Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission issues “State of the Region” report on Affordable Housing
Median home price up 35%; median household income up 13%
York County, Maine -- The lack of affordable housing in York County is more extreme and is progressing more rapidly than the state overall, according to a new “state of the region” report from Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission (SMPDC). The “Housing Affordability Report of York County”- which draws on Maine Housing Authority data on home ownership and rental affordability - is SMPDC’s first step in a process to identify and address the problem.
Key findings of the report include:
municipalities say this issue is their greatest challenge
home prices continue to rise but incomes have not kept pace (between 2015-2019, York County median incomes increased by 13.54%, while median home prices increased by 34.8%)
York County as a whole is not affordable for working class families;
inland towns' affordability fluctuates over time but in general, inland towns are closer to the affordable threshold whereas coastal towns are unaffordable for most people.
Note: Affordable home prices are generally defined as housing where monthly costs - of rent or mortgage and utilities - don’t exceed 30% of gross income.
According to Raegan Young, SMPDC Community Planner and Outreach Specialist, “Our member communities, state partners, and regional organizations tell us that housing affordability has been and continues to be a significant problem. Before COVID-19, housing costs were rising. Over the last 17 months, the pandemic has exacerbated this issue. SMPDC is gathering incoming resources, guidance, and plans for the use of federal funds to address the problem as well. Beyond this report, we hope to expand the study to include looking at commuting patterns, costs of transportation and land use impacts.” Young went on to say, “This is a highly complex issue, and we will rely on a collaborative process with our regional partners as we consider those contributing factors and how to address them.”
For SMPDC’s complete report on the Maine Housing Authority data, visit https://smpdc.org/housing