What do you call housing that is too expensive to be called affordable housing?

When the mills, railroads and mining companies needed workers in remote areas, they built “workforce housing” so that workers could move to the area and work at the company. It was necessary to obtain workers.

The town of Falmouth has talked about providing housing in Falmouth that town employees could afford to live in for a long time.

The workforce housing project that the town of Falmouth is considering will not enable town employees to live in Falmouth. The developers’ proposal is for 1,000-square-foot, two-story, two-bedroom condos with one parking space, no basement and no garage. The condos will sell for $425,000, require a down payment of $85,000 and require owners to have a household income of $120,000.

When two homeowners both must work to pay their bills, they both need a way to get to work. Where will homeowners park their second car? Where does the town expect homeowners to store the town’s mandatory trash bins?

The chosen lot on Marshall Drive has many environmental issues which were noted during the recent rainy weather. The location is not near any mass transit, and it would put 60-120 more cars on Woods Road during peak traffic times.

Other more reasonable locations are available, and this project only supports the top 25% of households in Maine. It does not meet the requirements to be called workforce housing for town employees.

After Falmouth homeowners understand the issues related to Falmouth’s workforce housing project, will they rise up like Cumberland did in the recent election?

James Solley

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