MaineHousing Awards $16.3 Million For Shelter And Housing Supports Statewide

Released: Mar 23, 2023

AUGUSTA -- MaineHousing is pleased to announce it has awarded more than $16.3 million in state grant funding for 17 different housing and shelter projects across the state. In total, these initiatives will support housing and shelter for more than 500 people in Maine who are experiencing homelessness or housing insecurity.

“These are substantial grants that will go towards creating essential new resources and shelter infrastructure in parts of the state currently lacking them,” said MaineHousing Director Daniel Brennan. “Much of this funding is also going to communities that have long helped serve Mainers who are experiencing homelessness and will help those important partners expand their capacity as well.”

These grants also support local initiatives under consideration for a new shelter space in Maine’s second largest city, Lewiston, as well as adding new shelter capacity in Portland.

Several will aid a growing immigrant and asylum-seeking population, while others will improve access to housing, shelter, and housing services in communities across the state. All the funded projects are expected to be operational by autumn of 2023. 

The funding for these projects comes from Governor Janet Mills' Winter Emergency Energy Relief Plan, which passed with the broad bipartisan support of the Maine Legislature in January. In addition to the funding announced today, the Governor's plan also included funding for short-term overnight warming shelters, for which $1 million to fund 13 shelters was award in February. 

"Through my Winter Emergency Energy Relief Plan, we are delivering crucial funding to help protect our most vulnerable, both in the short-term during the cold winter months and, now, over the longer-term to provide support and stability for people and families. I am grateful for the communities and organizations who responded to this important call and applaud MaineHousing for working so quickly to award funding," said Governor Mills. "Addressing Maine's shortage of available, accessible housing and reducing burdens on communities to ensure safe, stable housing are priorities of my Administration, and we will continue to work with MaineHousing, the Legislature, municipalities and others to further address this serious need."

More than 35 organizations applied for the funding and after careful consideration 17 entities were included in the final funding announcement.  

“There were many good ideas put on the table and while we were not able to fund all of them we are continuing to hold ongoing discussions with those who were unsuccessful in this round of funding,” Brennan said. “We hope these conversations will continue to be productive.”

The proposals that were awarded funding include:

  • $4 million to the Center for Regional Prosperity for a new 280-bed shelter in Portland.
  • $3.7 million to the Lewiston Housing Authority for a new 25-bed shelter in Lewiston.
  • $2 million to Community Housing of Maine for a 12-bed supportive housing project in Portland for pregnant women experiencing homelessness.
  • $1.2 million to Healthy Acadia for up to 14 units of permanent housing in Hancock and Washington counties.
  • $916,000 to Amistad to create 12 units of permanent housing in Wiscasset.
  • $696,000 to the Mid-Maine Shelter in Waterville to create an additional 18 emergency shelter beds.
  • $602,000 to the Midcoast Community Alliance in Bath for 4 to 8 permanent supportive housing units for at-risk youth, and a new warming shelter with space for up to 35 people.
  • $571,000 to Through These Doors to expand shelter space in Portland to serve up to 20 survivors of domestic violence.
  • $555,000 to Homeless Services of Aroostook County to add 9 family shelter beds and provide permanent space for 20 warming shelter beds in Presque Isle.
  • $436,000 to York County Shelter Programs for a 20-bed shelter in Sanford.
  • $393,000 to South Parish Congregational Church in Augusta for facility upgrades to allow the Augusta warming shelter to continue future winter operations. 
  • $376,000 to the First Parish Church in Gorham to create new shelter space for four families with up to 16 total people.
  • $348,000 to Preble Street to create transitional housing units in Biddeford for up to 12 at-risk youth.
  • $145,000 to Greater Portland Peer Services to provide outreach and housing guidance to unsheltered individuals in Portland.
  • $100,000 to the Bangor Area Homeless Shelter to add seven new beds in Bangor for individuals in recovery. 
  • $76,000 to Bridging the Gap in Augusta to create additional day shelter space for people accessing the overnight warming shelter.
$60,000 to Freeport Community Services to provide housing navigation and stability services to 75 families.

MaineHousing received applications from more than 35 organizations for this funding, leading to the 17 awards. These funds have been distributed across eight of nine Regional Hubs, which are being established as part of the ongoing effort to redesign Maine’s Homelessness Response System.
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