This newspaper’s Oct. 8 editorial highlighted the recent report on the lack of housing for Mainers: “The housing shortage is hurting nearly everyone in Maine, holding back an economy and a state that is otherwise ready to grow and prosper. Community leaders can’t sit back and let this happen. If they don’t act in a way that’s going to get Mainers the affordable appropriate housing they need and deserve, state leaders must step in and do it for them.”

My building plans began in 2021. Conversations with South Portland city officials stated that my property met requirements to build a four-plex. The newly passed Maine state ordinance, L.D. 2023, would seal the deal. After time, energy and money spent, acting in good faith, I was advised that this wasn’t so. Is it operator error on my part, poor official communications or faulty decision-making at the municipal level? I’m back at square one.

Public officials at all levels have a mandate to streamline this process. On a case-by-case basis, municipalities should provide factual communication, make good decisions, provide assistance for getting to compliance and issue permits for housing construction in a timely manner.

The Maine Sunday Telegram has shone a light on this problem: 84,000 homes are needed for Mainers in the next three years. Time to get serious. We need to start building.

Dani Nisbet
South Portland

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