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Sebago Maine Town Seal
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Housing Statistics
G.  HOUSING

Changes in Total Housing Stock

During the past 20 years, Sebago has experienced some housing growth, but not to the extent experienced by a number of nearby communities. Table 1 includes a summary of the changes in total housing stock since 1980 in Sebago, a number of adjacent communities, Cumberland County and the State of Maine.  Between 1980 and 1990, the total housing stock in Sebago (seasonal and year-round) grew by 214 units, or 22%.  The Town’s rate of housing growth was greater than that of Cumberland County (20%) and the State of Maine (17%), but less than that of all other communities shown in the table except Baldwin (6%), Standish (21%) and Windham (16%).   According to Census information, Sebago grew by only 38 units or 3% between 1990 and 2000. This rate of growth was smaller than that of any jurisdiction shown in Table 1. However, Town records indicate that Sebago issued permits for 119 units during that period, not counting replacements, so the Census data does not appear to be accurate.



Table 1
Changes In Total Housing Stock

Total Number of Units
Increases, 1980-90
Increases, 1990-00
1980
1990
2000
#
%
#
%
Sebago
988
1,202
1,240
214
22
38
3
Baldwin
482
512
577
30
6
65
13
Bridgton
2,061
2,921
3,063
860
42
1,002
49
Casco
1,222
1,677
1,958
455
37
281
17
Denmark
695
945
969
250
36
274
39
Hiram
536
693
769
157
29
76
11
Naples
1,462
1,946
2,381
484
33
919
63
Raymond
1,642
2,050
2,534
408
25
484
24
Standish
2,956
3,569
3,987
613
21
418
12
Windham
4,469
5,200
6,088
731
16
888
17
Cumberland Co.
91,791
109,890
122,600
18,099
20
12,710
12
State of Maine
501,093
587,045
651,901
85,952
17
64,856
11
Source: U.S. Census, 1980, 1990, 2000



Selected Characteristics of Housing Units

Table 2 contains 2000 Census information on selected housing characteristics including total housing units, the number and percentage of year-round dwelling units, the number and percentage of seasonal dwellings, the percentage of owner occupied units, and the percentage of renter occupied units.  In 2000, a little over half (53%) of dwelling units in Sebago were year-round dwellings. Sebago had the smallest percentage of year-round dwellings of any comparison jurisdiction except Denmark (46%). Approximately 85% of Sebago’s year-round dwellings were owner-occupied.  This figure is comparable to most of the communities shown in Table 2, but it’s higher than in Cumberland County 67%) or the State (72%).



Table 2
Selected Characteristics of Housing Units - 2000

Total Dwelling Units
Year  Round Dwelling Units
Seasonal Dwelling Units
Owner Occupied

Renter Occupied
#
#
%
#
%
%
%
Sebago
1,240
658
53
582
47
85
15
Baldwin
577
503
87
74
13
88
12
Bridgton
3,063
2,049
67
1,014
33
74
26
Casco
1,958
1,385
71
573
29
83
17
Denmark
969
449
46
520
54
87
13
Hiram
769
581
76
188
24
83
17
Naples
2,381
1,394
59
987
42
83
17
Raymond
2,534
1,675
66
859
34
87
13
Standish
3,987
3,299
83
688
17
88
12
Windham
6,088
5,659
93
429
7
81
19
Cumberland County
122,600
111,754
91
10,846
9
67
33
State of Maine
651,901
550,431
84
101,470
16
72
28
Source: U.S. Census, 2000



Housing Types

The predominant housing type in Sebago is the single-family dwelling. Table 3 contains a breakdown of housing units by housing type, as reported in the 2000 Census.  In 2000, 913% of the housing units in Sebago were single family dwellings.  This is a much higher percentage than in Cumberland County (63%) or the State as a whole (67%), and is higher than all comparison communities except Raymond.



Table 3
Housing Unit by Type of Structure

Single Family Detached
Single Family Attached

Mobile Home


Duplex

Multi - Family
Boat, RV, Van, Etc.


