Avesta report shows low-income housing shortage

Applications for affordable housing to Avesta Housing, the largest nonprofit affordable housing provider in northern New England, have gone up by 24% since 2014, but the availability of housing for low-income renters has gone down, the organization said Thursday.

The company’s 2017 Affordable Housing Activity report shows a widening gap between how many families have applied for housing, and how many received it. The company received 3,784 applications in 2017 and had 393 move-ins. It’s waiting list has 1,594 individuals or families.

A report last year by the National Low Income Housing Corp. determined that Maine had 46 units available per 100 “extremely low income” renters. ELI renters are defined as at or below either the poverty line or 30 percent of the area median income can live without spending more than 30 percent of their household income on rent and utilities.

Mainebiz

Mainers and Businesses Divided on Paid Family Leave

 In President Trump’s State of the Union speech Tuesday night, he emphasized the need to invest in the workforce:

“….and let’s support working families by supporting paid family leave,” the president said.

Paid maternity leave is an idea that’s been around for decades, but currently only a third of employers offer the benefit. Proposals at the national and state level would expand access to paid leave, but opponents say a mandate would be bad for businesses.

maine public

Press Release: New Data from Avesta Housing Reveals Large and Growing Unmet Affordable Housing Needs

January 31, 2018

For Immediate Release

Contact: Sara Olson, Director of Development and Communications

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

 

New Data from Avesta Housing Reveals Large and Growing Unmet Affordable Housing Needs

Portland, Maine – Avesta Housing, the largest nonprofit affordable housing provider in northern New England, has released a report documenting the growing unmet housing needs it has encountered between 2014 and 2017. New applications for Avesta’s affordable homes rose by 24% over the past four years, while scarce resources to build new apartments coupled with very limited turnover in Avesta’s existing portfolio resulted in relatively few new households served.

“Avesta is committed to doing all we can to make sure that everyone has an affordable place to call home, but the ever-widening gap between the number of people who need our housing and the number of homes we have available represents a crisis that demands more, not less, public engagement,” said Dana Totman, President & CEO of Avesta Housing. “We hope that federal and state lawmakers will respond to the growing unmet housing needs in our communities with a growing commitment to addressing them.”

The recently enacted federal tax reform bill is expected to reduce affordable housing production in Maine by about 10% going forward, and Congressional leaders are currently negotiating proposed cuts to federal programs that support the development of new affordable homes.

For additional data on Avesta Housing’s applications and new household move-ins, go to https://www.avestahousing.org/our-news/statistics/.

 

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 closes on Fox School

PARIS — The sale of the Mildred M. Fox School located at 10 Market Place, to Avesta Housing, was finalized on Dec. 28.

The town sold the building to Avesta Housing for $125,000. Vic Hodgkins stated in his town manager’s report that, “The Fox School account has a current balance of $123,999.82 … after costs and fees.”

The building was originally constructed in 1883 and had been used as a public school until 2008, and was named after a former principal.

Sun Journal

Nonprofit Avesta Housing adds paid parental leave as employee benefit

Portland-based nonprofit Avesta Housing announced Wednesday it has added paid parental leave to its employee benefits package, effective Jan. 1.

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.

Mainebiz

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