Portland councilors approve $14 million in low-income housing incentives

The Portland City Council on Monday night approved $14 million in tax and other financial incentives to create 270 units of housing, almost exclusively for low-income households on four different properties.

The approvals, which have been in the pipeline for months, come as people camping in the plaza at City Hall demand more permanent affordable housing for low-income and homeless people. The incentives will support 17 units of housing that will be set aside for people who have experienced homelessness.

The estimated $11.7 million in tax incentives approved by the council are known as tax increment financing, which allows developers to retain a percentage of the increased property taxes generated by their development. The affordable housing TIFs are typically used to help developers, many of them nonprofits such as the Community Housing of Maine, Avesta Housing and Portland Housing Authority, secure additional state and federal funding, allowing them to offer rents at below-market rates.

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