Press Release: Avesta Housing Launches Fundraising Program to Support Older Adults in Need

For Immediate Release

November 15, 2019

Contact: Sara Olson, Director of Development & Communications

Cell: 207-317-3914 | Email:


Avesta Housing Launches Fundraising Program to Support Older Adults in Need

Portland, Maine — Nonprofit Avesta Housing formally announced the launch of a fundraising program at a meeting of community leaders and partners on November 13. Founded in 1972, Avesta provides safe, affordable, quality homes to 4,000 people each year. However, Avesta is unable to meet the growing and urgent housing needs of the communities it serves and is looking to engage the community in support of its mission to provide and promote affordable homes for those in need, particularly older adults.

Avesta Housing operates 2,700 affordable apartments for a diverse population of individuals and families. In 2018, Avesta received 4,046 household applications and yet was only able to provide homes to 373 of those households. Among older adults, the need is particularly acute as Avesta President & CEO Dana Totman noted at the meeting, “The number of applicants on wait lists for our affordable senior properties is staggering, especially relative to the very few vacancies that become available annually. Once these individuals have obtained a home, they often eventually require additional support services in order to age in place safely and with dignity. We all have a responsibility to step up and do more to help older adults in need.”

Avesta Housing’s Board of Directors and leadership team have launched a fundraising program to support the mission and strategic priorities of the organization. Recognizing that securing an affordable home is critical to the health and well-being of older adults, the first focus area for the fundraising program will be older adults through a campaign called The Silver Hearth Fund.

The Silver Hearth Fund will provide vital support to assist the most vulnerable among Maine’s older population. In order to have the largest impact, the goal is to raise $2,000,000 over three years for the following priorities:

  • New Homes: Develop new homes to expand the housing units available to low-income seniors.
  • Expanded Services: Provide essential support services and programs that will assist older adults in living safe, healthy, and meaningful lives.
  • Improved Homes: Rehabilitate and modernize older Avesta properties so they may provide optimal safety and comfort for residents while operating more efficiently and effectively.

In the first 10 months of this fundraising effort, Avesta Housing has secured approximately $800,000 in pledges and gifts from community partners, including generous commitments from:

  • Gorham Savings Bank
  • Bangor Savings Bank
  • Norway Savings Bank
  • KeyBank, through the KeyBank Foundation
  • Clark Insurance
  • Tom and Rhonda Gioia
  • Bank of America
  • Zachau Construction
  • Jim Otis

Speaking to the new fundraising efforts and The Silver Hearth Fund specifically, Totman explained to the audience in yesterday’s meeting that “I’m honored that our partners share Avesta’s commitment to addressing the growing housing needs of our community. Working together we will be able to do so much more for those in need.”

About Avesta Housing

Avesta Housing is a nonprofit affordable housing provider with more than 45 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 operates 98 affordable properties, 2,700 apartments, and two assisted-living facilities. 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, real estate development, property management, senior/assisted living, and homeownership.