IS SOUTHERN MAINE’S HOUSING A BARRIER TO PROSPERITY?
On September 19 Our Knowledge sharing session explored Affordable Housing in Our Region.
The panel shared perspectives on why adequate and sustainable housing across the market is essential to regional prosperity for the future. We heard specific examples of how our existing tools, powers and programs can be more fully utilized in innovative ways, and how new relationships among public, private and nonprofit entities can be tapped to enable those approaches.
We also took a realistic look at the needs, obstacles and challenges that exist in the issue of providing housing to the population of southern Maine.
Audio recordings of this session are available below.
The panel included:
Dana Totman, President of Avesta Housing, Maine’s leading nonprofit in developing affordable housing, and a long-time leader of efforts to deliver both workforce and special needs housing.
Donna Larson, Town Planner of Freeport, where an unprecedented level of commercial development in a small Maine town has been matched by a sustained – and replicable – effort to find new ways to promote rather than lose affordable housing.
Josh Benthien, Partner in Northland Enterprises, developer of commercial, mixed use and multi-family housing projects in southern Maine with a key perspective on the close link between adequate housing choices and healthy economies.
Anne Gass, housing consultant for Sustain Southern Maine, shows how using existing capacity in new ways can strengthen regional efforts to deliver – and retain – affordable housing..
At the end of the session the audience was invited to engage in discussion with the panel of speakers.