Total
#
%
Sebago
1,127
91
11
79
14
3
6
1,240
Baldwin
473
82
5
88
11
-
-
577
Bridgton
2,371
77
147
194
114
223
14
3,063
Casco
1,608
82
29
242
42
37
-
1,958
Denmark
868
90
17
59
19
6
-
969
Hiram
622
81
5
112
16
4
10
769
Naples
1,977
83
73
262
10
53
6
2,381
Raymond
2,361
93
28
34
54
57
-
2,534
Standish
3,345
84
22
462
82
76
-
3,987
Windham
4,881
80
184
254
240
529
-
6,088
Cumberland County
77,307
63
5,071
5,636
8,657
25,887
42
122,600
State of Maine
439,459
67
14,387
63,902
36,565
95,777
1,811
651,901
Source: U.S. Census, 2000


Housing Age and Services

Table 4 contains information on the age of housing and the percentage of homes with complete plumbing and kitchen facilities. Statistics on the age of housing have sometimes been used as a measure of the extent of substandard housing, but these are not necessarily a reliable gauge.  Old housing in Sebago does not necessarily mean deteriorated housing.  As shown in Table 4, Sebago has a lower percentage of homes constructed before 1939 (19%) than the County (29%) and State (29%). Virtually all the homes in Sebago have complete plumbing and kitchen facilities.



Table 4
Year – Round Housing Age And Other  Characteristics – 2000

Structure Built Between
1990-2000
Structure Built Before
1939
Complete
Plumbing
Facilities
Complete
Kitchen
Facilities
%
%
%
%
Sebago
9
19
100
100
Baldwin
16
29
98
100
Bridgton
19
26
99
99
Casco
19
14
99
99
Denmark
19
22
99
98
Hiram
12
39
97
97
Naples
15
11
99
99
Raymond
21
9
100
100
Standish
21
15
99
100
Windham
19
12
99
100
Cumberland County
14
29
100
99
State of Maine
15
29
99
99
Source: U.S. Census, 2000

Housing Affordability

Introduction.  One of the goals set forth in the State’s growth management law is to encourage and promote affordable, decent housing opportunities for all Maine citizens.”  The law is based on the premise that any village or town is a more desirable place in which to live when composed of citizens of all income levels.  Affordable, decent housing to accommodate a portion of all income levels is identified as an important element to providing a foundation for economic balance.  

The State’s growth management law requires that each municipality “…shall seek to achieve a level of 10% of new residential development, based on a 5-year historical average of residential development in the municipality, meeting the definition of affordable housing.”  Affordable housing is defined as an owner-occupied unit whose price results in a monthly housing cost that does not exceed 30% of the household’s gross monthly income.  Monthly cost includes mortgage principal and interest, insurance, real estate taxes and utilities.  A rental unit would follow the same formula, where the monthly rate includes utilities.

Those Mainers most often affected by lack of affordable housing include older citizens (often on fixed incomes) facing increasing maintenance and property taxes, young couples unable to afford their own home, single parents trying to provide a decent home, low income workers seeking a place to live within commuting distance of their jobs, and young adults seeking housing independent of their parents.

Affordable housing can include manufactured housing, multi-family housing, accessory apartments, rental of seasonal housing during off-season times, government assisted housing (both housing for families and the elderly), and group and foster care facilities. In addition, decreased unit sizes, smaller lot sizes, increased density, and reduced frontage requirements can contribute to a community’s affordable housing stock.


Housing Values

The 2000 Census contains a summary of housing values, as reported by a sample of homeowners and shown in Tables 5 and 6.  These estimates of value are based on the perceptions of homeowners and may not reflect actual values or selling prices.  Note that in Sebago 43% of respondents reported a value between $50,000 and $99,000, a range generally considered affordable for low income households in both Sebago and Cumberland County (see Table 6).




