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New 4% senior housing initiative seeks proposals
MaineHousing is requesting proposals to create new affordable senior housing under the Rental Loan Program, which includes the 4% Low Income Housing Tax Credit, tax-exempt debt, and other financing sources. Applications are due no later than 5 p.m. on September 22, 2016. The solicitation can be found here.
A new criterion includes preferential points for projects located in “age friendly communities” that have made a commitment to “aging in place” initiatives. Projects also will be given preferential points if they address the need for senior housing in a service center community, and if the project is owned, sponsored, or developed by a community housing development organization (CHDO).
Board of Commissioners approves 2017 Qualified Allocation Plan, LIHEAP plans
The MaineHousing Board of Commissioners on Tuesday, July 19, gave its approval to several program-specific plans after receiving public comment on each in June.
The 2017 Qualified Allocation Plan, which is the scoring system for the federal 9% Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, will limit the number of applications a developer can submit, and includes additional scoring criteria for developer and management performance, among other changes from the 2016 plan. Developer applications are due by October 27 at 5 p.m.
The Board also approved the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) Rule and the State Plan with no substantive changes since the public hearings in June, and the waiver authorizing an additional 10% for weatherization from the 2016 LIHEAP grant.
FIRST HOME LOANS

Purchases: 407
As of July 15


Pipeline: 456
As of July 5


  MAINE HOME SALES
 Sold: 1,672 houses
in May, up 25.24% from 
May 2015
Median Sales Price: Up 2.4%, to $190,250
NEW RESIDENTIAL CONSTRUCTION PERMITS
May 2016 vs. May 2015
Privately Owned Housing Units: 443, up 20.7%
How this breaks down:
Single family: 393, up 28.4%
Multifamily: 50 units in buildings with five or more units, up 18%
MaineHousing's First Home Loan rate as of July 1, 2016
June rate cut draws 268 new home loans
To celebrate National Homeownership Month in June, MaineHousing lowered its First Home Loan rate to 2.99% from 3.5%, about a quarter-point lower than market rates, and continued our Advantage program of up to $3,500 towards down payment and closing costs. The response was incredible! Our Green Key Lenders submitted 268 reservations!
Our First Home Finders, real estate professionals who sold three or more houses last year to First Home Loan buyers, promoted our mortgages heavily to their clients. A strong social media campaign significantly increased the number of people who visited our web pages for more information.
Our advertising partner Burgess Advertising and Marketing won a national honor for our campaign, Silver Communication Award for Content Marketing -- Overall Social Presence, from The Communicator Awards, an annual contest from the Academy of Interactive and Visual Arts.
Top 5 Green Key Lenders (January 1 - June 30):
ON OUR WEBSITE: Housing affordability in Maine
MaineHousing's 2015 Maine Homeownership and Rental Affordability Index reveals little change in affordability from 2014 to 2015 for both home buyers and renters. Buying remains affordable while renting is still unaffordable though showing signs of improvement, according to a MaineHousing analysis.
Partners celebrate grand openings
MaineHousing congratulates and joins its partners to celebrate these grand openings in July:
Timber Ridge in Sanford, 50 family housing units, acquisition and rehab, The Caleb Group; celebration on July 19, attended by Mark Wiesendanger, Director of Development.

Village Centre (pictured), Brewer, 48 units, new construction, Passive House energy efficiency standards, Community Housing of Maine; celebration on July 20, attended by Deputy Director Margaret Bean.
Ridgeland Gardens, South Portland, 44 senior housing units, South Portland Housing Authority; celebration on July 25, attended by Director John Gallagher.
2016 National Housing Trust Fund allocation plan ready for public comment 
The draft National Housing Trust Fund Allocation Plan, developed with input from our partners, stakeholders, and households of lower income, describes how MaineHousing intends to distribute the funds, including what activities may be undertaken and how recipients and projects will be selected.
This document includes a Substantial Amendment to the State of Maine Consolidated Plan (2015-2019) and the 2016 Annual Action Plan. Both the Allocation Plan and the Substantial Amendment are available for public comment. The deadline for written comment is 5 p.m. August 5. A public hearing for comment on the draft allocation plan is scheduled for July 28 at 1 p.m. in Room 208 of the Cross State Office Building in Augusta.
Two MaineHousing-financed housing projects receive honors
MaineHousing congratulates its partners on two recent awards!
The U.S. Green Building Council has awarded Brookside Village Housing (pictured right; KJ photo), based in Farmington, its 2015 LEED Homes Award for Outstanding Affordable Project of the Year. The builder was Brookside Partner LP. While USDA (Rural Development) was a strong promoter of the energy aspects of this project, it couldn't have been accomplished without MaineHousing's participation and funding.
The Greater Portland Council of Governments gave a Regional ReCOGnition Award to Avesta Housing, MaineHousing, Wright Ryan, and CWS Architects for the 409 Cumberland Ave. housing project (pictured left). The project was cited for housing diversity, smart growth/downtown revitalization, and sustainability.
2015 MaineHousing Annual Report available online
"Continually Improving" is the theme of MaineHousing's 2015 Annual Report. In it are short stories of programs or services that our staff created or evaluated and improved during the year for the betterment of our customers and partners.