Best Places to Work in Maine: And the winners are …

Three companies, two of them repeat winners, topped a field of 75 finalists to be named “Best Place to Work in Maine” at an awards ceremony Tuesday night at the Augusta Civic Center.

Edward Jones, Patriot Subaru of Saco and Maine Information Network — respectively, the large, medium and small company winners — were named top places to work in the 13th year of the program sponsored by Maine State Council of the Society for Human Resources Management.

About 650 people, most of them from the 75 companies that made the final cut, attended Tuesday’s awards ceremony. The 75 finalists were announced in August.

Mainebiz

Brunswick library series to examine housing affordability

BRUNSWICK — As homelessness becomes more of an issue in town, Curtis Memorial Library will be holding a series of community conversations this fall on affordable housing.

All the sessions will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. at the library. “Housing Vulnerability & Homelessness” will launch the series Thursday, Oct. 18. “The Local Landscape” will be Tuesday, Oct. 30 and the final session, “Promising Practices,” will be Thursday, Nov. 29.

According to Tedford Housing’s website, in fiscal year 2018, 87 single adults and 15 families were housed in the Brunswick emergency shelters, and 450 people were helped with prevention services. Tedford, however, can also only assist about 20 percent of people who need help.

The Forecaster

Press Release: TD Charitable Foundation Supports Avesta Housing with Donation

For Immediate Release

October 2, 2018

Media Contacts:

TD Bank

Kelley Gelinas

Cell: 603-339-2857 | Email: Kelley.Gelinas@td.com

Avesta Housing

Sara Olson, Director of Development & Communications

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

 

TD Charitable Foundation Supports Avesta Housing with Donation

October 2, 2018 – Portland, Maine – The TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, recently donated a total of $30,000 to the Avesta Housing NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center as part of the foundation’s commitment to giving back to the community.

The Avesta HomeOwnership Center has a mission to increase responsible homeownership and revitalize neighborhoods. It primarily serves low- to moderate-income families in Cumberland County, specifically people who are first-time home buyers or who already own a home they need help repairing or improving; people who are experiencing or are at risk of foreclosure; and people in need of credit counseling or financial planning services. The funds from the TD Charitable Foundation will build the Avesta HomeOwnership Center’s capacity to serve the community.

Avesta Housing President & CEO Dana Totman remarked on the donation, “TD Bank has been a strong supporter of our HomeOwnership Center since we opened its doors in 2012. Their generosity has enabled us to support thousands of low- and moderate-income Mainers who are seeking stability in their homeownership and personal finances.”

“TD is proud to partner with Avesta in expanding their capacity to help keep Cumberland County residents housed and financially secure,” said Larry Wold, Market President for TD Bank. “Many TD employees live and work in Maine, so our partnership with Avesta provides a way for us to help our neighbors find and keep affordable housing and achieve financial stability.”

A staunch commitment to active involvement in the local community is a vital element of the TD Bank philosophy. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank® and the TD Charitable Foundation provide support to affordable housing, financial literacy and education, and environmental initiatives, many of which focus on improving the welfare of children and families.

About the TD Charitable Foundation
The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States.

Since its inception in 2002, the Foundation has distributed nearly $199 million and more than 19,400 grants through donations to local nonprofits from Maine to Florida. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including the online grant application, is available at TDBank.com

About TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 9 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at more than 1,200 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook at
www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US.

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol “TD”. To learn more, visit www.td.com.

 

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

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Portland’s first price-restricted housing unit a tough sell

For more than six months, Chris Lavoie has tried to sell a condominium in Portland’s West End, a desirable neighborhood with historic buildings and a short walk from award-winning restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, breweries and shops.

At 515 square feet, the one-bedroom condo under construction at Onejoy, a 12-unit development off Brackett Street, qualifies as micro-housing – a hot trend among some buyers, particularly young professionals or empty-nesters. The price – $208,700 – is actually lower than what comparable condos have sold for in the neighborhood, even in the same building. And it’s being marketed at a time when the real estate market in Maine’s largest city appears to be firing on all cylinders.

“I can’t get traction on it,” said Lavoie, who created a separate web page for the unit.

Such is the plight of the real estate agent tasked with selling Portland’s first newly built price-restricted housing unit to result from a 2015 affordable housing ordinance.

Portland Press Herald

Press Release: Avesta Housing Named One of 2018 Best Places to Work in Maine

For Immediate Release

September 19, 2018

Contact: Sara Olson, Director of Development & Communications

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

 

Avesta Housing Named One of 2018 Best Places to Work in Maine

PORTLAND, ME – Avesta Housing, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Portland, Maine, was recently named as one of the 2018 Best Places to Work in Maine. The awards program was created in 2006 and is a project of the Society for Human Resource Management – Maine State Council (MESHRM) and Best Companies Group. Partners endorsing the program include: Mainebiz, the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, the Maine Department of Labor, the Department of Economic and Community Development, and Maine HR Convention.

