In the News

In the News

Housing for homeless planned near Morrill’s Corner

Avesta advances its efforts to get those with chronic illnesses off the streets with a proposal for a 30-unit apartment building in Portland.

The Portland Press Herald
By Randy Billings
Nov. 24, 2014

Avesta Housing is looking to build a 30-unit apartment building near Morrill’s Corner in Portland for chronically homeless people with chronic medical conditions.

The $5 million project hinges on the nonprofit housing agency getting $3.8 million in housing tax credits and operational funding from the state, and 30 housing vouchers from the Portland Housing Authority.

If the project moves forward, it will become the city’s third housing development built specifically for the chronically homeless, or those with disabilities who have been homeless for at least a year or had three episodes of homelessness within a three-year period.

The project will be modeled after the 30-unit Logan Place at 52 Frederic St., which opened in 2005 as the city’s first effort to provide permanent, supportive housing to the chronically homeless. It’s a model often referred to as “housing first,” because it provides a stable living environment so people can deal with other factors contributing to their homelessness.

The other housing-first facility is the Florence House at 190 Valley St., which opened in 2009 and mostly serves women who are victims of domestic violence.

With homelessness in Portland increasing as a result of the Great Recession, the city launched a task force in 2011 to develop a plan to tackle the problem. The city’s Homeless Prevention Task Force issued a series of recommendations in 2012 that included building three additional supportive housing complexes.

Mayor Michael Brennan said the latest project is an opportunity to act on the task force’s work.

“I know people in Portland are committed to ending homelessness, and this is the best way we know to do that in the city,” Brennan said.

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