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February 2, 2017

Avesta Housing reports affordable housing crunch

Courtesy / Avesta Housing
Courtesy / Avesta Housing

Demand for affordable housing is outpacing the ability of Portland-based Avesta Housing to help households find and move into apartments they can afford in its service area of southern Maine and New Hampshire.

New data released by Avesta Housing shows the number of requests for affordable housing rose 15% between 2014 and 2016, but the number of households able to move into an Avesta apartment with an affordable rent remained unchanged for the same time period.

Avesta only was able to develop 214 new apartments between 2014 and 2016, according to a release from the nonprofit affordable-housing provider, in part because of limited financing available for new affordable developments. It's one of the largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing in New England and has about 700 units in Portland alone.

"The fact that the requests we receive for affordable housing increase each year but our move-in numbers are flat is especially concerning as we anticipate budget cuts on the federal level," Dana Totman, president and CEO of Avesta Housing, said in a release. "Bond resources at the state level have always been and will continue to be the difference between failing or succeeding to increase the supply of safe, quality and affordable housing for Mainers in need. We have nearly 3,000 people sitting on our housing waitlist. Very few will get the housing they need without increasing the affordable housing stock."

Read more

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