Proposal to expand permitted units on residential lots becomes law


Maine Governor Janet Mills signed into law a bill Wednesday that increases the number of homes that can be built on housing lots to help address the state’s affordable housing crisis.

The new law allows the construction of secondary suites and duplexes in sectors zoned for single-family dwellings. Up to four units would be allowed in designated “growth areas”.

It comes at a time of rising house prices and long waiting lists for people looking for affordable apartments. Some companies report that potential employees are turning down jobs due to a lack of housing.

“We are seeing an increase in home and rent costs, which is impacting families in Aroostook County. I believe that with this legislation, Maine will be at the forefront of resolving this crisis,” said House Speaker Ryan Fecteau, sponsor of the bill.

The Maine Chamber of Commerce predicts that 65,000 to 75,000 people will be needed over the next 10 years to meet employer needs.

“There is a clear link between housing and our labor needs,” said chamber president Dana Connors.

The governor also signed a bill extending a historic property rehabilitation tax credit for five years.

The invoices were signed in a former school transformed into 47 apartments for the elderly thanks to the tax credit.

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