A news article in 2015 reported comments by then-City Planner Jeff Levine. He spoke on how the benefits of affordable housing that would come from Portland’s inclusionary zoning program would fund homes marketed to people earning 100 to 120 percent of the area median income.

Here is the problem: The Portland median household income is $51,800 a year.

However, the Housing Trust Fund allocates resources according to requirements set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. It is called area median income, and it is based on the incomes from the Portland HUD Metro Fair Market Rent Area, which includes Cumberland County towns of Cape Elizabeth, Casco, Chebeague, Cumberland, Falmouth, Freeport, Yarmouth, Scarborough and more.

For the year 2018, the HUD Area Median Family Income was $90,100, almost twice as much as the census data. It is on this number that the Trust Fund dollars are allocated to create “affordable housing.”

Levine’s statement that this inclusionary zoning would create workforce housing for households with up to 120 percent of the area median means that a household of four with income between $90,100 and $108,120 could be the recipient of the subsidized “affordable housing.”

Therefore, the “workforce,” which some consider to be firefighters, hotel workers and office, sales and food workers, is getting nothing.

Whatever the developers claim to need to meet their costs, which includes whatever markup they consider necessary, these are the numbers.

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