The state legislature passed two bills, one supporting accessory dwelling units and another incentivizing adaptive reuse, aimed at boosting housing affordability.
In an update to last week’s story, Maine’s governor signed into law two zoning reform bills aimed at slowing the state’s housing crisis. LD 2003 is “aimed at facilitating the development of affordable housing by reforming zoning laws and cutting red tape, a top priority for advocates during this year’s legislative session.” As Evan Popp reports, “Among other stipulations, the bill makes it easier for property owners to build accessory dwelling units on lots zoned for single-family use.”
“The state is experiencing a shortage of about 20,000 affordable options and around 25,000 Maine households are on a waitlist for federal Section 8 housing vouchers. In addition, nearly 60% of renters in the state spend half their income on housing.” Meanwhile, rents continue to rise, harming low-income households the most. “A study from 2021 found that the average wage needed in the state to afford a two-bedroom rental home was $21.39 an hour, far above Maine’s $12.75 an hour minimum wage.”
Governor Mills also signed LD 201, which incentivizes the conversion of historic buildings into affordable housing. “LD 201 also requires that MaineHousing review annually the percentage of total square feet of completed projects that qualifies as new affordable housing.”
The California High-Speed Rail Project Illustrates America’s Transit Issues
Slow progress and a bloated budget have plagued the High-Speed Rail project linking San Francisco to Los Angeles, exposing deeper issues with American transit projects.
What Role Does Health Care Play in Community Development?
Cities are economically diverse and require accessible health care systems, but this can be challenging to implement. Urban developers are working alongside health professionals to create affordable care for city residents.
Density and Driving: A Second Look
A common argument against more compact housing is that increased population density will only reduce vehicle miles traveled at moderate levels of density, as opposed to very low-density and very high-density areas. But this might not be so.
Want to Drive a Big Pickup Truck in D.C.? It’s About to Get (Even More) Expensive
D.C. is considering a $500 vehicle license fee for private vehicles over 6,000 pounds.
Zoning Reform Gains Momentum in Northern Virginia
Arlington County and Alexandria are moving forward with actions that could potentially launch a new era of planning and development in their respective communities.
Zoning Reform Works, but Is No Magic Bullet
Improving housing affordability and boosting housing production requires more than just eliminating single-family zoning.
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