$500,000 for weatherization, accessibility projects immediately available
Augusta, MAINE - Backed by the AARP and Maine seniors, Governor Janet Mills today signed a financial order to begin the release of $15 million in affordable housing bonds for Maine seniors as approved by voters in 2015.
“While the people of Maine authorized this bond more than 1,000 days ago, today we proudly move forward in our goal of ensuring all Maine seniors can live safely and with dignity and comfort in the homes and communities they love,” said Governor Janet Mills. “It’s time to build more affordable senior housing as the voters intended.”
“Today’s action by Governor Mills in releasing the long-delayed senior housing bond means that Maine’s voters are finally being heard, and hundreds of seniors around the state with acute housing challenges will benefit as a result,” said Greg Payne, director of the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition. “We are grateful that Maine’s construction professionals can now get to work, building the safe, quality, affordable homes that older Mainers need and deserve.”
“On behalf of our more than 230,000 Maine members, their families and our team of member advocates who are in Augusta each week, AARP Maine thanks Governor Mills for her leadership on this critical issue,” said Lori Parham, AARP Maine State Director. “The Senior Housing Bond is an important investment in home repair, weatherization, modification and new home construction for older and working Mainers. Aging in place continues to be a key issue for Maine’s 63 age-friendly communities, and we thank the Governor for releasing these funds which will make communities across our state more livable for people of all ages.”
The financial order Governor Mills signed Tuesday will allow $500,000 of the bond to be immediately used to fund ongoing projects. Governor Mills also signed a letter to Maine Treasurer Henry Beck declaring her intent to authorize the sale of the remainder of the bond for any ready projects come June.
The housing bond, approved by almost 70 percent of Maine voters in a statewide referendum, will fund construction of more than 200 new affordable housing units for low-income seniors and the weatherization of another 100 existing homes for low-income seniors. The bond will also trigger more than $22.5 million in matching federal funds. According to the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition, more than 9,000 seniors are currently waiting for safe, affordable housing.