Last month, Governor Mills took yet another step to build more housing and make it more affordable for Mainers when she announced a $50 million investment in housing construction through the Maine Jobs and Recovery Plan. Since taking office in 2019, Governor Mills and Democrats in the legislature have boldly fought Maine’s housing crunch and rising housing costs by preventing evictions during the COVID–19 pandemic, releasing $15 million in bonds for senior housing, creating a commission to overhaul outdated land use and zoning restrictions, and enacting the single largest state investment in housing in Maine’s history. These accomplishments represent profound progress. Under Gov. Mills, Maine has confronted housing affordability and homelessness issues that were exacerbated by her predecessor, Paul LePage.
As Governor, LePage opposed bipartisan legislation to make the application process for Section 8 housing easier to navigate. He vetoed a bill that would have protected Maine homeowners facing foreclosure from the widely reported abuses of profiteering large national mortgage companies. And when Maine voters took the issue into their own hands and approved $15 million in bonds to create affordable senior housing, LePage refused to release the funds, yet again ignoring the will of his constituents. In short, LePage did everything he could to make life harder for Mainers who were having difficulty affording housing or experiencing homelessness.
“Governor Mills’ announcement today is yet another example of how she and the Legislature are boldly taking on Maine’s housing crunch by building more housing for working Maine families, In the long-term, this will make a substantial difference in providing Maine families a comfortable, safe place to live and raise their families, which will help us grow our economy, ” said Drew Gattine, Chair of the Maine Democratic Party. “The bottom-line is that Governor Mills is fixing problems that Paul LePage never did, and it is crucial that we don’t allow LePage to win back the governorship and abandon this important progress for Maine people.”