Regional Meeting
Affordable Housing

Notes from Affordable housing small group
Regional Planning Session, Jan. 29, 2004, W. Bath

People interested in continuing to work on housing issues:

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Major issues

  • Median income doesn’t buy the median house
    ($42,000 income could afford $118,000 home, but median is $182,000)

  • Many working people can’t afford housing

  • Land prices going up fast

  • Cost of rental construction = high rents

  • Ordinances may be obstacle (subdivision/lot size/walkability)

  • Need to get builders involved

  • Incentives to developers

  • Second generation affordability of affordable housing

  • Borderless market

  • Change in family demographics (not as multi-generational as in past)

  • Decrease of household size

  • In-law apartments

  • Home-based businesses

  • Equitable municipal distribution
    (each municipality shares in the solution; services centers (now?) doing more than others)

  • Public attitude

  • Natural resource constraints

  • Re-use of existing buildings

  • Under-utilized upper floors

  • Building code obstacles: cost of rehab

  • Traffic congestion (villages make areas walkable)

  • Parking: conflicting state/local/fed provisions

  • Regional transportation

How to address affordable housing collaboratively?           *priorities

  • *Regional collaboration on a model affordable housing ordinance to be adopted by all communities

  • Incentives: reduced fees for increased density, etc.

  • *Regional educational program

  • *Have MCBDP make this one of their priorities

  • Educate public and local officials

  • Web site to distribute info

  • Regional density discussions

  • Collaboration on resources: info, data

  • Groups of communities get funding for affordable housing

  • Identify resources and bring them together; a larger group may have access to /influence over more money

  • Implement affordable housing strategies in existing comp plans

  • Identify responsible parties and timeline for implementation of comp plans

  • Have a vision that can be acted on

  • State environmental/school policies

  • Needs to be a more sustainable regional economy

  • Infrastructure expansion

  • Regional collaboration with housing non-profits (i.e. Habitat)

  • Try to address the gap in affordability (incentives, banking, MSHA…)

  • Increase wages