Norway Savings Bank Receives Mike Yandell Award from Avesta Housing

Norway, ME – Norway Savings Bank has received Avesta Housing’s 14th annual Mike Yandell Award.  The Award, which is named for the late Avesta Housing board chair and banking industry leader, recognizes an individual or organization for their service and dedication to the affordable housing industry.

Dana Totman, Avesta President and CEO, presented the award to Patricia Weigel, Norway Savings Bank President and CEO, at a ceremony celebrating the opening of the Fox School Apartments senior affordable housing complex in South Paris on June 4, 2019.

“We are very appreciative of the award and our intent is always to do what’s right in our communities. It’s at the heart of what we do.” said Weigel.  “The lack of affordable housing is a crisis in Maine.  When thousands of people are on waiting lists for a safe, affordable place to live, it’s incumbent on all of us to do our part.”19

Norway Savings Bank

Back to school: Avesta Housing formally opens senior complex in Paris

PARIS — Bonnie Ripley spent a combined 30 years at Mildred M. Fox School as a student and later an educational technician.

She was among those on the grounds of the former school to attend the formal opening Tuesday of Avesta Housing’s new 12-unit senior housing complex.

Ripley walked through the building on East Main Street, each room a memory.

“They’ve done a wonderful job,” she said, of keeping the historic interior and spirit of the school alive.

Sun Journal

Doors open on two Avesta projects that reuse historic buildings

More than 100 people spilled out of the tent set up at Tuesday’s ribbon-cutting for Avesta Housing’s latest completed project — the 12-unit restoration of Mildred Fox School in South Paris.

While the project may seem small by some standards, it will make a huge difference in the town of 2,230 and its surrounding area, both in terms of available housing and for community development, said Dana Totman, CEO of Avesta.

Meanwhile, in Scarborough, eight residents have moved into the “99% completed” Southgate development, also by Avesta.



Snow School developer details housing project

FRYEBURG, Maine — Representatives from Portland, Maine-based Avesta Housing elaborated on their plans for the former C.A. Snow School property at last Thursday’s selectmen’s meeting, which may or may not preserve the school building depending on its historical significance.

and Development Officer Catherine Elliott of Avesta of Portland, Maine, also answered a litany of questions from residents and selectmen at the May 23 meeting held at the American Legion.

Avesta is a non-profit housing development organization founded in 1972 that has 98 properties in southern Maine and New Hampshire, totaling a portfolio of $300 million.

The Conway Daily Sun

Affordable-housing tax credit bill moves forward in Augusta

A proposed tax credit aimed at bringing more affordable housing to Maine is headed for a vote in the House and Senate after last week’s endorsement by the Taxation Committee.

L.D. 1645, “An Act to Create Affordable Workforce and Senior Housing and Preserve Affordable Rural Housing,” is sponsored by state Rep. Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, who recently told Mainebiz that he’s confident it will pass.

The Legislature’s Taxation Committee unanimously backed the measure in a vote last Thursday, following a public hearing where there was only support. By a vote of 9-0, the committee voted in favor of the bill as “ought to pass.”


No more old school: 16 states’ housing credits provide model for Maine

PORTLAND (WGME) — Business leaders and affordable housing agencies say a piece of legislation modeled after 16 other states’ affordable housing tax credits is the state’s best shot to jump start building more affordable living space for workers, seniors and rural residents.

“What’s being proposed is really the best of those 16 states’ (policies),” CEO of Avesta Housing Dana Totman said of the “Act to Create Affordable Workforce and Senior Housing and Preserve Affordable Rural Housing,” LD1645. It received unanimous endorsement from the house taxation committee, but may face hurdles in the appropriations committee as a host of financing requests vie for funding.

Housing agencies have buoyed themselves for low-income and new working families moving to Maine by leaning on historical tax credits, which helped Avesta re-purpose the Hyancinth school buildings in Westbrook into affordable apartment complexes in 2013. But there are only so many historical structures fit to re-purpose for living spaces, schools and certain mill spaces, and with any number of developers all competing to secure deeds, housing experts say they are turning to new tax breaks to move forward.


Proposed tax incentive for affordable housing gains support in Augusta

Advocates of a proposed tax credit aimed at bringing more affordable housing to Maine made their case this week at a public hearing in Augusta.

L.D. 1645, “An Act to Create Affordable Workforce and Senior Housing and Preserve Affordable Rural Housing,” is sponsored by state Rep. Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, and had its first public hearing this week before the Committee on Taxation. A work session is scheduled for Tuesday, May 14.

Out of 13 written testimony submissions online, there is no opposition. Supporters include the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition, Associated General Contractors of Maine and the Maine Council on Aging.


Advocates push $80 million in public funding for low-income apartments

Affordable housing advocates are backing a measure in the State House to give up to $80 million in tax incentives to double the number of low-income housing units built in Maine over the next four years.

The bill would give developers access to refundable tax credits to finance the construction of  low-income housing. The bill, proposed by Rep. Ryan Fecteau, D-Biddeford, caps the credits at $20 million per year.

Credits give housing developers or investors a refund on their state income taxes. Fecteau’s proposal is designed to mirror a federal credit a program responsible for nearly all new low-income housing construction in the U.S.

Portland Press Herald

Maine needs more affordable housing

In every community in Maine there are old buildings — maybe two, maybe three, maybe 20 — that catch your attention. You’ve probably walked passed these buildings and thought “what an eyesore, when are they going to tear that down?” But for tens of thousands of Mainers, that old building could be retrofitted, remodeled or rebuilt to be the affordable home they’ve been waiting years to find.

We have an affordable housing crisis in Maine: 35,000 renters pay more than half of their incomes toward housing costs; 2,500 federally subsidized homes in rural Maine are at risk of losing their affordability restrictions; and for every family living in an affordable unit, nearly three others are waiting for a home.

The need for more affordable housing in the state is clear, and yet we’re only producing about 250 new affordable units each year.

Bangor Daily News

KeyBank donates over $130,000 to Avesta Housing

KeyBank Foundation, the charitable arm of KeyBank, has awarded a $133,333 grant to Portland-based Avesta Housing to promote housing development for low-income older Mainers and support education and counseling programs for first-time homebuyers and homeowners facing the threat of foreclosure.

Part of the donation will promote expanded access to safe, clean and affordable senior housing, enhanced resident services and investment in existing Avesta properties. The nonprofit housing developer and owner leases apartments to 1,500 seniors and received 1,600 additional requests for affordable senior housing in 2018.

Some of the grant will support counseling and education classes for first-time homebuyers and homeowners facing the threat of foreclosure that are offered through Avesta’s NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center. Since 2008, the center has assisted more than 5,000 people through community-based classes in homebuyer education and foreclosure mitigation and budget/credit counseling.

Portland Press Herald