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Rockland Main Street Poll: Housing shortage undermines economy

Recently, Rockland Main Street – a partnership of residents, business and organizational leaders and local government – polled its stakeholders about our region’s housing crisis. The survey asked them to focus on working families earning between $45,000 and $90,000 a year.

Twenty-two business owners and organizational leaders responded to our survey (not everyone answered all questions). Here are the key findings [See PDF]:

  1. Twenty out of 22 respondents (90 percent) ranked workforce housing as a “serious” or “very serious” issue. 
  2. Fourteen out of 20 respondents (70 percent) reported having difficulty hiring or retaining employees over the past two years because of inadequate or unaffordable housing. 
  3. Sixteen out of 20 respondents (80 percent) said that the housing problem has had a negative impact on their business or organization. 

These findings reflect a major challenge for our local economy. According to data from the Maine Department of Labor, employers in Rockland will need to replace as many as 200 workers who will retire by 2028. That won’t be easy. Local businesses and school districts already report that good candidates regularly turn down job offers because of high housing costs.

Read full article on PenBay Pilot: HERE