Lincoln County Housing Study

Request for Proposals

HOUSING STUDY FOR LINCOLN COUNTY

June 3, 2022

PURPOSE

Lincoln County, in coordination with the Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission (LCRPC), is seeking a consultant to prepare a comprehensive housing study of Lincoln County, including providing short- and long-term recommendations on how to address the current housing crisis. A focus on actions to create more affordable housing opportunities should be included as part of this study.

BACKGROUND

Lincoln County is located in midcoast Maine, and is a rural county consisting of nineteen (19) communities, a mix of coastal and inland towns. The 2020 U.S. Census population estimate for the County is 34,775 residents. Lincoln County does not contain any U.S. Census designated Metropolitan areas.

Lincoln County’s limited housing stock and housing costs have been challenged by several major factors: coastal issues of second-home retirement (long-term); short-term rentals (since 2010 or so); competition for workforce housing; and a lack of public infrastructure, especially inland.

Since 2017, the County has been an increasingly unaffordable place to live and in 2021 became the most unaffordable county in Maine for homeownership according to MaineHousing. Rents are unaffordable – as they are throughout much of Maine, and have been so in  Lincoln County since 2000 (per MaineHousing data).  

The County does not have a county-wide housing authority or agency, and no direct housing services (e.g., homelessness prevention) provided by any state agency within the County’s boundaries. Several non-profit/volunteer organizations provide support, such as Rebuilding Together, Community Housing Improvement Project (CHIP), Habitat for Humanity, Midcoast Community Action, Ecumenical Homeless Prevention Coalition, Stepping Stones, and Tedford. These organizations have specific and limited roles and capacities.

SCOPE

The successful consultant will work directly with LCRPC staff and produce a comprehensive housing study for Lincoln County, which will include, but is not limited to:

  • Analyze current supply of and demand for housing (tenure, type, homeownership, rentals, new construction trends, demographics, selected economic data, special populations, etc.).
  • Prepare a town-by-town housing profile (housing stock, population, housing trends, affordability, homeownership costs and rents, short-term rentals, cost-burden, selected demographic characteristics, homelessness, housing quality, and mobile home parks).
  • Using Census, MaineHousing, and other data, prepare an assessment of how different demographic groups in Lincoln County are impacted by housing supply and cost trends (i.e., low income families, seniors, and disabled residents, for example).
  • Identify factors contributing to the housing shortage in Lincoln County.
  • Using a 20-year timeline, compare Lincoln County’s housing affordability data to State and Federal data to identify local and non-local factors in both affordable and unaffordable housing situations.
  • Estimate future demand for different housing types and markets, including the County’s unmet housing needs (again, for a range of housing types and markets).
  • Assess the impact of LD 2003 and other State legislation on County housing opportunities, including the potential to increase housing units (both affordable and market rate), impact on municipal zoning ordinances and Comprehensive Plans, and any unintended consequences from the legislation (i.e., does LD 2003 open the door to an influx of short-term rentals?). 
  • Recommend immediate and future actions to be taken by the County, individual municipalities or multiple towns, and/or other entities.
    • Take into account various town goals (rural values, infrastructure plans, etc.)
    • Prepare a map(s) identifying potential growth areas.
    • Identify HUD, MaineHousing, ARPA and other funding sources to be used to implement goals and recommendations.
    • Provide strategies to create effective capacity in Lincoln County to implement priority goals.

The selected consultant and LCRPC staff will meet to review and finalize the full scope of work prior to executing a contract for services.

PROCESS

Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission (LCRPC) will be accepting proposals through 3:00PM on Thursday, June 30, 2022. Formal proposals should be sent electronically to Mary Ellen Barnes, LCRPC Executive Director at mbarnes@lcrpc.org.

Proposals will be evaluated by a selection committee consisting of the Lincoln County Administrator and LCRPC staff and will be based on:

  1. Qualifications: Please submit the names and qualifications of your project team. Experience related to the housing sector need only be referenced here and may be detailed in Number 2 below. Maximum one (1) page per project lead.
  1. Experience with Housing: Describe project lead roles in data analysis; housing supply and demand  assessment and forecasting; housing implementation models; and public and private funding resources. Additional project materials may be included - in an addendum. Please also provide summaries of team-produced housing reports (data analyses, full assessments with action steps, etc.)
  1. Capacity to Accomplish Scope of Services: Please include on two (2) pages maximum a summary narrative and timeline on how the Scope will be accomplished. Note: part of the requirements of this contract is to participate in conversations with LCRPC staff on housing study objectives and recommendations, and to incorporate any public feedback and input.
  1. Feasible Budget: Please provide on one (1) page a list of delineated costs (time, materials, expenses, and travel) to successfully complete this project.

CONTRACT TYPE

This is a fixed-price contract, inclusive of all services rendered to Lincoln County. Contracts will be paid monthly, following receipt and review of monthly invoices to Lincoln County.

ADDITIONAL DETAILS

Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission is a department of Lincoln County government. LCRPC also has a 20-person Advisory Board, representing Lincoln County towns. This contract is funded by Lincoln County through a Special Projects budget for FY2022.

CONTACT PERSON

Questions or clarifications may be directed to the contact below until Monday, June 20. After this date, the contact may not comment on the substance of the proposals until directed to by the County Commissioners.

Mary Ellen Barnes

LCRPC Executive Director

mbarnes@lcrpc.org(207) 882-5983





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