United Way of Greater Portland unveils $6.8M of community investments

United Way of Greater Portland on Thursday unveiled $6.8 million worth of community investments planned for its fiscal year 2020. The list of recipients includes Avesta Housing, the LearningWorks after-school program and the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project.

Investments in community partners are made based on expert advice and under the direction of local volunteers.

More than 45 volunteers, using rigorous criteria, spent more than 600 combined hours evaluating requests and ensuring grants were distributed objectively and aligned to make the greatest impact on long-term goals laid out in a plan known as Thrive2027.


NBT Bank donates $10,000 to Avesta Housing

NBT Bank donates $10,000 to Avesta Housing

NBT Bank has donated $10,000 to nonprofit Avesta Housing to support both the Avesta NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center and Avesta initiatives to increase and improve affordable housing for individuals and families.

The NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Center provides classes for first-time homebuyers to make more informed purchase decisions, while the HomeOwnership Center provides free counseling for homeowners at risk of foreclosure and Avesta residents wanting to develop financial literacy and improve personal financial management.

Portland Press Herald

Energy-efficient housing for long-term social inclusion

PORTLAND, United States (CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR) – Rubbing their hands and breathing dragon smoke into the cold air, residents rush inside the bright green building.

The temperature outside has barely hit double digits Fahrenheit, so the warm lobby inside Bayside Anchor, a low-income apartment building in Portland, Maine (United States), is a happy reprieve.

The lobby is also an architectural feat, as Bayside Anchor has no centralised heating system.

It is a certified “passive house,” which means the building has airtight insulation and thick windows to keep the interior warm and heating costs low.

The Straits Times

Norway Savings Bank receives award

Dana Totman, president and CEO of Avesta, presents the 14th annual Mike Yandell Award to Pat Weigel, president and CEO of Norway Savings Bank. The award, which is named for the late Avesta Housing board chairman and banking industry leader, recognizes an individual or organization for their service and dedication to the affordable housing industry. The ceremony took place June 4 at the opening of the Fox School Apartments senior affordable housing complex in South Paris.

Sun Journal

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.