The BDN is exploring Maine’s housing crisis from every possible angle, from how it affects home prices, to what it means for Mainers across the state. Read our ongoing coverage here and fill out this form to tell us what you want to know.

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine Gov. Janet Mills commiserated with Republican colleagues in New Hampshire and Massachusetts over workforce housing challenges on Thursday during a tourism session of the National Governors Association.

All three governors pushed housing as a top issue for economies as panelists tried to redirect the conversation. The session was primarily focused on how the economy is affecting people’s travel plans and how to overcome it, with tips ranging from advertising unique features of the states to working to make tourism a viable career path.

Mills said while Maine is seeing plenty of visitors and spending this year, the lack of affordable housing for seasonal employees is a “major impediment” to ensuring businesses are able to operate. Govs. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire and Charlie Baker of Massachusetts joined in, showing a glimpse of collaboration the governors say is key to the three-day conference.

“Young people want to work in resorts. They cannot afford it,” said Sununu, a Republican who was the CEO of Waterville Valley ski resort before running for governor in 2016. “There’s literally no place for them to live. They don’t want to drive an hour to get to work at a hotel.”

A national housing crisis has hammered Maine since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, driven in part by increased migration. Businesses have had to take more extreme measures to house employees, in some cases even purchasing housing. In Portland, there will be dueling referendums on how to better regulate short-term rentals this fall.

Sununu specifically targeted Vrbo, an online vacation rental website, saying the company’s renters have taken up so many properties that towns are considering banning the company altogether. Baker then chimed in, saying Massachusetts had to provide support to places looking to build housing on Cape Cod to ensure workers have a place to stay.

The New Hampshire governor said after the panel that New England governors had met prior to the conference this weekend to discuss energy issues, specifically the costs of home heating oil and ensuring the grid will not go down as it has in other parts of the country.

New Hampshire is an outlier in New England as the only state to not have a statutory mandate for greenhouse gas reductions. It has not updated its climate plan since 2009. Under Mills, a Democrat, Maine has enshrined lofty goals including decreasing emissions 45 percent by 2030 and being carbon neutral by 2045.

Mills had said earlier in the day she was most looking forward to speaking with her New England counterparts during the conferences, noting they have a lot in common. She dismissed a question about whether Sununu’s Wednesday campaign stop with former Gov. Paul LePage would prevent them from collaborating, calling regional Republican governors her friends.

She stressed during opening remarks the need to overcome political differences to find consensus on issues they all face.

“It’s division and rancor that always makes the headlines,” she said. “But hard work is what is making life better for Maine people.”