The State House in Augusta stands out against a blue sky on Wednesday Jan. 20, 2021. Credit: Troy R. Bennett / BDN

AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine is considering establishing a commission to take a look at barriers to creating affordable housing in the state.

Much of Maine has been in a housing crunch in recent months. House Speaker Ryan Fecteau, a Biddeford Democrat, has proposed a review of zoning and land use restrictions in the state as a step toward fixing that problem.

Fecteau said the state is in the midst of an “affordable housing crisis” and that his proposal would help reduce red tape that prevents the development of more housing options. He said a “web of various zoning and land use ordinances and state laws are preventing sensible affordable housing projects” from gaining approval in Maine.

The proposal was the subject of a public hearing in the Maine Legislature’s Labor and Housing Committee on Monday. It would face more action in committee before it could go before the full Legislature.