I am very concerned about the proposed affordable housing project off Drowne Road in Cumberland.

In the information shared in the Cumberland Crier regarding this effort, it speaks to people working in Cumberland not being able to afford to live here. However, nowhere in the information shared does it state that preference will be given to folks who work in Cumberland. Instead, it references senior housing and the number of bedrooms, but nothing about residents working in the area. Without this requirement, it does not appear to meet the goal of this project.

While I support an increase in affordable housing, it should be done to benefit all involved. To my knowledge, Cumberland does not have the support system in place for this effort. People living in this community without a car will have no way of getting to work, shopping, medical and social services facilities. Cumberland does not have a bus line, we do not have a grocery store within walking distance and there are no social services or medical facilities close by. Brunswick at Cooks Corner has done it the right way. I have observed traveling through there that they have the appropriate road setup, public transportation, grocery stores within walking distance, doctors offices and emergency medical facilities all within easy access from the new affordable housing being built.

In addition, our schools can’t handle the current student population and our taxes are some of the highest in the state. It is my understanding that this effort will add to the student body and increase our property taxes on top of the already in-process property tax reassessment. I would encourage the council and town management to look for more business opportunities for the town that could help with our current fiscal responsibilities instead of adding to them.

Kathi OGrady

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