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Rental crisis continues in Maine

Avesta Housing tells NEWS CENTER Maine it receives hundreds of calls for apartments every day

PORTLAND, Maine — According to Maine Housing, housing is considered "affordable" if the household spends no more than 30% of its income on housing-related costs.

For many people in Maine, they are paying much more than that for housing.

According to the Maine Housing Rental 2020 Affordability Index, a person needs to make $42,489 to afford the average rent of a two-bedroom apartment, which is $1,062, but the average individual income in Maine is $29,808.

"We're in the middle of a rental crisis like I've never seen before," Dana Totman, president and CEO of Avesta Housing, told NEWS CENTER Maine.

Avesta Housing is a nonprofit aimed at providing for people in need, but even with that goal, there's still such a demand for affordable housing.

"We had 270 people call our office in seven hours looking for housing," Totman said.

Totman said that's on top of 106 people waiting for the next available apartment, and many are seniors and families. He said that while they are always looking for land in Maine and New Hampshire, building new units won't help the people in need now. Still, he said he wants to get as many people on board as possible to try to solve this problem.