

The second option is to fix the infrastructure betwixt Lewiston-Auburn and Portland. Specifically, a passenger train that stops in Gray-New Gloucester as well as Lewiston-Auburn.

The housing is there in both Gray-New Gloucester and especially Lewiston-Auburn. Having the train fixed will bring the infrastructure kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

More importantly, it will bring a long-needed connection between Lewiston-Auburn and Portland.

Joel Simons


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