Released: Dec 5, 2022
AUGUSTA -- The Genesis Fund has been awarded a new contract from MaineHousing to pilot a number of technical assistance initiatives that will help Maine cities and towns, regional planning groups, and new developers in their efforts to create more affordable rental housing.
After a competitive bidding process, Genesis was awarded the contract to assist entities including municipalities, regional economic development groups, and cultural organizations that are interested in working with a developer to provide housing in their communities.
Genesis will also conduct outreach and training sessions for new or inexperienced developers and provide technical assistance to these developers in order to facilitate a positive and productive development experience with MaineHousing-funded programs.
MaineHousing sought a consultant with both general affordable housing finance knowledge and knowledge of MaineHousing’s programs, funding sources, and general operations.
A certified Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI), the Genesis Fund has made $80 million in loans and provided more than 26,000 hours of community development expertise to nearly 400 projects. Its services have helped borrowers leverage an additional $430 million to create and preserve affordable rental housing, build affordable homeownership opportunities, and expand community services.
“We’re so pleased to partner with MaineHousing to assist communities all around Maine in accessing resources and increasing their affordable housing options,” said Genesis Fund Executive Director Liza Fleming-Ives. “Helping communities develop project plans and bring together resources is at the heart of what we do—and have done with great results for over 30 years.”
In addition to Fleming-Ives, the Genesis team contributing to the project includes John Egan, John Gallagher, Mark Primeau, and Dana Totman, who collectively have decades of experience in affordable housing development, funding, and finance as well as extensive networks within the affordable housing community in Maine.
The Genesis Fund will manage the initiative’s three areas of service, to enhance and support MaineHousing’s capacity to evaluate and fund well-designed priority projects.
Matchmaking Support: Fielding inquiries from urban and rural municipalities, housing committees, and local nonprofit organizations, the Genesis Fund will screen and summarize communities’ housing needs and interests. Based on those needs, it will match communities with potential affordable housing developers with strong track records, and continue to provide technical expertise, as needed, for project planning.
Outreach and Training: In partnership with entities such as the Maine Municipal Association, Maine Regional Planning and Development Authorities, and other state, regional, and community partners, Genesis will host virtual and in-person training forums to show developers what’s needed to create small-scale affordable housing project plans for MaineHousing and other programs to evaluate for funding. Sessions will be targeted to regions in the state that especially lack professional housing-development capacity.
Financial Expertise: The Genesis Fund will customize assistance to guide less experienced developers in project planning, including assessing project feasibility, assembling and coordinating a project development team, and assessing funding options. Genesis Fund staff also may assist developers in completing funding applications that comply with existing standards, and may facilitate coordination with MaineHousing to ensure timely approval and project start times.
This work is expected to begin in January of 2023 and will continue for at least one year under the contract agreement between MaineHousing and the Genesis Fund.
“The Genesis Fund has been a valued partner of MaineHousing for many years in many different ways,” said MaineHousing Director Daniel Brennan. “This effort represents yet another way their expertise in affordable housing development will benefit Maine’s communities. We look forward to seeing the outcomes of their efforts.”