On Monday, March 4th, the Brunswick Town Council held a public hearing on extending the current moratorium on building shelters. After several community members voiced their concerns with the time it has taken for the town to make a decision on a zoning ordinance for shelters, most in full support of Tedford Housing, a vote was not taken. The vote on extending the moratorium is now expected to occur on March 18th when all council members will be present. Following are the meeting documents posted on the town’s website today:
- March 18, 2019 Meeting Agenda This agenda includes a discussion of “potential performance standards related to the regulation of homeless shelters and consider setting a public hearing for April 16, 2019” as well as the vote on the “Second Extension of the Emergency Moratorium Ordinance on the Location of Shelters.”
- March 18, 2019 Full Meeting Packet (141 pages)
- March 18, 2019 Meeting Packet with Tedford-related Materials Only (47 pages)
It is our understanding that the next step in this process, once a vote to extend the moratorium is complete, is for the town council to review a comprehensive list of possible performance standards that would go into effect for shelters along with the zoning ordinance. The council will review each standard and vote to keep or reject each standard, line by line. Both the zoning ordinance and the performance standards will need to be voted on, with public hearings, in order to be finalized.
There was an excellent turnout of Tedford Housing supporters at this last meeting. We hope to see more of this as we keep moving forward in this long process. If you are looking for ways in which to show your support for Tedford’s comprehensive and important approach to creating pathways from homelessness to home in our community, here are a few actions steps you can take:
- Attend upcoming meetings and workshops and consider speaking about how valuable a resource Tedford is to the community. The Brunswick Town Council meets on the first and third Monday at 6:30pm. (You can find posted agendas from the town here or look for updates on our website here. We are guessing there may be 3 – 5 more meetings before a zoning ordinance and any performance standard is finalized.)
- If you are a Brunswick resident, you can contact your town council representative directly (a list of members can be found here).
- Write a letter to the editor of The Times Record (find guidelines here)
Here are a few talking points to consider:
- Tedford Housing’s vision will help reduce the high amount of individuals and families turned away every month, while also increasing efficiencies in delivering our essential programs and services. (Our FY2018 program and financial stats can be found here.)
- A comprehensive approach will result in the reduced risk of homelessness in the Brunswick area community, a faster return to housing stability for youth, adults and families, healthier households and increased self-sufficiency.
- It is important that Brunswick, as a regional center, includes districts that allow services to help our neighbors who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.
- Any performance standard must be reasonable and should not single out shelters. Tedford is an organization that has been in the community for over 30 years and is already held to a number of best practices and other accountabilities through Maine Housing and other funding resources.
If you have any questions regarding Tedford Housing, this project or anything related to the zoning ordinance process, contact executive director Craig Phillips at 207-729-1161, #102 or firstname.lastname@example.org.