2018-05-04 / Letters

Affordable housing is needed

To the editor:

The need for affordable housing in the greater Portland area is significant. At present, an affordable housing development is being proposed by South Portland Housing Authority on Main Street, the site of the former St. John’s Church. This project would provide 42 apartments of varying sizes as well as commercial space on the first floor – the perfect balance for increasing life and interest in our city.

The housing authority has done due diligence by meeting three times with the neighborhood and trying to resolve concerns with parking, traffic and more. Officials have been committed to becoming a part of the neighborhood and working to integrate into the existing structures. There is significant support by many of the neighbors, eager to see this property, which has been vacant for four years, developed. Adding three single family homes as well as an open green space that could easily become a community garden, the project is thoughtful, inclusive and progressive.

Facing Main Street and staying in scale with other buildings along that corridor, this housing would add vitality, energy and family to the neighborhood – all the things we believe in as South Portlanders. There is limited housing available and the request for greater density in the zoning is warranted, in my opinion.

The housing authority builds quality structures that are well maintained and it works hard to integrate affordable housing into existing neighborhoods; this project does just that. I urge the city council to consider this project as a fabulous opportunity to continue improvements on Main Street. This project would serve the needs of families, keep our schools vibrant and add energy and life to Thornton Heights.

Rosemarie De Angelis South Portland

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