Dealing with housing scarcity, Bowdoinham brainstorms improvement concepts

Dealing with housing scarcity, Bowdoinham brainstorms improvement concepts
Dealing with housing scarcity, Bowdoinham brainstorms improvement concepts

John Egan of the Genesis Fund discusses reasonably priced housing with Bowdoinham residents on Oct. 26. Maria Skillings / Occasions File

Bowdoinham is searching for methods to fight a housing disaster that’s driving away younger professionals, younger households and senior residents.

At an Oct. 26 assembly, the Bowdoinham Neighborhood Improvement Initiative orchestrated a sit-down with reasonably priced housing developer John Egan of the Genesis Fund, housing planner Michael Martone, the Bowdoinham Complete Planning Board and neighborhood members to debate the city’s housing wants and discover methods to encourage improvement.

As a senior struggling to deal with her four-bedroom farmhouse, Peggy Christian mentioned she desires to downsize to a two-bedroom residence, however there may be “nothing on the market.” Christian mentioned her present house is “an excessive amount of to deal with,” however she doesn’t wish to depart Bowdoinham.

Housing Authority member Tom Cary attributes the dearth of housing to out-of-staters who as soon as rented in Maine throughout the summer season months and have now snatched up “quite a lot of properties.”

In 2020, Maine gained 15,473 individuals from home migration, in line with a earlier article within the Portland Press Herald.

Assistant Dealer Cara Taggersell mentioned when she moved to Bowdoinham seven years in the past, she and her associate mounted up an previous farmhouse, which she mentioned is a lovely possibility for younger {couples}. Nonetheless, because the pandemic, even fixer-uppers are scarce.

Based on realtor.com, housing availability in Bowdoinham is considerably decrease in comparison with neighboring cities. In Bowdoinham, there are six homes listed, together with two which have but to be constructed. Brunswick has 62 accessible listings, Topsham has 16 and Richmond has 15.

The listings in Bowdoinham vary from $125,000-$650,000, none of that are designed to accommodate a solo proprietor.

Resident Pam Buffington famous the dearth of one-bedroom flats accessible for younger singles, which she mentioned may probably discourage new academics from working of their faculty district. She mentioned constructing co-housing items with shared sources might be an answer, and he or she believes it might match the well-established neighborhood tradition of “supporting each other.”

Piggybacking off of Buffington, resident David Asmussen proposed “incentivizing density downtown” to attract a youthful inhabitants and new companies.

General, locals mentioned they wished extra duplexes, housing for farm staff on-site on the farms, housing close to the freeway, reasonably priced senior housing, cluster housing, extra business areas downtown, co-housing items, cul-de-sac developments, dividing giant plots of land into smaller ones and revamped septic guidelines.

Bowdoinham Director of Planning and Improvement Jennifer Curtis acknowledged, “Something you will have described may occur.” Nonetheless, Curtis mentioned when the city does develop its complete housing plan, it should issue within the required setbacks for brand spanking new septic techniques to wetlands.

Discussions on methods to implement the brand new concepts will happen after the vacations.

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