Housing Opportunity Program

The Housing Opportunity Program was established within the Department of Economic & Community Development to encourage and support the development of additional housing units in the State, including housing units that are affordable for low-income and moderate-income individuals.

The Housing Opportunity Program:

  • Provides technical assistance to municipalities to support housing development, including support with municipal ordinance development to comply with P.L. 2021, ch. 672 (LD 2003);
  • Provides funding to service providers and municipalities to support municipal ordinance development, planning board and public processes in communities to increase housing opportunities;
  • Provides information to the public about housing development and opportunities; and
  • Establishes statewide housing production goals.

P.L. 2021, ch. 672 (LD 2003)

On April 27, 2022, Governor Janet Mills signed into law P.L. 2021, ch. 672 (LD 2003),  An Act To Implement the Recommendations of the Commission To Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Zoning and Land Use Restrictions.

LD 2003 focuses on removing regulatory barriers to increase housing production in Maine, while preserving municipal ability to create land use plans and protect environmental resources. This legislation requires municipalities to create or amend local ordinances to allow for:

  • Additional density for affordable developments in certain areas;
  • Multiple dwelling units on lots designated for residential use; and
  • One accessory dwelling unit located on the same lot as a single-family dwelling unit in any area where residential uses are permitted. 

P.L. 2023, ch. 192 (LD 1706)

Governor Mills signed into law LD 1706, An Act to Clarify Statewide Laws Regarding Affordable Housing and Accessory Dwelling Units. This legislation became effective on June 16, 2023. 

This legislation amends LD 2003 by extending the implementation date of July 1, 2023, to January 1, 2024, for municipalities that enact ordinances by municipal officer without further action or approval by voters of the municipality and July 1, 2024, for all other municipalities. This legislation also makes some minor changes to LD 2003 for clarity. 

LD 2003 Resources

Housing Opportunity Program Grants

The Housing Opportunity Program has grant funding available for service providers and municipalities to support municipal ordinance development, community housing planning services, and community housing implementation services.

The 2023 Service Provider Grants are now closed. The Department awarded funding to 13 service providers. See full list of service providers receiving grant funds and projects.

For additional information, please visit the Division of Procurement Services' website

Grant Resources

 

If you have questions about the Housing Opportunity Program or would like to sign up for the listserv, please email housing.decd@maine.gov