Press Release: Nonprofit Avesta Housing Introduces Paid Parental Leave as Employee Benefit

January 16, 2018

For Immediate Release

Contact: Sara Olson, Director of Development and Communications

Cell: 207-317-3914 | Email: SOlson@AvestaHousing.org

Nonprofit Avesta Housing Introduces Paid Parental Leave as Employee Benefit

Portland, MAINE – Portland-based nonprofit Avesta Housing announces the addition of paid parental leave to its employee benefits package, effective January 1, 2018. The parental leave allows for eight weeks of leave at 100% pay for birth mothers and four weeks of leave at 100% pay for all other parents. The policy includes paid leave time for women and men, biological births and adoptions, and full- and part-time employees.

Founded in 1972 with a staff of three, Avesta Housing currently has 133 employees in its primary operations. Avesta President & CEO Dana Totman says of the addition to benefits, “Avesta has been very successful helping communities through affordable housing over the years. That success stems in large part from our incredibly talented, hardworking, and devoted employees. I’m proud that we’re able to offer paid parental leave to our staff. I fully anticipate it will enhance employee satisfaction, retention, and recruitment.”

According to the Society for Human Resource Management’s 2016 Employee Benefits Research Report, only 17% of employers in the U.S. have a paid-parental-leave plan for both parents.

 

 

About Avesta Housing

Avesta Housing is a nonprofit affordable housing provider with over 40 years of experience as a leader in affordable housing development and property management in southern Maine and New Hampshire. The organization is headquartered in Portland, Maine and currently has more than 80 properties and 2,400 apartments in its portfolio. Avesta’s mission is to improve lives and strengthen communities by promoting and providing quality affordable homes for people in need. Its five areas of focus are advocacy, development, property management, senior and assisted living, and home ownership. www.AvestaHousing.org

Avesta, shop owner partner to help build a community in South Portland

On paper, the 64-apartment mixed-use development planned for South Portland’s Westbrook Street looks simply like a response to the need for affordable apartments in the city.

But the development, a partnership between Avesta Housing and Portland businessman Quang Nguyen, is also a key player in the city’s effort to make a loose group of large apartment complexes into a community.

A neighborhood hub is important, said Dana Totman, president of Avesta, a nonprofit organization that owns 80 properties in Maine and New Hampshire. “It creates a sense of community, a sense of identity. It creates trust, and a place where neighbors help one another.”

Mainebiz

South Portland planners OK $13M Avesta Housing project

SOUTH PORTLAND — A $13 million, 64-unit mixed-income housing project approved for Westbrook Street could be on track to have tenants move in by September 2019.

The Planning Board Tuesday night unanimously approved the final plan application from Avesta Housing for the five-story, mixed-use project at 586-600 Westbrook St.

Design plans include four floors of rental housing, ranging from studios to three- bedroom apartments, above a 4,000-square-foot retail area on the first floor. An office space for the Opportunity Alliance’s Neighborhood Resource Hub will also occupy the first floor.

Juliette Laaka

the Forecaster

New Tax Bill Could Reduce Affordable Housing By Half, Advocates Say

As Congress moves through the process of potentially passing a major tax reform package, we’re still just starting to get a sense of what’s in the package now, what might be in the final plan and what the implications might be.

Advocates for affordable housing in Maine are saying the package could be disastrous both for preserving the affordable housing that already exists and for efforts to build new homes.

Maine Things Considered Host Nora Flaherty interviewed Diane Yentel, president and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, in Portland Tuesday at a meeting of about 75 affordable housing organizations and advocates at the University of Southern Maine.

Nora Flaherty

Maine Public

House bill threatens financing tool for future low-income housing, other nonprofits

A provision in the House Republican tax reform bill could eliminate funding for hundreds of new low-income apartments and home loans in Maine, and might substantially increase construction costs for hospitals, colleges and other institutions.

Maine’s congressional delegation is rallying to try to save an obscure program called private activity bonds that was eliminated in the House version of a tax bill pending in Congress. Private activity bonds allow private, nonprofit institutions to sell bonds, with tax-free interest, to pay for capital improvements such as new buildings and infrastructure and to fund other programs like student loans.

