Bangor wants to ease access to a boarding house to ease the housing crisis

Bangor wants to make it easier for residents to use large historic homes as guesthouses where people can rent rooms long-term.

It’s a strategy the city is considering to increase housing supply, make housing more affordable and encourage denser development as Bangor faces a twin crisis of high prices and low inventory for homes. tenants and potential buyers.

Residents received letters this month informing them that the Planning Board was considering city ​​code changes officially authorize boarding houses in city districts as potential fix shortage of available rental accommodation and to offset rising housing costs.

Bangor’s code currently groups boarding houses and bed and breakfasts under the same regulations, said planning manager Anne Krieg. Thus, the newly proposed ordinance separately defines and sets out the requirements for the two categories.

Guesthouses are buildings that have three or more rooms for longer term rent and have shared access to a central kitchen and other common areas, similar to an apartment building.

The city’s proposed changes stem from a 2019 report by a city’s affordable housing task force, which recommended the city pursue denser development as a way to address the city’s affordable housing challenges. town.

Shared housing is a upward trend among the young and the elderly, as housing demand shifted from single-family homes to shared units in downtown neighborhoods and other urban areas, Krieg said.

It also lowers the cost of living and upkeep for people living in historic homes, preventing them from falling into disrepair, she said.

The city’s boarding house rules would apply to both new construction and existing structures used as shared accommodation.

Areas targeted by the city include historic districts, downtown and residential neighborhoods. The amendment would also reduce parking requirements in residential areas, which often interfere with development.

Guesthouses would be permitted in low-density residential areas, provided they are located on high-traffic streets like Broadway or Hammond and Ohio streets.

The Planning Board will hold a public meeting on the proposed amendment on March 1 at 7 p.m.

Comments are closed.