Speaker of the House Mark Eves will hold a community forum on Wednesday in Topsham to hear from area seniors and community leaders on his “Keep ME Home” plan to help older adults live independently longer.
Eves will join Rep. Denise Tepler, D-Topsham, at 3 p.m. at the Holden Frost House, an independent living facility for seniors.
“I am pleased to welcome Speaker Eves to Topsham to meet with seniors in our community,” said Rep. Tepler. “We want to hear directly from citizens as we consider plans to help seniors live independently longer and have a more secure retirement.”
Eves’ KeepME Home plan would create affordable housing for seniors in each of Maine’s 16 counties through a $65 million housing bond. It would also increase property tax credits for seniors and boost pay for in-home care workers who have not had a raise in nearly a decade.
“Maine seniors are terrified of being forced out of their homes and communities by rising property taxes or growing heating costs. We have an opportunity to support a bipartisan plan to help seniors stay in their homes or find affordable housing in their communities,” said Eves. “Plus, the investment in building affordable housing will also be a win for our economy, creating construction and housing industry jobs across the state. It’s a win for everyone”
Maine is the oldest state in the nation and thousands of older adults are on waitlists for affordable housing.
An independent report commissioned by the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition shows a shortage of nearly 9,000 affordable rental homes for low-income older people. The shortfall will grow to more than 15,000 by 2022 unless action is taken to address the problem.