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Senior Housing Bond to Create 212 New Units

Combined with other resources, the Senior Housing Bond will generate more than $45.8 million to build affordable housing for lower-income Mainers, age 55 and older. (Piman Khrutmuang/Adobe Stock)
Combined with other resources, the Senior Housing Bond will generate more than $45.8 million to build affordable housing for lower-income Mainers, age 55 and older. (Piman Khrutmuang/Adobe Stock)
January 10, 2020

AUGUSTA, Maine - With the awarding of $14.5 million of the Senior Housing Bond, Maine is set to create more than 200 new, affordable housing units for people 55 and older.

The bond was approved by voter referendum in 2015, but wasn't signed until last year, when Janet Mills became governor. Daniel Brennan - director of MaineHousing - says with existing resources, they've been able to create about 200 to 250 units of new senior housing each year.

"This bond is going to add another 200 on top of that, and our goal is eventually to try and get to 1,000 units a year," says Brennan.

The National Low-Income Housing Coalition estimates that Maine needs more than 20,000 additional units of affordable rental housing.

Brennan points out that, while there are some pockets in the state of where the population is trending younger, most of Maine is going in the other direction.

"Overall, the state is getting older and so, this is one part of an overall strategy that the State of Maine has towards its aging population," says Brennan.

Maine has one of the oldest populations of any state in the nation.

Brennan says seven development projects have been selected, four of them in rural communities.

"Our hope is that these projects would all be under construction, probably in the early summer months of 2020, and they should go on line in the summer of 2021," says Brennan.

The Senior Housing Bond also includes $500,000 for repair and weatherization of existing homes for lower-income seniors.

Andrea Sears, Public News Service - ME