MEREDA Endorses Question 2 on Statewide Ballot
MEREDA supports Question 2 on the statewide ballot, the Senior Affordable Housing Bond. This bond would authorize the sale of $15 million in general obligation bonds, to be used in combination with more than $22 million in leveraged funds, for the construction of approximately 225 affordable, highly energy efficient homes for Maine’s seniors in strategic locations across the state.
MEREDA supports Question 2 on the statewide ballot because it will provide what Maine’s seniors and construction workers need now. Maine has the oldest population, and the 8th oldest housing stock, in the nation. This means that there is currently a shortage of nearly 9,000 units of affordable housing available to Maine’s seniors, a deficit that will nearly double by 2022.
By authorizing the Senior Affordable Housing Bond, Maine would both meet more of the demand for affordable, quality housing for its seniors, and also provide much needed construction sector jobs. If approved, the bond is expected to allow for the construction of an estimated 225 affordable senior homes statewide, with each project requiring between 150-200 Maine workers, including contractors, trades professionals, architects and engineers.
MEREDA supports Question 2 on the statewide ballot because the Senior Affordable Housing Bond will promote fair and responsible development, strengthen Maine’s economy, and ensure a safe housing future for Maine’s seniors.
MEREDA Opposes Question 2 in Portland
Question 2 on the City of Portland ballot proposes to change the city’s land-use ordinances. Though designed to stop the redevelopment of the Portland Co. site at 58 Fore St, the proposed ordinance would have far reaching negative implications.
“Question 2 will hurt Portland’s ability to attract new people and new investment, both of which are critical to the health of the city,” said Michael O’Reilly, president of MEREDA. “This ordinance is written to sound appealing, but hidden beneath that language are significant negative repercussions to Portland’s economy, heritage and waterfront access.”
Additionally, O’Reilly states that the proposed ordinance “goes too far. If it passes it will immediately block more than $200 million of economic activity, put at risk important historic buildings and reduce public access to Portland’s waterfront.”
MEREDA is committed to promoting fair and responsible development, and the organization has a strong interest in protecting the qualities that make Portland special. We believe Question 2 puts these values at risk, and we therefore oppose its passage.