Portland City Council Housing Committee holds first meeting | News

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Portland City Council Housing Committee holds first meeting
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The City Council's Housing Committee held its first meeting Wednesday.

The five-member group was formed to tackle the growing gap between what Portland citizens can afford to rent and what apartments are actually available.

This first meeting is the start of what will likely be a long process, working to make Portland affordable for the middle class. 

According to the Portland Housing Authority, the rental vacancy rate is between zero and two percent. PHA says a "healthy" rate for a city is between five and 10 percent.

The Portland Housing Authority has 1,000 apartments that it owns and manages in the city, with a waiting list of about 1,500 people.

This committee, Mayor Ethan Strimling says, will focus on more housing construction, not just luxury condos; working with landlords on rental prices; and working to raise the minimum wage within the city.

The committee is meeting again in two weeks and will be open to the public. They plan to meet twice a month.


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