In March 2020, I moved in with my mom “temporarily.” Then COVID hit, and it just made sense for me to stay there with her.

Here we are two years later, still sharing the kitchen, and I am in the process of looking for other housing.

If you were not aware, in the midst of a deadly global pandemic Maine is also facing mental health, opioid, climate, employment, inflation and HOUSING crises. You have probably heard about this already.

The housing problem in Knox County is multifaceted, like most social problems. Not many apartments are available, and the ones that are require jumping through massive hoops. Huge deposits, background checks, pay stubs, references and NO PETS ALLOWED!

One-bedroom apartments are being rented for more than $1,000 a month. Initial renting often requires first, last and a deposit. That means it can cost $4,000 just to move in. I have seen places advertised with initial deposits that go all the way up to the $6,000 range.

The other day I saw an apartment advertised — a place I used to live. For the same utilities and services that were included when I lived there, the monthly rent has now more than doubled — from $550 to $1,200.

I was able to view an apartment a few weeks ago — which is a minor miracle in itself — but of course I was competing with dozens of other people. I had no chance of being offered this place.

I know many people my own age around the state who are also living with family members — because the other option is homelessness. These are people who are dynamic, ambitious individuals with professional jobs, but there is no housing available for them.

I have spoken with people who find housing as part of their jobs — community coordinators, etc. They are also facing the same problem. There is no affordable housing available, even for people with housing vouchers.

A visit to the Midcoast Maine rentals Facebook group reveals post after post of people looking for homes.

Then there are the scams, of course. People posting fake housing advertisements in an attempt to steal money away from folks desperate for housing.

Our housing situation in Knox County has become so problematic Rockland lost a candidate for Police Chief. The job was offered to someone, and that someone turned it down due to a lack of available housing.

What is the solution? I have no idea — but I am also not an elected representative.

Some towns have started to look into this problem and find ways to solve it — as they should — but any new housing will take time to build.

Rockland has the housing development with Midcoast Habitat for Humanity, and some apartments planned for downtown.

Thomaston is looking into a land swap in June to partner with a Maine nonprofit and build some housing.

Meanwhile, the crisis continues, and my mother and I must continue to balance a kitchen schedule. At least this house has multiple bathrooms.