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August 5, 2022

MaineHousing awards $13.2M to add affordable housing in 3 communities

Three projects that will add 74 units of affordable housing in Kittery, Farmington and Bangor will receive $13.2 million in combined funding from the Maine State Housing Authority.

MaineHousing, which is based in Augusta, on Friday announced the grants, which are funded by the American Rescue Plan Act.

The 2021 federal law provides developers with funding for new construction, adaptive reuse, or acquisition and rehabilitation of housing for persons experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness. The three developments were among 13 that competed for the Maine funding.

“These funds will do much to help three distinct regions of Maine, all of which face unique challenges in providing adequate help to Mainers who may be facing homelessness,” said MaineHousing Director Daniel Brennan.

“The agencies and organizations receiving these funds put forward the best and most innovative proposals that will help make sure these valuable federal resources are used as they are intended to help shelter and support vulnerable Maine residents. We all know that putting a stable roof over people’s heads is a key step towards all other well-being.”

The biggest of the three grants, $7.25 million, was awarded to Western Maine Community Action to redevelop two motels on Route 2 in Farmington into 34 apartments, including efficiency units and one-, two- and three-bedroom dwellings. WMCA is a nonprofit agency that serves Franklin County. 

A grant of $4.25 million was awarded to Penquis Community Action Agency, a nonprofit serving Penobscot and Piscataquis counties, to redevelop a property in Bangor that once served as a long-term stay establishment. That development will create 36 new housing units, including 18 efficiency and 18 one-bedroom apartments.

A grant of $1.77 million was awarded to Fair Tide and Community Housing of Maine, two southern Maine nonprofits combating homelessness, to build six new units of housing in Kittery. No further details were immediately available about the plans.

All three proposals met strict program requirements that the housing being developed be aimed at helping domestic violence abuse survivors, those recently released from a correctional or secure mental health facility, homeless individuals or those at the risk of losing their home.

All three developments will also receive support and additional funding from other entities, including private donations, according to MaineHousing.

Concerning the Bangor plans, Jason Grant, housing development director at Penquis, told Mainebiz his organization is not yet disclosing the location of the hotel so as not to disturb current business operations and staff.

He also said that while a contractor has not yet been selected, the renovation is expected to take around three months "and we hope to be open by the end of this calendar year."

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