A policy in Portland, Maine that uses inclusionary zoning from the newly built hotels to help subsidize the supply of affordable housing is getting the attention the Door County Economic Development Corporation (DCEDC). Hotel developers in Portland are required to build one affordable rental unit for every 28 hotel rooms they build or pay over $38,000 per hotel room into the city’s housing trust fund, according to the DCEDC newsletter. DCEDC President Jim Schuessler says that although there may be some structural issues and laws to address, communities need to get creative in dealing with housing.
Schuessler says there are great mechanisms for commercial and industrial development with Tax Incremental Financing, but many are restrictive when it comes to housing developments. He says another challenge is that the cost of construction of a new home has reportedly gone up to nearly 30 percent in the last few years.