Happy Fall!
As the pumpkins are coming out of the gardens and making their way to front porches, MaineHousing staff continue to help manage Maine’s COVID-19 response and move our other initiatives forward.
Over the last week, we began winding down our COVID-19 Rent Relief Program. In partnership with the Mills Administration and Maine’s Community Action Agencies, we have helped well over 14,000 households pay their rent over the last five months. We’re hopeful that Congress allocates additional federal money to help cover the range of Maine’s significant COVID-19 related needs, including rent relief.
We have been preparing for spruce tipping and wreath making season for just over a month. (Not something we thought that we as an agency would ever prepare for, because while wreaths make wonderful home decorations.... But hey - it's COVID times and we've got to be nimble!) Over 400 workers will begin arriving the first week of November. In partnership with the Maine Department of Health and Human Services and the Maine Department of Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry, we are working to support COVID-19 testing and housing of wreath season migrant farm workers who may need to isolate or quarantine. By providing quarantine housing, medical and cultural support services, we are prepared to respond as needed to migrant farmers and their employers.
The Statewide Homeless Council’s work on the redesign of Maine’s homeless system continues as the Corporation for Supportive Housing, consultants who are supporting the Council’s work, wrapped up stakeholder listening groups. The listening groups are an initial component of the redesign process. A leadership team has been formed to advise the redesign process and workgroups will soon be established to focus in on key elements of the redesign.   
As always, if you have comments or questions about our work, please send them our way! In the meantime, enjoy fall and we hope you and yours are healthy and safe.

The MaineHousing Team

Mobile Home Replacement for
Limestone Couple

Betty and Paul Taggett of Limestone are the proud owners of a new mobile home thanks to a partnership between the Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP), MaineHousing and MaineStream Finance, a subsidiary of Penquis.
MaineHousing provided funding through our Pre-1976 Mobile Home Replacement Program
Of their new home, Betty Taggett said, “It’s just wonderful all the way around…. It’s still like pinch yourself to see if it’s real. If you’re really not dreaming. And they [ACAP] have been a wonderful agency to work with. But I’m glad they are, because there’s a lot of people besides us that could utilize this, and it would be a dream come true for them, too.
A video of an interview with Ms. Taggett and ACAP’s Housing Specialist Shannon Hill can be found here.
From left: MaineHousing Director Dan Brennan, Paul and Betty Taggett, ACAP Housing Specialist Shannon Hill, and ACAP Executive Director and CEO Jason Parent

MaineHousing Submits Comments Regarding Fair Market Rents

Fair Market Rents (FMRs), which are set by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, are used to determine standard rents for the Housing Choice Voucher program.
MaineHousing officially requested reevaluation of the proposed 2021 Fair Market Rents in Knox, Lincoln, and Waldo counties. We will compile local rent data and present it to HUD justifying an increase in the FMRs for the Midcoast that are at times half of market rent. Because of the competitive rental market, this proposed increase will help make it easier for families with Housing Choice Vouchers to find a home in the Midcoast area.
MaineHousing Awarded $7.8 Million
in Emergency Solutions Grant
CARES Act Funding

MaineHousing was awarded a second round of Emergency Solutions Grant Cares Act Funding, which will bring an additional $7.8 million to Maine. This brings our total to $12.6 million in Emergency Solutions Grant Cares Act Funding. 
The funds will be used to fund shelter operation costs associated with planning and responding to COVID-19, including hotel/motel vouchers, temporary wellness shelters to allow for physical distancing, as well as rapid-rehousing identification, assistance, and case management.   
Additionally, MaineHousing will make funding available for homeless diversion programs and shelter renovations necessary to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. Further information on eligibility and applications for these programs will be available soon!

Resource: COVID-19 Housing

Resource Roadmap

The COVID-19 Housing Resource Roadmap was created to help state, local, tribal, and territorial (SLTT) leaders and stakeholders with navigating some of the challenges, as well as the resources associated with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Specifically, the Roadmap describes how supplemental appropriated funds, in particular under the CARES Act, and certain ongoing annually funded federal programs, can be used to help address housing needs. Find the Roadmap here.

MaineHousing is Hiring!

MaineHousing is hiring for a few different positions:
  • Multifamily Underwriter in our Development Department
  • Investor Reporting Specialist in our Finance Department
  • Financial Risk Officer in our Asset Management Department
MaineHousing's Board of Commissioners will meet on October 20, 2020 at 9 am via teleconference. For more information about how to listen in on the meeting, please contact us.
MaineHousing Homeownership:
As of September 15, 2020:

Purchases: 670
The total value of the loans purchased so far in 2020 is $98,891,729.

There are 354 units in the pipeline at $50,327,249 in value.

Happy New (HEAP) Year!

Last month, Maine’s Community Action Agencies began accepting applications for the Home Energy Assistance Program. 
Here are numbers as of 9/25/2020:
Total applications: 8,360
Pending: 6,342
Confirmed eligible: 1,730

Find out more information about the program here - and forward to your networks and people who may need help!
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