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March 9, 2022

Avesta receives $250K grant from TD Bank to fund affordable housing efforts

2 people snowy street Courtesy / Avesta Avesta Housing received a $250,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, to help address service gaps and economic disruption exacerbated by the pandemic. Earlier this month, Avesta President and CEO Dana Totman and Maine House Speaker Ryan toured the Park Village neighborhood of Saco.

Avesta Housing Development Corp. this week received a $250,000 grant from the TD Charitable Foundation, to help address service gaps and economic disruption exacerbated by the pandemic.

The Portland organization was one of 33 nonprofits across the bank’s Maine-to-Florida footprint to receive funds through the 16th annual TD Housing for Everyone grant program. 

The foundation is the charitable arm of TD Bank. Grants ranged from $150,000 to $250,000.

This year, the foundation awarded $5.8 million to help housing organizations help individuals and families find safe, affordable housing and achieve greater financial security. The assistance includes eviction prevention, housing and financial counseling, workforce development, housing search assistance and other services and resources.

Since 2005, the program has awarded nearly $42 million to more than 500 affordable housing programs.

"Housing organizations have been on the front lines of both the affordability crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic,” Paige Carlson-Heim, the foundation’s director, said in a news release. 

Part of Toronto-Dominion Bank Group, TD Bank has 39 branches in Maine and is Maine's market-share leader.

Affordability crisis

Earlier this month, Avesta Housing President and CEO Dana Totman and Board Member Peter Bass toured the Park Village neighborhood of Saco with Maine House Speaker Ryan Fecteau and Rep. Lynn Copeland, D-Saco, as part of a tour and press conference promoting LD 2003, a new bill before the Maine legislature to address the affordable housing crisis.

The bill incorporates recommendations made by a state commission formed in 2021 to study the impact of municipal zoning laws and land use restrictions on housing opportunities in Maine and to propose solutions to the affordable housing crisis. Totman was a member of the commission.

The legislation would make it easier to facilitate a diverse mix of housing development and increase the number of affordable housing communities, he said.

“The Park Village neighborhood in Saco is a great example of a mixture of housing that grew organically,” Totman said in a separate release.

“There are modest single-family homes for retirees and first-time homeowners, affordable apartments for older adults and people with disabilities, multi-story houses, and a large condominium complex, all within walking distance of each other. You simply don’t see that happening anywhere in the state of Maine anymore."

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