Housing crisis is community issue

To the editor,

The housing crisis in our state has only grown in the past few years. It’s here and it’s real.

According to the Maine State Housing Authority, in 2020 there was just one county in Maine where a median income household could afford the cost of rent and the dream of homeownership is equally unattainable. We’ve got asylum seekers with nowhere to go, unhoused neighbors sleeping in tents and vehicles, seniors unable to afford increases in rent, hopeful homeowners unable to compete against cash buyers, and folks stuck in their current situations because of the lack of options.

Housing is a community issue. Schools and community support groups are struggling to support so many people who are unhoused or facing evictions and small businesses can’t find workers because there’s nowhere affordable for them to live. Our most vulnerable neighbors are suffering the most. Investing in housing will help the state and all of us long term.

Access to stable, affordable housing is key to our mental and physical well being, ability to get and keep employment, and fundamental to a thriving community where older Mainers can age in place. With one of our local state representatives, Rep. Traci Gere of Kennebunkport, serving as House chair of the Joint Select Committee on Housing, we have a great opportunity to be a part of this critically important conversation.

We can also learn how this crisis is affecting our friends and neighbors in our three towns at a public forum this Saturday, March 18, at 9:30 a.m. at the Community House in Kennebunkport. Rep. Gere will lead the conversation joined by two folks from community agencies who address the housing crisis on a daily basis through their work. I hope you’ll attend, share your thoughts, and learn what we all can do to help solve this problem together.

Amy Larkin


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