Maine voters will have an opportunity to weigh in on a $15 million housing bond to build affordable senior housing across the state.

The bond heads to the ballot this November after Gov. Paul LePage failed to sign or veto the bill in the 10-day period afforded to him by the Maine Constitution.

“We are faced with a very real need for affordable housing for older adults all across the state. Now is the time to take action to address this problem,” said Rep. Christine Burstein, D-Lincolnville, cosponsor of the measure and member of the Legislature’s Health and Human Services Committee. “This bond will begin to bridge the growing gap between our state’s need and existing homes. It’s an important step to help aging Mainers live independently and will also benefit our economy.”

Maine has a shortage of nearly 9,000 affordable rental homes for low-income older people, a shortfall projected to grow to more than 15,000 by 2022 unless action is taken to address the problem, according to a report by independent national research firm Abt Associates. The state also has the oldest population and the eighth-oldest housing stock in the nation.

House Speaker Mark Eves, D-North Berwick, sponsored the bond measure as part of his “KeepME Home” plan to help seniors live independently in their homes and communities.