When my husband and I and our young daughter moved to Portland, we had a hard time finding decent rental housing that accepted children. The dark ages in the late 1970s? Seemed so.

Then we found a house on Woodcrest Road in Cape that was within our means. No wonder it was available. The carpeted stairs were invested with fleas and the rest of the house with earwigs. And the fireplace was stuffed with trash. Of course, the landlord cleaned it up and we enjoyed our new abode. Our neighbors were friendly and welcoming.

We loved Cape, and Oakhurst in particular, so when we decided to buy a house we bought one across the pond on Stonybrook Road. We always had warm feelings about Cape.

So it’s puzzling to see all the controversy over affordable housing in the town center. The arguments against it might seem valid on their face, but added up they seem like NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard). I don’t think Cape is as NIMBY as it’s made out to be, but the brouhaha over this project has certainly heightened that impression.

“We’ve never received pushback like we’re getting in Cape Elizabeth right now,” said developer Nick Szanton.

The town can get on track by moving this project forward. Then it needs to move on with plans to build affordable housing for families. This is only providing housing for people so they can have what my family had, living in a place as lovely and welcoming as Cape. I’m guessing that many, if not most Cape residents would welcome people who would bring vibrancy and diversity to their community.

Cape needs to stand up. I think it will.

Donna Halvorsen
South Portland