Originally published in Island Ad-Vantages, July 12, 2018
Island Workforce Housing seeks input
A group called Island Workforce Housing has been meeting over the past three months to tackle the island-wide housing problem, according to a news release.
“People are concerned that we here on Deer Isle are losing a generation of workers and citizens due to a lack of affordable, year-round housing on the island, and indeed, more and more workers are living across the Reach because of that very problem,” the release stated. “The solutions to this issue are many in number and complex, but they are solvable if enough people are willing to put in the work. This group, headed by Mike Wood, Stu Kestenbaum, and Dick Paget, has met with development and assessment working groups to plan a way forward, and are seeking a nonprofit status from the State of Maine.”
The group’s next steps are to figure out and quantify the actual need for workforce housing, in order to understand what needs to be built. To do this, they are asking community members to complete a one-page survey. The survey will be available online at the Town of Stonington website and on the Chamber of Commerce website, and in-person at local grocery stores, the ICC, and 44 North Coffee. Once the results have been compiled, the Island Workforce Housing group will formulate a plan to move forward. Two related groups are gathering, one to look into the financial aspect of the project, and another to encourage the availability of year-round rentals. People interested in working on this island-wide challenge are encouraged to e-mail Mike Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org.