Two housing issues in Maine – sprawl and the “Not In MY Back Yard” (NIMBY) attitude – can contribute to the cost of housing. MaineHousing programs and policies address both of these housing problems.
“NIMBY” opposition to locating housing can delay and in some cases prevent the development of affordable housing in a community or neighborhood. Often the opposition is based on stereotypes of who will be living in the housing and what impact the housing will have on the community or neighborhood. MaineHousing helped educate Maine people about the NIMBY issue with a series of advertisements/posters that have been widely imitated in other states facing the NIMBY issue.
“Sprawl” refers to the unchecked development of housing further and further from urban and service centers and existing communities. Sprawl consumes valuable farm land and open spaces and costs taxpayers by requiring expanded highways, more schools, and more expensive services for road plowing and maintenance, public water and sewer systems, and fire and police protection. Local ordinances, such as requiring large lot sizes for new homes, encourage sprawl and add to the cost of housing
MaineHousing has promoted programs that discourage sprawl, such as encouraging the rehabilitation of existing downtown properties into housing, or promoting development of rental housing that is within municipal areas and can tie to existing water and sewer lines. MaineHousing has encouraged subdivisions using the Great American Neighborhood concept, where homes are located closer together, sidewalks link the neighborhood, and land is set aside as a common area.
NIMBY Ad Campaign
These ads can be used to combat NIMBY attitudes in your community. Click below to see each of these ads in detail.