ELLSWORTH — City officials want to know what active, independent seniors have for local housing options right now and what they would like to see more of in the future.
To that end, a survey is arriving in mailboxes this week targeting households with residents 55 and older. The four-page survey is going out to residents in Ellsworth and two dozen surrounding communities.
“Ellsworth will use the results of the survey to evaluate how well its housing stock can accommodate the future housing needs of the region,” City Planner Michele Gagnon said in a news release. “While many households may be satisfied with their current housing, others may want housing alternatives that are not readily available within the area.”
Demographics show the issue of housing for seniors is of growing importance in Maine and Hancock County. The median age in the Pine Tree State as of July 1, 2014, was 44.2, the highest in the country (the national median age is 37.7).
Hancock County has the third-highest median age in the state (47.9 years), behind only Lincoln and Piscataquis counties.
The City Council earlier this year approved paying up to $32,000 to study the issue of senior housing, of which this survey is part.
“The needs right now are chronic,” said Council Chairman Bob Crosthwaite when the council discussed the matter. “We really need to address this.”
The city is working with BCM Planning of New Gloucester, which in turn is having Pan Atlantic Research manage the survey.
Gagnon is asking for surveys to be returned (a postage-paid return envelope is provided) by Friday, July 17. Three respondents will be selected to receive a $75 Hannaford gift card.
Anyone with questions about the survey can contact Gagnon by calling 669-6608 or emailing her at [email protected] Jason Edes, director of research at Pan Atlantic Research, may be reached by calling 221-8877 or by emailing [email protected]