Target: Paul LePage, Governor of Maine
Goal: End unjust evictions of the poor and mentally disabled in Portland, Maine.
Portland, Maine has one of the fastest growing housing markets in the state with a 40 percent increase of the population in the past five years. As a result, the price of housing is also on a rapid rise. One unfortunate result of this is that renters of low socioeconomic status are being evicted without reason in order to make the apartments available to renters who are able to pay more and are not on housing assistance. Many of these renters that are facing evictions are bound to become homeless, since they are currently in the most affordable housing that the city has to offer.
The individuals who receive state housing assistance have even fewer places to go than before. Property owners are able to get more money out of individuals who pay for their housing than those who use housing vouchers. As a result, over 50 percent of individuals who are receiving housing assistance currently have nowhere to go. With the current situation as it is, these tenants will be legally forced out by March 19 at the latest, and if they are unable to find housing before then, they will become homeless.
By signing the petition below, you will help urge the Governor of Maine to put an end to the gentrification that will potentially force low-income renters into homelessness. These vulnerable individuals deserve the protection of the state from unjust evictions.
Dear Governor LePage,
The rapid increase of the population of Portland, Maine has led to a dramatic increase in the price of housing. The group that is feeling the negative consequences of this price increase the most are the tenants of low income housing, which is mainly inhabited by individuals of low socioeconomic status or the mentally handicapped. At this time, these tenants only have until March 19 at the latest to find other housing before they become homeless.
A significant number of these tenants that could potentially become homeless are individuals receiving housing assistance from the state who pay their rent with vouchers. Unfortunately, the landlords are able to get more money from renters who pay cash than those who provide housing vouchers, leaving them no incentive to keep tenants or renew leases. Furthermore, the lease laws in Maine are significantly vague as to not provide any protection to these renters from the sharp increase in housing prices, allowing landlords to break leases partway through, and providing no protection to renters once leases have lapsed.
I am urging you to protect these low income individuals and families from unjust evictions due to gentrification. Please take actions to enforce policies that protect people of low socioeconomic status from losing the one place they can afford to live.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Balint Misetics