Avesta president Dana Totman presented the award to Portland Press Herald editorial page editor Greg Kesich at the grand opening of Avesta’s newest affordable housing property – 409 Cumberland – on August 12. Avesta chose the Portland Press Herald because of its reporting and editorial coverage of the affordable housing crisis in Portland and southern Maine. In the past year, the Portland Press Herald covered affordable housing topics ranging from the challenges our seniors face living safely and warmly, the needs of those that are homeless, the need to assist asylum seekers and immigrants, the problems associated with anti-growth mindsets, the unfairness of letting mortgage deduction tax credits trump needed rental assistance and the simple need to create housing that is more affordable.
In presenting the award, Totman talked about how affordable housing competes with other social issues, but how strong the need is to shine a light on this critical issue. He noted the “The Challenge of our Age” special series by Kelly Bouchard and others as integral to highlighting our need for senior housing. Totman explained, “The Portland Press Herald has helped pave the way to getting the resources and increasing the supporters necessary to provide more affordable housing.”
About the Mike Yandell Award
Since 2005, Avesta Housing has recognized an individual or organization for their service and dedication to the affordable housing industry. The award is named for the late Mike Yandell, a former Avesta Housing board chair and the former president of Gorham Savings Bank, who is remembered for his commitment to improving the community.
Past honorees of the Mike Yandell Award
2014 Jess Maurer, Maine Association of Area Agencies on Aging
2013 John Ryan, Wright Ryan Construction
2012 USDA Rural Development, Maine State Office
2011 Gorham Savings Bank
2010 The Genesis Fund
2009 Ben Walter, CWS Architects
2008 John Gallagher, Westbrook Housing Authority
2007 David Bronson, TD Bank
2006 Northern New England Housing Investment Fund
2005 Preble Street Resource Center