On Nov. 3, voters should vote “yes” in support of referendum Question 2, which authorizes a $15 million general obligation bond issue for construction of senior affordable housing throughout Maine.

This state has the oldest population and the eighth oldest housing stock in the nation. There is now a shortage of approximately 9,000 units needed to serve the population, which is growing leaps and bounds due to the ever-increasing retirement of baby boomers. Without significant investment, including this bond issue, the shortfall of affordable units for seniors will reach 15,000 by 2022.

Legislation authorizing the referendum question had overwhelming bipartisan support, and was co-sponsored by Democrat Speaker of the House Mark Eves and Republican Sen. David Burns. It is strongly supported by the 120-plus member Maine Affordable Housing Coalition, the Maine Council on Aging, Associated General Contractors of Maine, AARP Maine, Maine State Chamber of Commerce, Associated Builders and Contractors, AIA Maine, American Council of Engineering Companies, Maine Real Estate and Development Association, and others.

In addition to supporting development of 225-plus housing units, $500,000 will go to weatherize or repair 100 or more homes of lower income senior citizens. Balance between rural and urban Maine is achieved by requiring at least four developments be built in rural counties.

I hope others will join me in voting “yes” on Question 2. That a small step but an important one.

Richard Whiting, Auburn

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