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Maine awarded $16M for housing efforts amid coronavirus, COVID-19 pandemic

The federal funding will go towards affordable housing, homelessness, and COVID-19 prevention and response efforts in Maine.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — Sen. Susan Collins, Chairman of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, announced more than $16 million in federal funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) in the first installment of funding to support affordable housing efforts in Maine amid the coronavirus pandemic.

A total of $16,517,072 will be distributed across Maine through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDGB), Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG), and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) programs.

The funding was awarded through the supplemental appropriations bills as part of the Phase 3 coronavirus emergency response package. Collins co-wrote a section of the bill that directed $48.5 billion to support housing and transportation programs.

“Maine’s state agencies and local governments work to provide seniors, individuals with disabilities, and low-income families with safe and affordable homes that promote their health, independence, and overall wellbeing.  As the Chairman of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, I worked hard to secure these vital resources for Maine’s communities to assist their efforts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19,” Collins said in a statement. “The coronavirus is taking an unprecedented toll on communities across the country. This investment will help ensure that the State of Maine will continue to be able to provide critical assistance during this difficult time.”

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The money will be allocated as follows:

  • Auburn received $334,985 through the CDBG program
  • Bangor received $498,873 through the CDBG program
  • Biddeford received $276,034 through the CDBG program
  • Lewiston received $538,518 through the CDBG program
  • Portland received $1,137,154 through the CDBG program and $573,734 through the ESG program
  • Cumberland County received $920,165 through the CDBG program
  • Maine State Government received $7,022,416 through the CDBG program and $4,796,255 through the ESG program
  • Frannie Peabody Center in Portland received $418,938 through the HOPWA program.

The CDBG program provides grants to states and local units of government to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.  These grants can also be used in coordination with local health authorities to respond to COVID-19.  

The ESG program provides grants to state, local, and private entities to assist people in quickly regaining stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis and/or homelessness.  In addition to rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention, the ESG program also provides limited funding for street outreach as well as for improving the quality and number of emergency homeless shelters.

The HOPWA program provides housing assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS.  In some cases, HOPWA assistance will include chemical dependency treatment, mental health treatment, nutritional services, job training and placement assistance, and assistance with daily living.

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