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April 12, 2023

$1.5M federal grant funneled to Maine's affordable housing crisis

Courtesy / GenX Capital Partners Eligible areas include Biddeford, Eastport, Ellsworth, Lewiston-Auburn, Lubec, Millinocket, Presque Isle and Saco, where Cottages at Pine Meadow are being built following the rendering shown here.

A Maine affordable housing lender will use a $1.5 million grant from the U.S. Treasury Department to help address the state's affordable housing crisis. 

The Genesis Fund will funnel the award from the Equitable Recovery Program to areas identified in the latest Census as those that have experienced economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Eligible areas include Belfast, Biddeford, Caribou, Eastport, Ellsworth, Fort Fairfield, Houlton, Lewiston-Auburn, Lubec, Millinocket, Norway, Old Orchard Beach, Presque Isle, Saco, Sanford and Waldoboro.

"Genesis will seek to leverage the $2.55 million Community Development Financial Institutions fund award with an additional $10 million of community investment capital for $12.55 million in new capital to be deployed for affordable housing," according to a recent release. "These funds will add to the $42 million revolving loan fund Genesis has to support high-impact affordable housing and community facility projects."

The additional loan brings the total awarded by the CDFI to Genesis in 2023 to $2.55 million; in January, the Treasury Department awarded Genesis just over  $1 million. 

"We are especially heartened by an additional award from the CDFI Fund at a time when it has never been more important that Maine puts affordable housing resources forward from a variety of sources," said Liza Fleming-Ives, executive director of the Genesis Fund. "This will allow us to expand the Genesis Fund's work to contribute capital and expert assistance to projects that create housing that's affordable for Maine's diverse people, in urban and rural communities, and with all kinds of affordable housing developers and organizations."

Vice President Kamala Harris announced the Treasury Department grants, which total $1.7 billion, awarded to more than 600 community lenders nationwide, the largest CDFI grant program in history.
"When we invest in community lenders, we help build a future where all people — no matter who they are or where they start — have the resources they need not only to succeed but to thrive," said Harris.

The Genesis Fund connects communities creating affordable housing and other essential community resources with the capital and expertise they need to overcome barriers to opportunity and prosperity. Genesis works throughout Maine and Northern New England to make flexible loans, deliver expert project guidance, and promote policy solutions and systemic change.

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