Table 5
2000 Housing Costs


Median Monthly Owner Costs

Median Monthly Rental Costs
Median Value Owner Occupied Unit
With Mortgage
Without
Mortgage
30% or more of Income
Gross
Rent
30% or more of Income
Sebago
$99,600
$900
$264
18%
$588
30%
Baldwin
$92,400
$809
$275
27%
$548
28%
Bridgton
$88,700
$865
$303
26%
$480
42%
Casco
$109,500
$888
$308
26%
$536
53%
Denmark
$107,600
$836
$280
16%
$617
33%
Hiram
$79,900
$766
$296
25%
$547
35%
Naples
$106,300
$843
$300
24%
$829
36%
Raymond
$126,900
$1,124
$314
20%
$650
33%
Standish
$120,600
$1,040
$300
20%
$603
35%
Windham
$117,700
$1,015
$311
25%
$629
32%
Cumberland County
$131,200
$1,124
$366
22%
$615
32%
State of Maine
$98,700
$923
$299
20%
$497
27%
Source: 2000 Census






Table 6
Housing Values in 2000

Sebago
Cumberland County
#
%
#
%
Less than $50,000
25
7.6
545
1.0
$50,000-$99,999
142
43.0
12,745
22.6
$100,000-$149,999
95
28.8
22,193
39.3
$150,000-$199,999
33
10.0
9,696
17.2
$200,000-$299,999
25
7.6
7,166
12.7
$300,000 or more
19
3.0
4,058
7.3
Source: 2000 Census

Home Ownership Costs
Based on 2000 Census data as reported by a sample of homeowners and shown in Table 5, the median value of a home in Sebago ($99,600) was much lower than it was in Cumberland County ($131,200) and only slightly higher than in  the State as a whole ($98,700).  Median owner costs with a mortgage ($900) were less than those in Cumberland County ($1,124), and median owner costs without a mortgage ($264) were also lower than in the County ($366).  The percentage of people in Sebago paying 30% or more of their income on homeowner costs (18%) is among the lowest of any jurisdiction shown in Table 5.  

Rental Affordability.  As shown in Table 5, the median gross rent in Sebago ($588) was lower than in Cumberland County ($615), but higher than in the State ($497). The percentage of people in Sebago paying 30% or more of their income on rent (30%) is slightly lower than in Cumberland County (32%), but higher than in the State (27%). The rents shown in Table 5 are reported by tenants and do not take into account the subsidies some may receive in the form of Section 8 housing.

As of 2003, the Maine State Housing Authority reports that 56% of Cumberland County renter households can’t afford the average two-bedroom rent in the Sebago Lakes Region. The figure is 58% for Cumberland County and 59% for Maine, which suggests that rents are now slightly lower in the Sebago Lakes region than they are in Cumberland County or Maine. Nevertheless, rental affordability remains a serious problem in all jurisdictions.


In 2000, the median sale price of a single family dwelling in Sebago was $163,145, and in Cumberland County it was $135,000 (Maine State Housing Authority).  Note that selling prices in both jurisdictions were greater than median housing values as reported by the Census in Table 5, above.  The Maine State Housing Authority also reports that the median sales price of a home in Sebago has declined from $163,145 in 2000, to $130,000 in 2001, and to $129,250 in 2002. However, it increased to $149,000 in 2003.






Affordable Housing Needs Analysis

This section evaluates Sebago’s current and future needs for affordable housing. The basic premise of this section is that the Town of Sebago intends to provide its fair share of the region’s affordable housing supply.

Definitions of Affordability
The starting point for this analysis is to define affordability and examine how affordable or unaffordable Sebago’s housing stock currently is. Affordability will be defined by a combination of HUD’s definitions of very low, low and moderate incomes and Maine State Housing Authority (MSHA) data for Sebago and Cumberland County.

HUD’s affordability definitions are tied to regional median household income levels:

·       Very Low Income is defined as below 50% of the regional median;
·       Low Income is defined as 50%-80% of the regional median; and
·       Moderate Income is defined as 80%-120% of the regional median.

