A plan to build a new affordable housing building in Cape Elizabeth was canceled by developers. Credit: CBS 13

CAPE ELIZABETH, Maine — The controversial affordable housing project in Cape Elizabeth has now been canceled by the developers.

The proposed project, called Dunham Court, was going to include a 46-unit building near Cape Elizabeth Town Center.

The proposal stated 37 of those units would have been designated as “affordable” and set aside for households with an income less than 60 percent of the Portland-area median income.

Earlier this month, a group opposing the project successfully petitioned to send the issue to a public referendum set for next month, but developers are now canceling the project altogether.

The developers say it was no longer viable to move forward with the project in wake of the referendum. They stated they are businesspeople and builders and “don’t run political campaigns.”

Those who had hoped the project would move forward said affordable housing is desperately needed in the community.

“People in our town need this, our seniors need this, our single mothers of children need this, these are the groups that we are gaining, we are losing married families with children,” Maureen Clancy with Cape Citizens for Affordable Housing said.

While opponents agreed some form of affordable housing is needed in the community, they believed the location of the proposal wouldn’t work.

“I haven’t spoken to anybody who’s opposed to the idea of, and the need for, affordable housing options in Cape Elizabeth,” Cape Elizabeth Town Councilor Tim Reiniger said. “The issue really comes down to what about the Town Center.”

Reiniger, and others who oppose the project, brought up concerns about how it could have impacted the future of the town’s center, which is mostly made up of commercial businesses.