This statewide survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Maine, benefiting the state’s economy, its workforce and businesses. The 2018 Best Places to Work in Maine list is made up of 75 companies in three size categories: small (15-49 U.S. employees), medium (50-249 U.S. employees) and large (250+ U.S. employees).

To be considered for participation, companies had to fulfill the following eligibility requirements:

– Have at least 15 employees working in Maine;
– Be a for-profit or not-for-profit business or government entity;
– Be a publicly or privately held business;
– Have a facility in the state of Maine; and
– Must be in business a minimum of 1 year.

Companies from across the state entered the two-part process to determine the Best Places to Work in Maine. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, and demographics. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. The combined scores determined the top companies and the final rankings. Best Companies Group managed the overall registration and survey process in Maine and also analyzed the data and used their expertise to determine the final rankings.

Founded in 1972, Avesta Housing is a nonprofit affordable housing provider focusing on advocacy, development, property management, senior/assisted living, and homeownership. The organization is headquartered in Portland, Maine and currently has 87 properties, 2,400 apartments, and two assisted-living facilities in its portfolio.

In line with one of Avesta’s Core Values, Humanity: We Care About People, Avesta Housing strives to create strong teams, meaningful career growth, and outstanding work environments. In the past year, Avesta improved an already-robust benefits package. Expansion of benefits included industry-leading paid parental leave and an increase in paid time off for all staff. These benefit improvements and others were made based on the research and recommendations of a staff-led committee.

Cutline: Avesta Housing employees Sarah Thurston and Lucy Cayard visit an affordable housing property under construction in Portland, Maine in 2016. Avesta Housing was recently named a 2018 Best Places to Work in Maine.

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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

 

Seniors’ quality of life on a shaky foundation

Greg Payne knew he wasn’t going to make any headway as soon as the governor’s fist hit the table.Payne, who works for Avesta Housing and heads the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition, met with Gov. Paul LePage in January 2017. He hoped to persuade LePage to finally authorize the sale of $15 million in senior housing bonds that nearly 70 percent of Maine voters approved in November 2015.

It was far less than the $65 million initially sought by senior advocates, and it would only make a dent in the mounting housing crisis facing older Mainers. But they figured it was better than nothing, given the state’s rapidly growing senior population.

Portland Press Herald

Portland council set to vote on housing funding

Councilors will also allocate a mix of federal and Housing Trust funds to help pay for affordable housing at 977 Brighton Ave., 178 Kennebec St., and the Portland Housing Authority’s complex on Front Street in East Deering.

Councilors will be asked to vote on using $370,000 of Home Investment Partnerships Program funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to house people 55 and older at 178 Kennebec St. in Bayside.

The PHA Front Street renovation and expansion could receive $510,000 from the same source.

Councilors will also vote on using $925,000 from the Housing Trust Fund for the Front Street work, which will add 61 housing units to the complex while replacing 50.

Councilors will be asked to support Avesta Housing’s plan to build more than 40 units for people 55 and older at 977 Brighton Ave. with $300,000 of Housing Trust Fund money.

The Forecaster

 

United Way of Greater Portland invests $3.74 million in area programs and initiatives

PORTLAND — United Way of Greater Portland announced the investment of $3.74 million in 74 programs and initiatives with 48 funded community partners, including $256,500 of investments in its Brick & Beam Society and Women United affinity groups.

In addition, UWGP is one of more than 210 organizations that has embraced Thrive2027, the community’s 10-year effort to achieve measurable progress in the areas of education, financial stability, and health. While serving as the backbone support, UWGP also is playing its part in ensuring the success of Thrive2027 by utilizing strategies such as public policy, community engagement, and financial support, including this $3.74 million investment toward direct services and other community initiatives.

The community investment process kicked off with an open request for proposals in January with a focus on community programs, initiatives, and collaborations that have a measurable impact on the Thrive2027 Goals. UWGP also committed that each currently funded partner would receive a minimum of 70 percent of their total funding from the prior year.

Bangor Daily News

 

Housing funds plentiful in Portland, but future funding is in question

PORTLAND — Available city funding for affordable housing is approaching an all-time high.

But the good fortune may be fleeting as city officials look for ways to consistently capitalize the Housing Trust Fund at a time when an important component – fees paid by housing developers – are slowing.

“We leveraged 200 units with $1.2 million; 1,000 may be needed,” Mayor Ethan Strimling said Aug. 3, the day after members of the City Council Finance Committee unanimously endorsed allocating $1 million of the $3.3 million in proceeds from city-owned land to the fund.

The allocation requires a full council vote and, if approved, will boost the fund balance to $2.2 million.

The Forecaster