Pivotal funding pushes forward Maine affordable housing projects

Plans to create nearly 400 new units of affordable housing in Maine will move ahead after receiving crucial financial support from a federal bank this week.

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston will play a pivotal role in the development of much-needed affordable housing in 2017, providing $17.5 million in subsidies for 13 projects in Maine to build or renovate more than 380 rental units, according to a release from the bank.

Among those projects are three involving Portland-based developer Avesta Housing Development Corp. Avesta CEO Dana Totman said there is a critical need for more affordable housing in Maine and called the Boston bank’s support essential.

“In some cases, the project never would get built (without it),” Totman said Thursday. “In other cases, we might have waited another year and reapplied.”

Avesta has about 3,000 people on its wait list this year, he said. “Our phone is simply ringing off the hook with people looking for affordable housing.”

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