Policy Backgrounder: KeepME Home Initiative
The “KeepME Home” initiative addresses key concerns of older Mainers: living independently
and having financial security. The plan from Speaker Eves will create affordable housing for
seniors in each of Maine’s 16 counties, boost support for in
-home care workers and expand property tax credits for seniors. These proposals will serve as key pieces of a larger package of legislation on aging in the 127th legislature.
Maine is the oldest state in the nation. Each day 50 people turn 65. One in four Mainers will be over the age of 65 by 2030, according to census projections. Our rapidly aging population is a policy imperative.
1) Build More Affordable Housing for Seniors
To address the fundamental mismatch between our housing supply and our housing
needs, we propose a bold investment in Maine’s infrastructure through an innovative senior
housing bond. This $65 million general obligation bond would be used in combination with a mix of private and public resources to create 1,000 highly energy-
efficient homes for Maine’s
seniors in locations that will enable them to successfully and affordably age in place. The
initiative would create significant work opportunities for our state’s construction, architectural
and engineering sectors, which were hit extremely hard by the Great Recession and have continued to struggle with historically high unemployment.
Maine’s housing stock is among the oldest in the country, and is poorly matched with our
needs: it is too unaffordable, too inaccessible, too inefficient and too remote from the services and resources our seniors need to thrive in their communities. Thousands of Maine seniors are currently on waitlists for affordable housing. At Creekside, there are 140 seniors waiting for housing.
Increase Property Tax Relief
Increase the maximum refund for seniors under the Property Tax Fairness Credit.
Seniors living on a fixed income are struggling to keep pace with rising property taxes. In 2013, Governor Paul LePage proposed to completely eliminate the Circuit Breaker Program