In Belfast, Governor Mills Tours New Senior Housing Development Built Using Housing Bond She Signed in 2019

June 27, 2022

Bond signed by Governor helps to nearly triples construction of new affordable housing units for Maine people

Belfast, MAINE – Governor Janet Mills today toured Penobscot Landing in Belfast, a new 25-unit senior housing development that was built utilizing funding from the senior housing bond the Governor signed in January 2019.

The bond has helped jumpstart the construction of new, affordable homes for Maine people, almost tripling the construction of units from 159 units in 2018 to 445 in 2021. The bond signed by the Governor – which was held up by her predecessor – has resulted in six new senior housing developments across Maine that provide more than 180 affordable apartments to Maine seniors.

“The senior housing bond is making a huge difference in the lives of older Maine people, providing an affordable place for them to live while delivering an all-important peace of mind. In a little more than three years, we have nearly tripled the number of affordable units for Maine people, in part because of this bond,”said Governor Mills. “But Maine people, especially lower-income and those on fixed incomes, are still facing a housing crunch, which is why my Administration will continue our work to expand Maine’s housing supply and make sure that more Maine people are able to live safely and comfortably.”

“I applaud the Governor for her work to expand housing in Maine, and especially for signing the senior housing bond when she first took office. Because of that simple but powerful act, we have been able to build more desperately-needed housing for Maine seniors,” said Kevin Bunker, Founding Principal of Developers Collaborative, which built Penobscot Landing. “Her Administration’s commitment to expanding affordable housing options is going to make a tremendous difference in the lives of Maine people in the months and years to come.”

The senior housing bond is part of a larger strategy by the Mills Administration to alleviate Maine’s severe housing crunch. The Governor has also:

  • invested $50 million in affordable and workforce housing initiatives through her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan, the first $10 million of which is being used to build up to 150 single-family homes and another $20 million of which is being used to expand the availability of affordable rental housing in rural Maine;
  • created a $3.5 million lifeline loan program through her Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to cover the annual property tax bills of eligible Maine people who are ages 65 and older or are permanently disabled and who cannot afford to pay them on their own;
  • signed into law the Maine Affordable Housing Tax Credit Program, sponsored by House Speaker Ryan Fecteau, an $80 million investment over eight years that represents the single largest state investment in housing in Maine’s history and 
  • signed LD 2003 and LD 201 to further expand the availability of affordable housing in Maine.

Following the Governor’s tour this morning, she had lunch at Darby’s in Belfast, walked downtown and stopped into local businesses with Belfast City Manager Erin Herbig and City Councilor Mary Mortier, and toured Robbins Lumber in Searsmont.

The Governor’s visit to Belfast comes as she travels across Maine. The Governor has visited  PiscataquisSagadahocCumberlandKennebecYorkSomersetAndroscogginLincolnKnox, and Franklin counties.