As of 2003, Cumberland County’s median household income level was $50,238, so the HUD affordability definitions would be applied to that figure (see below):

The next step is to define the relationship between household income and housing affordability. MSHA calculates this information for each municipality in Maine each year by using a formula that includes all of the costs of housing – mortgage amount, interest rates, property taxes, utilities, etc. For 2003, the income to price ratio for Cumberland County was 34.60, with a household earning the median income able to afford a home priced at $145,201.

Using the combination of HUD and MSHA data, the income and price levels for households in Sebago are assumed to be as follows (figures are rounded to the nearest thousand):

·       Very Low: Income below $25,000, home price below $71,000
·       Low Income: Income from $25,000 to $40,000, home prices from $71,000 to $116,000
·       Moderate: Income from 40,000 to $60,000; home prices from $116,000 to $174,000.


Housing Affordability and Availability.

MSHA data shows that, on the whole, Cumberland County has one of the least affordable housing markets in the State in terms of relationships between income and housing prices. At the end of 2003, MSHA’s affordability factor for the County was 0.74, meaning that a household earning the County’s median household income ($50,238) could only afford 74% of the purchase price of a home selling for the county’s median home sales price ($195,000). The County’s housing market is getting much less affordable; its affordability index was 0.90 as recently as 2000.

According to MSHA, at the end of 2003, the median household income in Sebago was $42,837, and a household earning this much could afford a home costing $123,158. The median home sale price for this period was $149,000, resulting in an affordability gap of $26,000. However, the affordability gap in Cumberland County was much greater. Countywide, the median income household ($50,238) could afford a home costing $145,201, but the median selling price was $195,000, resulting in an affordability gap of $50,000.

Another measure of affordability tracked by MSHA is the percentage of homes sold above the median affordable level in each town and county. In 2003, 84% of the homes in Cumberland County were sold above the median affordable level of $145,201.  The share of homes in Sebago sold above the median affordable level of $123,158 was 73%.

Current Affordable Housing Need – Gap Analysis.
The current affordable housing gap is measured by comparing Sebago’s current income profile with that of Cumberland County. The central assumption in this analysis is that each community in the county should have an equal share of low to moderate income residents and thus bear its fair share of the region’s affordable housing supply. The following table compares 2000 Census data on very low, low, and moderate-income households for Sebago and Cumberland County to illustrate where the gaps exist.




Table 7
Very Low, Low and Moderate Income Households, 2000
Sebago
Cumberland County
Household Incomes
Number
Percent
Number
Percent
Very Low (<$25k)
138
23.6
27,667
25.6
Low ($25K-$40K)
143
24.5
20,165
18.7
Moderate ($40K - $60K)
177
30.3
28,151
26.1
Market (>60K)
126
21.6
32,054
29.7
Total
584
100
108,037
100

The gap analysis to determine Sebago’s present affordable housing surplus or shortage is based on a calculation of how many more very low, low and moderate income households would need to be housed in Town in order for its income profile to match that of Cumberland County. The calculations are contained in the following table.



Table 8
Affordable House Gap Analysis
Household Incomes
(Affordable Housing Prices)
Current
Affordable Units
Units Needed to Match County Ratios
Affordable Housing Gap (Units)
Very Low (<$60K)
138
150
12
Low ($60K-98K)
143
109
-34
Moderate ($98K - $148K)
177
152
-25
Total
458
411
-47

Based on the gap analysis, there is no affordable housing gap; the Town has 47 more affordable housing units than is needed to meet overall Cumberland County ratios. The Town is providing more than its fair share of housing for both low and moderate income households, but doesn’t quite meet the need for very low income households.



Future Affordable Housing Needs

Maine’s comprehensive planning laws mandate that each municipality seek to achieve a level of at least 10% of new residential development that meets the definition of affordable housing.  Between 2005 and 2015, Sebago’s population is expected to grow by 139 people. Using the average household size reported in the 2000 Census (2.45 persons per household), this will result in 57 new housing units, of which 6 would need to be affordable housing units in order to meet the 10% goal.

If the average household size continues to decline at historical rates, a more realistic household size may be about 2.25 persons per household, in which case a population growth of 139 people would result in 62 new housing units, of which 6 units would need to be affordable housing units.