AUGUSTA  — A legislative commission created to address Maine’s affordable housing crisis proposes the elimination of municipal growth limits on housing, along with relaxed zoning and denser housing projects.

The commission, which was created over the summer, issued nine recommendations Tuesday as the state deals with a housing crunch that has priced many families out of the market.

It proposes a state law to allow “accessory dwelling units” in areas where single-family homes are allowed, to allow more housing units on residential lots, and to prohibit municipal growth caps on new homes.

Bonuses would be offered to encourage denser residential units for low- to middle-income housing projects. The panel also proposes a state-level appeals board to review the rejection of local affordable housing projects.

“We know Mainers are facing an affordable housing crisis. In too many municipalities, a web of various zoning and land use ordinances and state laws, some decades old, are preventing sensible affordable housing projects,” House Speaker Ryan Fecteau, who served on the panel, said in a statement.

A red-hot real estate market is contributing to the affordable housing shortage in both cities and rural areas in Maine.

The Maine Affordable Housing Coalition contends one in five renters spends more than half of income on housing and that there are three families on a waiting list for every family in a federally subsidized unit.

The commission’s recommendations will be considered by the Legislature. The panel was staffed with Fecteau and three other lawmakers, a representative from the governor’s office and the director of MaineHousing.

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