Meadowview II – Gray, Maine

MaineHousing allocates $30M for 9 affordable housing developments


Maine takes vaccinations to seniors in independent living facilities

Many Maine seniors living in independent living apartments can’t drive or easily get a ride to a COVID-19 vaccination site. Others might find it challenging to navigate online registration or deal with an automated call center line.

The Maine Immunization Program, part of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, has launched a system so these seniors don’t get overlooked, and the program is expanding further this week.

The state is partnering with independent pharmacies, paramedics and other health care providers to bring vaccines directly to independent living communities whose residents were originally included, but then dropped, from a federal pharmacy program included in the first phase of Maine’s vaccination plan. Vaccinators will be fanning out to 69 locations giving about 600 doses this week, according to a spreadsheet provided by the Maine CDC. Until now, the immunization clinics were for residents 70 and older, but starting this week under Maine’s new age-based vaccination system, those 60 and older living in the senior housing will be eligible to get a shot.

Portland Press Herald

During the Pandemic, Community Development Organizations Prioritize Relief and Assistance Work

It had been a years-long battle, but in the end Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation and its allies and neighbors prevailed. In early 2019, the city of New York finally approved a pilot program that would allow low- and moderate-income residents of East New York to turn their basements into rental units with access to favorable loans, and technical assistance from organizations like Cypress Hills. The policy fit squarely within the group’s mission: boosting homeowners’ income while also increasing the community’s stock of affordable housing.

But by mid-2020, a year after funding began flowing, the city shut off the tap and canceled the program. The coronavirus pandemic was paralyzing the country, and while New York was no longer the epicenter of the disease, there were many more immediate uses for the money.

For Cypress Hills, the loss of the program and its accompanying funding was a blow. “We had to lay off staff, which was heartbreaking,” says Stephanie Becker, Cypress Hills’ director of community development. “Ultimately we’re lucky that we’re doing OK, but it was pretty disruptive.”


Senior housing being proposed at Scarborough’s former public safety building.

SCARBOROUGH — Although the COVID-19 pandemic caused some setbacks, Jack Soley, developer of the old Public Safety building site, said that the vision for a village atmosphere at the location is taking shape.

Soley told the Scarborough Town Council during a workshop on Jan. 26 that the former Public Safety Building on 246 U.S. Route 1 is to be repurposed to include a gym, grocer, community room, green space and bank, among other amenities.

Avesta Housing is proposing a 31-bedroom affordable senior housing facility on the site, and creating a campuswhere residents could access the businesses at a walking distance, Soley said.

Portland Press Herald

Avesta campaign for critical-need senior housing enters final year


Success Stories from the COVID-19 Housing Counseling Support Initiative

HPN Member Avesta Housing thanks Wells Fargo

As people face important financial decisions—buying a home, finding an affordable rental unit, or how to manage through a time of crisis—housing counselors offer information and guidance to help people make the best decisions for themselves and their families.  And as we continue to witness the effects of the global pandemic within our communities across the country, ensuring that counseling agencies have the support to meet the demand for their services during this time is critical.

At a time like this, the Wells Fargo Foundation quickly provided the Housing Partnership Network with flexible funding to help respond to the needs of renters and homeowners impacted by the economic fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic. The funding has enabled counseling agencies to transition to the virtual environment, market their services, and most importantly serve renters and homeowners in need. On behalf of HPN and its Members, we want to thank the Wells Fargo Foundation.

One of the members participating in this grant program is Avesta Housing a non-profit organization in Maine that provides housing and financial education and counseling, in addition to developing and operating affordable housing.  They shared the following reflections on how this funding has allowed them to serve their community during this time—and most importantly how it has helped improve people’s lives.

Housing Partnership Network

Press Release: Avesta Housing presents Mike Yandell Award to Clark Insurance

For Immediate Release

January 19, 2021

Contact: Sara Olson, Director of Development & Communications

Cell: 207-317-3914 | Email:


Avesta Housing presents Mike Yandell Award to Clark Insurance

Portland, ME – Avesta Housing has awarded its annual company award, the Mike Yandell Award for extraordinary work in the field of affordable housing, to Clark Insurance. Avesta President & CEO Dana Totman presented the Mike Yandell Award virtually at Clark Insurance’s annual meeting.

Avesta selected Clark Insurance because it has been a strong partner in Avesta’s mission to create and preserve affordable homes. In presenting the award, Totman talked about Clark Insurance’s prominent role in the affordable housing community. “Clark Insurance has always been a thoughtful, skilled, attentive, and present partner to the groups working in affordable housing. They are a great supporter of what we all do to increase and improve affordable housing options in Maine.”

Jeff Lind, Chief Operating Officer at Clark Insurance, accepted the award during an all-company virtual meeting and commented on the longstanding relationship between Clark and Avesta: “I have worked closely with Dana and the Avesta team for nearly 15 years and have seen firsthand the importance and economic impact of Avesta’s work on the Greater Portland community, and Avesta’s growth across northern New England. To receive the Mike Yandell award is an honor and an inspiration to continue supporting the affordable housing industry at a time when their services are needed now more than ever.”

About the Mike Yandell Award

Since 2005, Avesta Housing has recognized an individual or organization for their service and dedication to the affordable housing industry. The award is named for the late Mike Yandell, a former Avesta Housing board chair and the former president of Gorham Savings Bank, who is remembered for his commitment to improving the community. Recent past honorees of the Mike Yandell Award: Norway Savings Bank, Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, Portland Housing Authority, and the Press Herald.


Avesta Housing President & CEO Dana Totman presents Avesta’s Mike Yandell Award for extraordinary work in the field of affordable housing to Clark Insurance Chief Operating Officer Jeff Lind. The award was presented virtually due to COVID-19, but presented here through Photoshop technology!


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 Maine and New Hampshire. The organization is headquartered in Portland, Maine and currently has 98 affordable properties, 2,700 apartments, and two assisted-living facilities in its portfolio. 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, housing development, property management, senior/assisted living, and homeownership.


About Clark Insurance

Founded in 1931, Clark Insurance is a 100% Employee-Owned independent insurance agency. With over 120 employees in 6 offices across Maine, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts, they operate as one of the largest independent agencies in New England. Their services include Business Insurance, Personal Insurance, Employee Benefits, Bonds, Life, Health, Annuities, and Safety & Risk Consulting Services.

$12.3 million awarded to four affordable housing projects in New Hampshire

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston has awarded more than $12.3 million in grants, loans, and interest-rate subsidies to support four affordable housing initiatives in New Hampshire.

The projects, funded in part through FHLBank Boston’s Affordable Housing Program, will create or preserve 128 rental and homeownership units for individuals and families earning up to 80% of the area median income.

The grants and loans will be used to help pay construction, acquisition or rehabilitation costs. Member financial institutions work with local developers to apply for funding, which is awarded through a competitive scoring process.

NH Business Review

Lewiston officials set to formalize partnership for downtown housing redevelopment

LEWISTON — The City Council is poised to confirm a partnership this week with the Lewiston Housing Authority and Community Concepts ahead of a deadline to apply for a large federal redevelopment grant focused on the Tree Streets neighborhood.

The effort, known as the Choice Neighborhoods “transformation plan,” looks to secure millions in funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development toward the redevelopment of multiple public housing sites, but also emphasizes neighborhood-level support for safety, health and education.

Along with formalizing the partnership Tuesday, the council will also vote to commit $1.5 million in Community Development Block Grant funding over the course of the five-year grant implementation, should the application be successful.

Sun Journal