Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Avesta Housing?

Avesta Housing develops and manages high quality affordable housing and helps residents access other needed services. We offer a wide variety of apartment complexes throughout Southern Maine and Seacoast New Hampshire. Click here to search our properties.

I’m homeless and have no place to sleep. Can you help me?

Avesta Housing does not provide emergency, short-term or transitional housing. A listing of our current vacancies can be found here. If you need emergency housing assistance, click here for information. If you are chronically homeless, you may be eligible for Logan Place or Florence House. Please call 207-775-0026 for more information about these communities.

What types of housing does Avesta offer?

Avesta Housing offers both subsidized and nonsubsidized housing. All communities have unique income guidelines, age restrictions and qualifying factors as outlined below:

Senior and/or Disabled Subsidized Housing
  • Head or Co/Head of household must be at least 62 years of age and/or disabled.
  • Rent Rates are approximately 30% of the household’s gross monthly income.
  • Total household income must not exceed annual income eligibility guidelines.
  • Disabled Applicants will be asked to have their health care provider fill out a Verification of Disability.

18 or older Subsidized Housing

  • Head of Household must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Rent Rates are approximately 30% of the household’s gross monthly income.
  • Total household income must not exceed annual income eligibility guidelines.
  • Government regulations prohibit renting to a household made up of Full Time Students. Some exceptions do apply – (i.e. single parents, households with a Head or Co-Head not attending full time).

NON-Subsidized Housing

  • Head of household must be least 18 years of age. Some properties require that the Head of Household or Co/Head of Household be 55 years of age or older. 6 Meeting Place in Exeter, NH requires that all members of the household be 62 years of age or older.
  • Rent rates are lower than market rate.
  • Applicants must meet monthly minimum income guidelines in addition to annual maximum guidelines.
  • Government regulations prohibit renting to a household made up of Full Time Students. Some exceptions do apply – (i.e. single parents, households with a Head or Co-Head not attending full time).

Click here to search our properties.

Can anyone apply? Do you charge an application fee?

Yes, anyone is welcome to submit a Housing Eligibility Questionnaire. Avesta Housing does not charge an application fee for its properties.

How do I get an apartment? Can I be on more than one waitlist?

In order to be considered for an apartment, you will need to submit a Housing Eligibility Questionnaire. Based on the information provided on the questionnaire, applicants will be sent a list of communities for which they are eligible.  Applicants will need to select from the list and return to us in order to be placed on the waitlist(s)

To request a Housing Eligibility Questionnaire be mailed to you, please call 207-553-7777 or 1-800-339-6519 (TTY). A questionnaire may also be picked up at our office at 307 Cumberland Avenue, Portland, Maine. Walk-ins are welcome on Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Appointments are available on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 8:30am and 4:00pm.

How many people can occupy an apartment?

In the absence of State or local health safety restrictions, we have the following occupancy standards: One (1) person maximum for a studio apartment and a two (2) person maximum per bedroom. In subsidized properties, one (1) is not allowed to occupy a two (2) bedroom apartment unless there is a documented medical need.

What types of income are considered when determining eligibility for your programs?

The income sources that Avesta Housing considers include income from employment, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), child support, Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), alimony, and recurring income from assets. Food stamps are not considered income. When screening an applicant for sufficient income, Avesta Housing is unable to accept General Assistance as a source of income to determine if the person qualifies for the property.

Do you accept vouchers at your apartments?

At our non-subsidized properties, Avesta Housing accepts portable housing vouchers. These could be from Section 8, Bridging Rental Assistance Program (BRAP), Shelter + Care, Veteran’s Administration Supportive Housing (VASH), or other voucher sources. At the time of application, you may be asked to provide proof of having a voucher or being on a waitlist for a voucher.

How long are the waitlists?

Each property maintains its own waitlist and the length varies from property to property.  Some of our waitlists are very long and are currently closed.  Unfortunately we are unable to predict how long an applicant will be on a waitlist, and we are not able to provide applicants with the number they are on the waitlist.

What is the Pet Policy?

Senior and/or Disabled properties allow either one (1) cat or one (1) dog, with a pet deposit. One (1) cat is allowed at our non-subsidized properties, with a pet deposit.

I need a handicapped accessible unit. Can I get priority on your waitlist?

Applications for housing are processed in the order in which they were received by the office. The waitlists are organized in order of receipt of the applications. A status or a condition of an applicant or a household does not guarantee an expedited processing of an application; however, when an apartment becomes available that has handicapped accessible features, priority will be given to a resident or applicant who needs those features.

How will Avesta contact me about an apartment?

Communication between Avesta Housing and applicants is typically through the mail. Applicants need to keep Avesta updated with current mailing address, email address and phone number(s). Applicants must respond to all Avesta correspondence within the time frames specified in the correspondence. Those who do not respond to any notice will be removed from ALL waitlists.

What happens once I am on a waitlist?

Once your name nears the top of the waitlist, you will receive a notice in the mail or a phone call from the property manager when there is an available apartment. This does not mean that you are being offered an apartment. If you do not respond to the property manager in the time specified, or if your mail is returned undeliverable, your name will be removed from ALL waitlists.

In order to be approved for the available apartment, applicants will need to supply the property manager with at least the following:

  • A completed full application.
  • For subsidized properties, copies of birth certificates for all household members. A copy of your birth certificate can be obtained by contacting the town or city of your birth.
  • If you receive SSI or SSDI, a recent copy of your Social Security award letter. If you need a new one of these, you can request a copy be mailed to you on the Social Security website, by clicking here.
  • If you are employed, copies of the most recent eight weeks’ of paystubs. Please check with your human resource department for copies of your paystubs.

Does Avesta Housing run background checks?

Government regulations require us to conduct a background check on all adult household members, as outlined below:

  • Credit Reports must support the household’s ability to pay rent and evidence of a positive rent payment history. Items of concern are collection account for utilities, excessive outstanding balances, money owed to landlords and evictions.
  • Landlord References are required in order to establish evidence of a positive resident history including rent payment history and lease compliance. Professional references may be accepted if there is evidence of a gap in landlord history. If you have been evicted in the last five (5) years, you may be rejected.
  • Criminal History Checks will be run on all adult household members. Some of the factors that will be considered in screening an applicant's criminal history are the nature and severity of any convictions, the degree of danger to the health, safety and security of other residents and/or the property, and the amount of time that has passed since the conviction(s).
What if I am offered an apartment, but I do not take it?

If you do not accept an apartment offered to you, you will be moved to the bottom of that waitlist, as of the date of refusal. If you provide a documented medical reason why you are unable to accept the apartment, then your name will remain in its current position on the waitlist.

How much money will be required to pay at move-in?

You will be responsible for paying the first month’s rent and a security deposit equal to one (1) month’s rent.

What if I am not approved for an apartment?

Applications that are not approved for housing will receive a letter stating the reason for denial and a time frame during which a request may be made for a Redetermination Review. This request must be submitted in writing. Details of the credit and criminal items that were the reason for the denial will be communicated to the applicants at their request.