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39 affordable housing units coming to Bangor

A Bangor area non-profit, Penquis, is breaking ground on a new building for seniors in need affordable housing.

BANGOR, Maine — The affordable housing shortage is being felt across the country and here in Maine.

Thursday in Bangor, ground was broken to address this problem.

"We find that that's the case because there was actually a lot of folks after the great recession that were unable to retire when they planned and they have actually been staying in their homes longer than they have planned," Julie Dawson Williams, owner of Dawson and Bradford Realtors said.

Dawson Williams says not only are people staying in their homes longer, but millennials started their home search later than other generations.

Therefore baby boomers are still in their homes, while millennials and gen-x are looking to buy.

Some of the older Mainers staying in their homes are doing so because they can't afford to leave.

"If they've maybe paid off their mortgage on the time that they live in, they don't have those same types of expenses that someone coming in having to pay that monthly mortgage payment may have," Dawson Williams said.

That's why a Bangor area non-profit, Penquis, is breaking ground on a 39-apartment complex for Mainers who are 55-years-old and older that meet the affordable housing guidelines.

"39 units is not a lot and it certainly pales in comparison to the demand not only in Bangor but statewide and regionwide," Jason Bird, housing development director at Penquis said. "We're in the works to develop more units."

Construction is set to begin in August and applications will be accepted starting in December.

Waiting lists for affordable housing in Maine can be tens of thousands of names long.

The Maine Affordable Housing Coalition is calling on the state legislature to fund more housing options for all those people.


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