While a lack of housing in Central Maine has been an issue for years, the problem has really been brought to the forefront by the pandemic-caused migration of people to our area.

We all know at least one person, regardless of income level, who has had problems finding an affordable place to live.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel.  A couple of new projects aim to build nearly 100 new apartment units in the Augusta area.

According to the KJ, an Augusta Housing Authority proposal to build a 32 unit apartment complex on city owned land on Park Street has been approved by the City of Augusta Planning Board.  For those unfamiliar with the area, Park Street is adjacent to the plaza that contains Dairy Queen, Canton Express, and several other businesses.

Google Maps
Google Maps

The City of Augusta has also weighed in on another apartment complex.  Augusta city councilors have approved a contract zone agreement which waives the city’s per-unit space requirements for a proposed complex on Western Avenue.  That facility would consist of 38 apartments.

The article explains that representatives for the Augusta Housing Authority have calculated that the city needs an additional 870 units.  If you take the 30,000 foot view of housing issues in greater Kennebec County (including Gardiner, Waterville, and Winslow), the needed number of apartments jumps to about 2,400!

The report also indicates that the prices of apartments have increased so much that even those who are entitled to Section 8 housing vouchers cannot find units that they can afford.

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