July 21, 2024
Could Bangor, Maine finally be getting a long-term rental registry?

The city of Bangor, Maine has been considering implementing a rental registry for years, going back to recommendations from a housing workgroup report in 2019. With nearly half of city residents living in rental units, the quality and affordability of rentals has a major impact. Bangoreans have been waiting to see if the City Council will take action, and there are signs of progress based on a recent memo from Robyn Stanicki.

The memo outlines plans for community outreach and engagement to get feedback on ideas related to improving rental housing quality and affordability in Bangor. Previous Council discussions have endorsed the 2019 recommendation for a rental registration program which would help inventory available rental units and evaluate housing needs.

A registry could have multiple benefits – allowing better tracking of the local rental market, prioritizing health and safety with inspections, and connecting landlords and renters with city programs providing financial assistance for repairs and upgrades. Making housing more affordable aligns with Council goals to promote community well-being.

The memo states that preliminary conversations have found general support from property owners and managers to collaborate on housing priorities. Community Development staff will be compiling input and recommendations to present to City Council by the end of March.

This outreach and proposal development suggests Bangor leadership is taking steps toward finally establishing a rental registry in line with what housing advocates have requested. While nothing is definite yet, there is reason for optimism that after years of waiting, the city will approve a registry system and requirements for the large local rental market during 2023.

Concerned Bangor citizens should plan to make their voices heard by participating in outreach opportunities and following the City Council’s response to the upcoming March proposals. This registry could impact thousands of Bangor renters and landlords, so progress on this initiative demands close attention in the weeks and months ahead.