Affordable housing project in South Portland moves forward


    South Portland affordable housing project

    SOUTH PORTLAND (WGME) -- An affordable housing project in South Portland is getting closer to being built.

    Director of Real Estate Development at Avesta Housing, Rebecca Hatfield, says the past year has proved there's a crucial need for more affordable housing across the state.

    "We had 4,900 people come in the door and we were only able to help 340 through vacant units and new units," Hatfield says.

    Avesta's goal is to change that. The nonprofit recently received funding to move the West end Apartments project forward on Westbrook Street in South Portland.

    "It's a 64-unit building, 50 of those apartments will be affordable and half of those apartments will be family size to help low-income and very low-income families," Hatfield says.

    It will be a mixed-use development with businesses as well.

    "Currently there is the Le Variety store there and the Opportunity Alliance has a location there," Hatfield says, "And they will remain there once our development is completed."

    That's just one of several plans in the works.

    "We have a lot in the pipeline," says Hatfield, "We have three developments that are under construction, two of those are in Maine and one is in New Hampshire and then we have four developments that will start construction this year."

    Hatfield says community collaboration is critical to help more families afford housing.

    "We continue to see an increase in need and I think that's our goal, is the more units we can bring online for people in need, that's the core of our mission," she says.

    Construction on the West End Apartments in South Portland is expected to start sometime this fall.

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