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Updated: July 18, 2019

MaineHousing public forums will provide five-year plan feedback

MaineHousing building Photo / Maureen Milliken The Maine State Housing Authority, known as MaineHousing, is at 353 Water St., Augusta. A community forum is scheduled there on Tuesday.

MaineHousing this week and next is hosting two forums about housing in the state to help the authority plan its next five years of work.

The forums, focusing on community housing needs and discrimination, are the final round in a series that began last month, and will be held in Farmington today and Augusta on Tuesday.

MaineHousing is holding the meetings as it prepares its five-year consolidated plan, which is required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. At the forums, the authority is sharing needs and market analysis data, and listening to ideas for addressing housing issues in Maine, it said in a news release.

The consolidated plan identifies the state's housing and community development needs and specifies how grant money will be spent. That money includes funding from the federal Community Development Block Grant program, administered by the state Department of Economic and Community Development, and the HOME Investment Partnership Program, Emergency Solutions Grant Program and the Housing Trust Fund, all administered by MaineHousing.

Roughly $20.8 million in federal grants was awarded to Maine for affordable housing by HUD, it was announced last week.

In 2018, the breakdown of the funding was:

  • CDBG money allocated included $1 million for the Housing Assistance Grant Program; $3.7 million for housing rehabilitation; $3.5 million for public infrastructure; $3.65 million for economic opportunities.
  • HOME money allocated included $2.8 million for rental housing; $1.4 million for tenant-based rental assistance; $466,510 for administrative costs. 
  • ESG money allocated included $602,871 for emergency shelter operations and essential services; $602,872 for rapid rehousing; $97,763 for administrative costs.
  • HTF funds included $2.7 million for rental housing and $300,000 in administrative costs.

Results of the funding included: housing for 6,200 homeless individuals, rental assistance for 140 homeless individuals, 570 new or rehabbed housing units, 2,500 people assisted by a public facility or infrastructure activity, 120 jobs created or retained and 25 businesses assisted, according to MaineHousing's 2018 action plan.

Today's forum on community needs is scheduled for 1-3:30 p.m. in Franklin Memorial Hospital's Bass Room, 111 Franklin Health Commons, Farmington.

A forum on housing discrimination is scheduled for 9-10:30 a.m., Tuesday, July 23, in the MaineHousing board room, 353 Water St., Augusta.

Forums focusing on homelessness were held in June in Portland and Bangor.

Community development forums on local housing needs were held in June and earlier this month in Presque Isle, Bangor, Rockland, Sanford and Auburn, in partnership with the Department of Economic and Community Development, local officials, community development directors, planners and local housing organizations.

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