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:


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.


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.


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


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.



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