Creativity and Hard Work Needed to Ease Maine's Affordable Housing Crisis


Ulya Aligulova


Amjambo Africa!



Volume Number

vol.4, no.12




Maine needs 19,000 housing units to end its affordable housing crisis. Daniel Brennan, director of Maine State Housing Authority, discusses the historical reasons for the housing shortage, explaining that replacing the Section 8 program with the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit resulted in far fewer housing units. The pandemic and the increase in the number of remote workers moving to Maine who can afford homes in the state has driven up costs and decreased availability. Also, as the numbers of asylum seekers increase, so too does the need for more housing. Brennan sees hope in the fact that pipeline of affordable housing projects is the biggest he's seen in 30 years, but resources for asylum seekers are limited. The article examines the difference in status between asylum seekers and refugees and the disparities in what is available for support. Immigrant and housing advocates would like to see more state support. Currently, the work is largely being shouldered by volunteers and nonprofits, like Maine Immigrants Rights Coalition, Hope Acts, and Project HOME, among others. Advocates also see a need to expand beyond the greater Portland area; other municipalities could be equipped to house and welcome New Mainers.



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