Ensuring that families in Maine have a home to call their own:
A home is more than brick and beams. Home is where we raise our kids, where we sit at the kitchen table paying bills and helping with homework, where we sleep safely every night. Governor Mills is committed to ensuring that every person in Maine has a home to call their own. Since taking office, Governor Mills has:
- Invested in More Affordable Housing for Low and Middle Income Families: Governor Mills signed into law the Maine Affordable Housing Tax Credit, the single largest state investment in housing in Maine’s history, and broke ground on the first major housing project resulting from that law.
Governor Mills also authorized the refinancing of existing housing bonds, creating over $38m in new financing for affordable housing development across the State.
And, she invested $50 million of federal funds under her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to increase the supply of energy-efficient, affordable homeownership units for moderate-income, working households to purchase or rent.
- Built More Affordable Housing for Maine Seniors: Governor Mills signed into law a $15 million senior housing bond for the construction of more than 200 new affordable housing units for low-income seniors and the weatherization of another 100 existing homes for low-income seniors. The bond was overwhelmingly approved by Maine voters in 2015, but was never released by the previous governor. These senior housing projects are now occupied or in the final stages of construction.
- Addressed Outdated Zoning Restrictions That Stand in the Way of Affordable Housing: Governor Mills signed into law a bill establishing the Commission to Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Zoning and Land Use Restrictions, which recently presented its conclusions to the Maine Legislature.
- Provided Critical Support to Address Homelessness: Governor Mills dedicated $10 million in federal funding under her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan for grants to support existing emergency homeless shelters. She also allocated $1.5m for housing navigators to help people find local housing opportunities and to promote successful landlord-tenant relationships.
- Joined A National Partnership to End Homelessness: Governor Mills joined with the Biden Administration to launch House America, a new national partnership to tackle homelessness. Governor Mills affirmed Maine’s commitment to use Federal funds to house 1,000 people experiencing homelessness and add 500 affordable housing units to the state’s pipeline.
- Banned Pandemic-Related Evictions: Governor Mills signed an Executive Order during the pandemic to keep Maine people in their homes and Maine businesses in their storefronts by preventing the immediate eviction of tenants other than those who engage in dangerous or unlawful conduct.
- Provided Rental Relief: Governor Mills launched a rental assistance relief program that has helped Maine successfully prevent evictions at a faster rate than most other states by distributing nearly $116 million in federal rent relief funds to more than 18,500 Maine households.
- Deferred Property Taxes: Governor Mills launched the State Property Tax Deferral Program, a lifeline loan program through the Governor’s Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to cover the annual property tax bills of eligible Maine people who are ages 65 and older or are permanently disabled and who cannot afford to pay them on their own.
- Invested in Weatherization for Homeowners: Through the Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, Governor Mills has targeted $25 million to accelerate the pace of weatherization for homeowners, especially seniors and low-income families.
- Paid the State’s Fair Share to Cities and Towns: Governor Mills restored Municipal Revenue Sharing to five percent which helps stabilize property taxes by shifting the cost of essential services off of property taxpayers. Restoring Revenue Sharing makes good on the State’s commitment to municipalities after the previous administration cut revenue sharing significantly.
- Made A Historic Investment in Maine Schools: Governor Mills met the State’s obligation to pay 55 percent of the cost of K-12 education for the first time in Maine history, thereby lifting the burden off local property taxpayers.
- Provided Direct Property Tax Relief to Maine Families: Governor Mills expanded the Property Tax Fairness Credit to 83,000 Mainers by providing a one-time boost in the maximum benefit from $750 to $1,000 for income-eligible families and $1,200 to $1,500 for seniors. The budget permanently changes eligibility for the program to provide property tax relief or rent relief to 83,000 Mainers.
- Provided Additional Direct Tax Relief: Governor Mills bolstered the Homestead Exemption Program allowing Maine people to take $25,000 off the value of their home and only pay property taxes on the remaining amount through the Homestead Exemption Program. Under the current program, municipalities are only reimbursed by the state at 70 percent of the cost, which limits the program’s impact on property tax relief, but the Governor’s budget increases the reimbursement by 3 percent each year until the state fully reimburses the municipalities to cover the full cost of the program.