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Deputy Director Margaret Bean to retire Aug. 26
Margaret Bean
After more than 20 years of service, Deputy Director Margaret Bean will retire from MaineHousing at the end of this month.
"I have loved my time at MaineHousing," Margaret says in a letter to the Board of Commissioners this month. "I am proud and honored to have worked to help provide safe, affordable, quality housing to low income Mainers. I have been privileged to work with smart, motivated, mission-driven colleagues to accomplish this goal. Many of us have worked together for decades -- we have challenged and supported one another when the sailing was smooth and when the seas were rough. MaineHousing is a wonderful place to spend a career."
Margaret's tenure began on Dec. 19, 1994, when she was hired as a temp to serve as acting manager of the Federal Funds Division, which included the new-to-MaineHousing Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program. She later served as tenant based rental assistant, and in 1996 became director of management. She was named deputy director in October 2000.
We believe this is first Home Weatherization Manual circulated by the Federal Energy Administration to be used by community services agencies and others to assess lower-income homes for weatherization assistance. It's dated June 1975, and was written by three University of Maine engineering professors. It's on microfiche at UMaine's Fogler Library.
National weatherization program
turns 40; it's older in Maine
MaineHousing is partnering with the National Association for State Community Services Programs to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Weatherization Assistance Program. While the law was signed on August 14, 1976, it will be October 30 that a nationwide Weatherization Day celebration is held.
For Maine, weatherization efforts began sooner than 1976. Maine is considered the birthplace of weatherization for lower income households, and our friends at Western Maine Community Action Agency say they may have been the first to offer such assistance. In February 1974, the agency, then known as Franklin County Community Action Council, began offering "Project Fuel," which provided "basic winterizing for the elderly, disabled, and low income people of the county."
 A year later, in 1975, the then Federal Energy Administration published Project Retro-Tech, a home weatherization instruction manual, a teacher's kit/course, and a "job book" that was to be completed by technicians when assessing a house for weatherization services. These were written by three University of Maine engineering educators at the time: Richard Hill, Charles W. Kittridge, and Norman Smith. 
More on how MaineHousing and its partners will celebrate National Weatherization Day will be published in this newsletter, our website, and our Facebook page in the near future.
National Housing Trust Fund plan now at HUD
MaineHousing plans to use its $3 million allocation from the National Housing Trust Fund (NHTF) to produce, preserve, rehabilitate, and operate rental housing for extremely low income households. While NHTF regulations allow funds to be directed to both homeownership and rental housing, MaineHousing will limit the use to affordable rental housing.
Once approved by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), MaineHousing will distribute NHTF funds via an RFP process in the Fall. The following are eligible recipients: not-for-profit organizations, municipalities, tribal housing authorities, and public housing authorities.
Housing for individuals and families who are homeless as well as accessible housing will be given additional points through the competitive process.  MaineHousing also is requiring an affordability period of 45 years.
Funds remaining after distribution under the competitive process may be distributed by MaineHousing to successful applicants under the 2017 Low Income Housing Tax Credit Qualified Allocation Plan that were awarded a point for agreeing to accept an NHTF allocation. 
This plan was developed with input from our partners, stakeholders, and low income households solicited during a consultation period as well as a public comment period, and finalized through a public hearing process.
Millennials are buying homes in Maine
Research groups try to pinpoint the home-buying attitudes of millennials (born between 1982 and 1995), and that can be difficult. Recent articles suggest this generation of buyers is delaying homeownership.
At MaineHousing, we’re noticing a change. MaineHousing’s First Home Loan program is aimed at this age group (18 to 34) because these early adult years are when people have tended to settle down. Our low interest rate plus $3,500 towards down payment and closing costs beginning in 2015 is being offered as a motivator. And it’s working.
In 2015, millennial-aged buyers comprised nearly 61 percent or 457 of MaineHousing's 750 First Home Loans. Here's the noticeable change: For the first time since 2007, buyers between the ages of 25 and 29 -- or "younger millennials" -- outpaced older first-time homebuyers between the ages of 32 and 35 years old. The younger buyers accounted for 219 First Home Loans in 2015.
Maine homes not as long on the market
Homes are being purchased at a faster rate statewide compared to 2015.
During the first six months of this year, the statewide medium time on the market for a home was 17.43 weeks or 122 days, down roughly three weeks or 20 days compared to 2015 when it was 20.29 weeks or 142 days, according to our review of Maine home sales.
During the first six months of this year, the average number of days on the market statewide was 187.44 days or 26.4 weeks, compared to 198.13 days or 28.3 weeks in 2015.

Briefs

Closed on Labor Day
MaineHousing will be closed on Monday, September 6, to observe Labor Day.
MaineHousing Board
The next meeting of MaineHousing's Board of Commissioners is 9 a.m. on Tuesday, September 20. A public hearing is scheduled. There was no August meeting.
PHA Plan public hearing
A public hearing on the draft Annual PHA Plan, required by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for MaineHousing to administer the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, will take place at 9:30 a.m. on Sept. 20 at MaineHousing.
2017 QAP now is online
The formal 2017 Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) for the competitive federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program is available for reference on our website. Deadline for affordable housing development projects submissions is 5 p.m. on October 27.
New 4% senior housing
The deadline for proposals to create new affordable senior housing under the Rental Loan Program, which includes 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credits, tax-exempt debt, and other financing sources, is 5 p.m. on September 22. The solicitation can be found here.
Property mgmt class
Southern Maine Community College is accepting applications for its next Property Management class, which runs from Sept. 12-Nov. 21. MaineHousing is a founding contributor of this class. Learn more on our website.
LIHEAP applications
Maine's nine community action agencies begin taking applications for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) on Monday, August 29. The program year begins Oct. 1, and runs through April 30, 2017. Applicants also will be assessed for weatherization services.
Landlords Forum
The Housing Choice Voucher Program will hold a Landlords Forum from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 22, at the Norway Town Office. Guest speaker is Eric Grainger, a hoarding specialist form Shalom House.
Landlords newsletter
The fall edition of Mainely Landlords, a MaineHousing newsletter mailed to landlords participating in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program, also is available to read online.
FIRST HOME LOANS

Purchases: 523
As of August 15


Pipeline: 449
As of August 23


MAINE HOME SALES
Sold: 1,672 houses
in July, up 25.24% from 
May 2015
Median Sales Price: Up 2.4%, to $190,250
NEW RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION PERMIT AUTHORIZATIONS
June 2016 vs. June 2015
Privately Owned Housing Units: 473, down 3.9%
How this breaks down:
Single family: 437, up 33.2%
Multifamily: 36 units permitted, down 78%