Portland District 2 Council Candidates Target Housing Affordability

The two candidates vying for the District 2 seat at Portland City Council seat say housing affordability is the No.1 issue for residents in their neighborhood.

Jon Hinck and Victoria Pelletier hope to be elected on November 2 to represent the West End and Parkside. The seat was most recently held by Spencer Thibodeau, who joined the board in 2016, chose not to run for a third term and resigned from the board last month.

Pelletier, a newcomer, said she and other residents felt their homes were being priced and more inclusive zoning might be a solution. Exclusionary zoning, like banning multi-family homes in certain areas, “adds to the segregation,” she said.

“The working class is being pushed out and into certain regions. I want to review our exclusionary zoning laws, if they should exist, ”said Pelletier. “We could make room for more multi-unit housing, which can open up options for people who want to live here, raise families here and put down roots.

She also wants to create clear definitions of “affordable housing” aimed at the working class and based on a region’s median income.

Affordable now means habit be five thousand, only two thousand, but that’s not acceptable, ”she said.It is important for us to dive deep into what people do and what the income of the region is.

Pelletier also wants to make sure the city properly limits short-term rentals like Airbnbs.

Hinck, a former city councilor and state legislator, said he supports more inclusive zoning, but will also add fees to large developments to pay for affordable housing projects.

“Some of the ideas that are popping up are incentives generated by the Housing Connection Fee on large commercial developments to support the construction of affordable housing, particularly housing focused along the (transit) transit service. corridor,” he said.

Concentrating affordable housing with easy access to public transportation is a good concept for urban development, he said.

Hinck said he would use his previous political experience to work on relaxing housing density regulations to allow more housing, including in historic areas and downtown. It would also encourage landowners to build housing on their property.

“Portland has moved in that direction some, but it’s traditionally difficult for people to use their property to add housing, ”Hinck said. “There are Actually – even in densely populated (areas) – residents who have room on the property to build additional smaller units for their (parcel).”

Hinck said he would start tackling violent crime in Bayside and elsewhere in the city by engaging neighborhood groups. It is also open to ideas from the large community.

Two stabbing attacks in Bayside in July were followed by a number of attacks on women in the West End, as well as an attack on a man sitting on a bench at Fort Sumner Park on Munjoy Hill.

“Strengthening community engagement and collaboration can always to help. Sometimes the neighborhood association is one of the best places to start getting a kind of neighborhood collaboration to fight crime, ”Hinck said. “Other times, city departments other than law enforcement need to be more involved in a neighborhood where crime statistics are on the rise.”

Community anti-crime initiatives are important, Pelletier said, and she would like to see more funding from the city going to the creation of programs like “Walk With Me West-End,” a buddy registration system that she has. helped get started over the summer so people don’t have to walk alone.

“WWe still see reports of mistrustful behavior, the women being followed at home. It is stit’s going badly, ”she said.

Programs that offer free rides or hotlines for vulnerable residents should be funded, she said.

To find out where to vote on November 2, visit the city’s website.

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