Sen. Hickman appointed to chair the Commission to Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Zoning and Land Use Restrictions
AUGUSTA — Sen. Craig Hickman, D-Winthrop, was appointed to chair the Commission to Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Zoning and Land Use Restrictions by Senate President Troy Jackson, D-Allagash.
“I am honored that Senate President Troy Jackson has appointed me to chair this new commission tasked with solving one of Maine’s toughest, most vital issues—housing,” said Sen. Hickman. “Maine has a severe housing crisis, and Mainers simply cannot afford to wait around for us to take action. This commission was established by emergency legislation, and we will act accordingly. I’m eager to see what we can accomplish when we come together with purpose and urgency.”
Sen. Hickman currently chairs the Legislature’s Labor and Housing Committee, as well as the Legislature’s Citizen Trade Policy Commission. He previously served as House Chair of the Legislature’s Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry and is currently a member of the Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs.
The Commission to Increase Housing Opportunities in Maine by Studying Zoning and Land Use Restrictions will meet and review data on housing shortages in the State for low-income and middle-income households. The Commission will review state laws that affect the local regulation of housing and efforts in other states and municipalities to address housing shortages through changes to zoning and land use restrictions. The Commission will also consider measures that would encourage increase housing options in the state. Options include municipal incentives, state mandates, eliminating or limiting single-family-only zones, and allowing greater housing density near transit, jobs, schools and neighborhood centers. The Commission will also review and consider the historical role of race and racism in zoning policies and the best measures to ensure that state and municipal zoning laws do not serve as barriers to racial equality.