Peter McGuire

Portland Press Herald

Parkside project set for Portland Planning Board hearing

PORTLAND — Avesta Housing’s plan to add 80 housing units in Parkside will face a Wednesday, Dec. 13, hearing before the Planning Board.

Deering Place would consist of 27 apartments at 61 Deering St., plus 33 new apartments, renovations to 13 and turning existing commercial space into seven apartments in a building at 510 Cumberland Ave.

The plans were last reviewed by the city Historic Preservation Committee on Nov. 29.

On Nov. 27, city councilors unanimously approved allocating $300,000 for the project from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development HOME funds. The City Council also established a tax increment finance zone with a credit enhancement agreement that returns 75 percent of increased property tax assessments to the nonprofit for 30 years.

David Harry

the Forecaster

Avesta Housing report details severe shortage of affordable housing

Demand for affordable housing in southern Maine greatly exceeds the available supply, according to Avesta Housing’s affordable housing activity report for the first three quarters of 2017.

Avesta Housing, a Portland-based nonprofit that has more than 80 properties and 2,400 apartments in its portfolio, reported that 2,077 households were on its waiting list for affordable housing at the end of September. From January through September, 2,980 households sought an affordable home from Avesta, which was only able to help 278 households, or 9% of the requests.

Monthly requests for affordable housing that Avesta receives have increased nearly 30% since 2014, Avesta reported in a news release announcing its report.

Mainebiz

Nonprofit Says It Has Seen A Big Spike In People Seeking Affordable Housing

A nonprofit organization that owns 2,200 affordable housing units in southern Maine and southern New Hampshire says it has seen a large increase in the number of people seeking those accommodations.

Avesta Housing Development Officer Greg Payne says, through the first three quarters of this year, nearly 3,000 households have contacted the organization looking for an affordable place to live.

“But in that same period of time we were only able to help 278 households move into an apartment, and that’s because the housing that we do have is filled, for the most part, and there’s very limited turnover and there’s so few dollars available to create new housing,” he says.

Ed Morin

Maine Public

Press Release: Nonprofit Avesta Housing faces increasingly high demand for affordable housing

November 30, 2017
For Immediate Release
Contact: Sara Olson, Director of Development and Communications
cell: 207-317-3914 | email: SOlson@AvestaHousing.org

Nonprofit Avesta Housing faces increasingly high demand for affordable housing

Portland, MAINE — Avesta Housing has released its Affordable Housing Activity Report for the first three quarters of 2017.

Key findings:

  • Only 9% of households seeking affordable housing find housing with Avesta due to very high demand relative to vacancies
  • 2,077 households were on Avesta’s wait list for affordable housing at the end of September 2017

The monthly requests for affordable housing that Avesta receives have increased nearly 30% since 2014.

The entire Affordable Housing Activity Report can be found on Avesta’s website, in the Our News and Statistics section. The Affordable Housing Activity Report is a tool Avesta developed to provide key information about the local demand for affordable homes. Avesta tracks this data in a comprehensive way to better understand the region’s housing needs and the best ways to address them.

About Avesta Housing
Avesta Housing is a nonprofit affordable housing provider with over 40 years of experience as a leader in affordable housing development and property management in southern Maine and New Hampshire. The organization is headquartered in Portland, Maine and currently has more than 80 properties and 2,400 apartments in its portfolio. Avesta’s mission is to improve lives and strengthen communities by promoting and providing quality affordable homes for people in need. Its five areas of focus are advocacy, development, property management, senior and assisted living, and home ownership.
www.AvestaHousing.org

Avesta Housing pitches 64-unit mixed-use project in West End of South Portland

SOUTH PORTLAND — Avesta Housing submitted a much-anticipated proposal to city planners Thursday for a 64-unit housing project that would be built in the city’s West End neighborhood and target mostly low-income families.

The five-story West End Apartments would be built at 586 Westbrook St., site of Le Variety and the West End Neighborhood Resource Hub, and would include ground-level commercial space for both the convenience store and the social services agency, according to Avesta’s application.

The $13 million project is being developed in collaboration with store owner and entrepreneur Quang Nguyen of Portland, who purchased a small parcel next door last summer because he wanted Avesta to build housing on the combined properties.

Kelley Bouchard

Portland Press Herald