Maine: The Way Life Could Be 8/2/22: Housing in Maine -Affordable to Mainers?

Producers/Hosts: Jim Campbell and Amy Browne

This series is made possible in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission

Welcome to this edition of Maine: The Way Life Could Be, a series in which we look at challenges and opportunities facing Maine in the lifetimes of people alive today.

Affordable housing is a big issue here in Maine, with current residents being priced out of certain areas by people moving here from out of state, purchase prices beyond the reach of average wage earners in all but one county, rents skyrocketing, and short term vacation rentals displacing long term rentals. Today we again hear from area town managers and planners that we interviewed earlier this year, a young person dealing with the issue, and a local real estate agent who fills us in on the trends. With inflation and interest rates complicating things, it’s hard to predict what things will look like in a few years, much less beyond that.


Lane Sturtevant, Participant in January MTWLCB forum
Kathleen Billings, Town Manager, Stonington, Maine
Mike Cunning, Realtor, Worth Real Estate, Belfast, Maine
Jim Fisher, Town Manager, Deer Isle, Maine, and former senior planner with the Hancock County Planning Commission
Anne Krieg, Bangor Planning Officer


Trends and Outlooks for the Maine Economy, Maine Association of Mortgage Professionals (presentation), by Amanda Rector, Maine State Economist, June 8, 2022
2021 Homeownership Housing Facts and Affordability Index for Maine, Maine State Housing Authority
LD 290, An Act to Stabilize Property Taxes for Individuals 65 Years of Age or Older Who Own a Homestead for at Least 10 Years
Airbnb bookings in rural Maine surge to $95M in 2021, Lori Valigra, Bangor Daily News, June 29, 2022
Portland isn’t the only place out-of-staters are buying pricey homes, David Marino Jr., Bangor Daily News, June 23, 2022

About the hosts:

Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.

Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices, Maine Currents and Maine: The Way Life Could Be, Amy also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and Maine Association of Broadcasters awards for her work in 2017 and 2021.