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 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.
On April 27, 2022, Governor Janet Mills signed into law L.D. 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 housing; and
- One accessory dwelling unit located on the same lot as a single-family dwelling unit in any area where housing is permitted.
The Department of Economic & Community Development is responsible for implementing this law, including by establishing statewide housing production goals and adopting rules by which to administer and enforce certain zoning and land use provisions.
- LD 2003 Guidance Document (Updated February 2023) (PDF)
- Proposed Rule: 19-100 C.M.R. ch. 5, Housing Opportunity Program: Municipal Land Use and Zoning Ordinance Rule (Word)
- Public Hearing Zoom Recording
If you have questions about LD 2003, including how its provisions would apply in your municipality, you may submit a question to the Department.
Housing Opportunity Program Grants
The Housing Opportunity Program has grant funding available to financially assist service providers and municipalities with municipal ordinance development, community housing planning services, and community housing implementation services.
The Department of Economic & Community Development is responsible for adopting rules by which to administer the grant funding. Once the rulemaking process is complete, the Department will solicit applications for grants through the competitive application process.
- Proposed Rule: 19-100 C.M.R. ch. 4, Rule Regarding Housing Opportunity Program Grants (Word)