Cumberland’s Town Council has opened discussion on a proposed referendum to address town needs for lower cost homes. Historically we’ve been a rural, farming community, but not a wealthy community. Now Cumberland’s growing and changing, with the average home sales price nearly $750,000.

Proposed housing near Drowne Road offers opportunities for older residents to move into more worry-free housing – no shoveling of roofs and walkways. Instead, retire into a low-maintenance, lower-cost rental home, banking proceeds from a house sale.

This complex would offer rentals not only for seniors; with its mix of home sizes, young families, teachers, firefighters and others integral to the health of this area and its residents might qualify. Sure, Cumberland has created this type of housing in the past, but these differ – they’d remain restricted to income-eligible applicants long-term.

Can we creatively adapt to these needed changes? That is our challenge.

Betsey Harding

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