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

 

Former Paris elementary school to be turned into senior affordable housing

Norway Saving Bank has donated $20,000 towards a $3.1 million Avesta Housing initiative to turn a former school in downtown Paris into affordable housing.

The former Mildred M. Fox School will be converted in senior affordable housing with 12 studio and one-bedroom apartments.

Built in 1883 and expanded in 1940, the elementary school operated until 2008 as a public institution and until 2015 as a private charter school.

Avesta Housing bought the building in 2007 and began construction earlier this year after securing a number of investments, including $20,000 from Norway Savings Bank.

Mainebiz

 

Norway Savings supports housing project

NORWAY — Norway Savings Bank announces its support of Avesta Housing with a $20,000 donation to renovate the former Mildred M. Fox School in downtown Paris. The former elementary school will be transformed into affordable senior housing featuring 12 studio and one-bedroom apartments.

Built in 1883 and expanded in 1940, the Fox School operated until 2008 as a public school and until 2015 as a private charter school. Avesta bought the building in 2017 and began construction earlier this year after securing a range of investments — including $20,000 from Norway Savings Bank.

Avesta plans to start taking applications for the apartments later this year with occupancy slated for early 2019.

Sun Journal

 

NHHFA announces support for six multi-family housing developments

Funding for six multi-family affordable rental housing developments, which will produce or preserve 166 units of general occupancy, age-restricted and special needs housing around the state, was recently approved by the New Hampshire Housing Finance Authority Board of Directors.The housing units are in Claremont, Hampton Falls, Laconia, Lebanon, Plaistow and Rochester.

NHHFA funding allocations for the multi-family housing developments is a culmination of resources derived from the federal HOME program, the state Affordable Housing Fund, and the federal Housing Trust Fund, as well as the Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program (LIHTC).

NH Business Review

 

Positively Maine: Avesta Housing – Interview with President & CEO, Dana Totman

Avesta Housing is creating affordable housing options for thousands of Mainers in communities throughout Southern Maine (and beyond!) Dana Totman is Avesta’s chief visionary and thinker and he joins me to share his plans. – Tory Ryden

Newsradio WGAN

Portland council approves tax breaks for senior and low-income housing projects

The Portland City Council voted Monday night to approve tax breaks and consider funding awards for multiple senior and low-income housing projects, which could create more than 270 new apartments if all are built.

Those units would be a significant addition in the midst of a housing shortage in Maine’s largest city. Some would be market rate, but the majority would be rented to people with lower incomes, an area of particular need in Portland. Simon Thompson, a representative from the Portland Community Chamber of Commerce, emphasized the need for new residential development when he spoke in support of the proposals.

“The chamber believes housing is badly needed in the city of Portland across all income brackets,” he said.

Portland Press Herald

 

Portland council approves tax breaks for affordable housing

PORTLAND — It took two meetings in one night to clear out City Council business Monday.

Part of the result was more municipal support for affordable housing. Councilors also set dates for hearings and votes on two potential changes to the City Charter.

In holding both July meetings on one night, councilors met for about three hours, focusing largely on details about land sales in Bayside made last fall.

In the first meeting, councilors approved a change in the purchase and sales agreement with Ross Furman for land at 178 Kennebec St. he bought from the city last fall to allow planned housing to be marketed to tenants ages 55 and older.

The Forecaster

 

Avesta adds 37 affordable apartments in Portland’s West End

PORTLAND — More than 100 people celebrated the comforts of home June 27 at the grand opening of Avesta Housing’s new apartment building at 17 Carleton St.

But no one celebrated more than Alan Lewis.

“I love my apartment big-time,” Lewis said during the ceremony behind the 37-unit West End building.

Lewis was one of the first tenants to apply for an apartment. He moved in just before last Christmas, coming back to the city after living in Yarmouth and Bangor.

The 23 one-bedroom, 12 efficiency and two, two-bedroom apartments are marketed to tenants who earn between 40 percent and 60 percent below the area median income; a one-bedroom unit is around $650 per month.

The Forecaster

 

Affordable housing project opens in Portland’s West End

Nonprofit Avesta Housing hosted a grand opening Wednesday of its newly developed affordable apartments on Carleton Street.

The development has 37 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments targeted at or below 40 to 60 percent of the area income.

“It’s wonderful that we’ve been able to respond to the affordable housing crisis that exists here,” Avesta CEO Dana Totman told CBS 13. “To have 37 homes is incredibly important.”

Bangor Daily News

 

New affordable housing opens in Portland

PORTLAND (WGME) — Affordable housing is now available on Portland’s West End.Nonprofit Avesta Housing hosted a grand opening Wednesday of its newly developed affordable apartments on Carleton Street.

The development has 37 studio, one- and two-bedroom apartments targeted at or below 40 to 60 percent of the area income.Avesta’s CEO says the new apartments “fit seamlessly into the historic West End while adding diversity to the neighborhood.”

WGME