CHERRYFIELD, ME — July of this year marked the end of a remarkable Downeast housing program involving Downeast Community Partners, Mano en Mano, Sunrise Economic Council, The Community Caring Collaborative, and Maine Seacoast Mission. The five nonprofits were tasked with awarding $10K grants to Downeast residents to use either as down payment on a first home or for rehabilitation on an existing home.
The opportunity for this housing assist to Downeast residents was through an equally remarkable anonymous $500K donation to, as Mission Housing Rehabilitation Manager Scott Shaw explains, “assist with housing issues Downeast.”
The five nonprofits agreed to turn $400K into forty $10K housing grants, with $100K reserved for administering the Housing Barrier Removal Fund.
Scott Shaw was part of the selection committee grading grant applications. He said, “Clients who received the down payment assistance were required to meet with financial coach Joe Connors through Downeast Community Partners.” Mano En Mano held the funds and hired Elan Gabel-Richards to facilitate the process.
Grant application responses were graded in three areas:
Feasibility – How likely is the applicant to reach their goal in one year?
Impact – How does reaching the goal impact the lives of the people affected? How many people will be affected?
Leverage – How much are other resources leveraged to reach the applicant’s goal?
All forty grants were awarded in three rounds. Ten grants were awarded in January, twenty in May, and ten in July. Twenty-four grants were given for down payment assistance, sixteen for home repair projects.
As of September 16, five grantees had purchased homes. A sixth grantee is under contract on a piece of land for their mobile home. One home repair project is completed; ten projects are underway.
Awardees have up to a year to expend the funds for their projects.
CHERRYFIELD, ME — Mission Housing Rehabilitation Manager Scott Shaw tells us, “The Housing Rehab Friends and Families Program is underway. I have been visiting homes and following up on projects as we order materials for them.”
The friends and family element is a response to 2020’s Covid restrictions. Normally, the Mission Housing Rehabilitation Program has the help of many volunteers. With most volunteers unable to help with the 2020 work because of Covid restrictions, the Mission developed the friends and family model.
Homeowners can still apply for help repairing their homes. Scott Shaw will still review those homes to assess work and materials needed. Applicants with family/friends able to do the work on their homes, with Scott’s supervision, are provided the materials and, if needed, guidance.
Scott Shaw said of the homes pictured here, “These homes will be weatherized by our partners Downeast Community Partners after the work is completed.”
Learn more about the Mission’s Housing Rehabilitation Program.
It’s Thank you Thursday. Today’s shout out of Mission love goes to Scott Berry.
“As a volunteer and supporter, Scott Berry has been a driving force in the success of Maine Seacoast Mission’s Housing Rehab Program.” said Scott Shaw, Manager of the Mission’s Housing Rehab Program. “Scott and his team from South Portland have made an incredible difference in the lives of many of our Downeast Maine neighbors through countless years, days, and hours of construction projects he’s been involved with.
“Scott has a heart of gold. He always brings a team spirit and willingness to take on any project we provide. The Mission, and the folks Scott Berry has helped live in safe homes, want to send a huge thank you. Although we can’t be together this year, we look forward to a reunion with Scott and his team next year,” said Manager Scott Shaw.
Maine could benefit from more initiatives like the Downeast Tiny House Project, a collaborative effort among nonprofit organizations and a technical high school located in Massachusetts to build a 560-square foot home – fueled only with a woodstove and ductless heat pump – for a disabled veteran in Milbridge. Photo courtesy of Downeast Community Partners.
Cottage Industry: Small wood homes yield big climate benefits Maine could get a large economic boost and provide critically needed housing by manufacturing compact, highly efficient homes.
BY MARINA SCHAUFFLER | SEPTEMBER 13, 2020
A single small home, lifted onto a foundation in Milbridge last month, could signal big housing changes ahead. Confronted with scant affordable housing and mandates to reduce carbon pollution, Maine needs to re-envision how home construction happens – from the constituent elements and the building process to the carbon emissions produced.
A draft strategy proposed by the Maine Climate Council’s buildings, infrastructure and housing working group recommends…highly efficient homes built primarily with wood that generate as much electricity as they use (for appliances, heating and cooling) through solar power – either rooftop panels or participation in a community solar farm.
The innovative spirit needed to navigate this housing transition is embodied in the “Downeast Maine Tiny House” recently transported to Milbridge from Assabet Valley Regional Technical High School in Marlborough, Mass., where students customized the building for a disabled veteran.
MILBRIDGE, ME — This lull lift was such a great donation. Once the tiny house was delivered and placed, WK Construction & Sons lull lift donation saved Bill Italiano and all the crews so much work getting the overhangs and roofing complete. Trey Shaw from WK Construction & Sons was a life saver.
WK Construction & Sons’ lull lift also enabled volunteers in 2018 to complete the final phase of Maine Seacoast Mission’s Weald Bethel Community Center on time.
L-to-R: DCP Development Associate Megan R. Hayes, Bobbi Harris (DCP), Mission President John Zavodny, DCP Operations Manager Dale Basher, and Scott Shaw (Mission)
MILBRIDGE, ME — On a misty Monday morning, August 3, a tall yellow crane is suspending a new tiny house in mid-air while carpenters guide the building onto its cement foundation. Four years ago this tiny house was an idea sketched on a paper napkin. The idea grew, and attracted support from four partner organizations, several sponsors, and many volunteers.
Partner organizations Downeast Community Partners (DCP) and Maine Seacoast Mission were already working together — with volunteers — through the Mission’s Housing Rehabilitation Program to make homes in Downeast Maine safe and warm through home repairs and home insulating.
Neither DCP nor the Mission had ever tackled a tiny house. But perhaps tiny houses could serve as a new way to provide safe, warm housing to the elderly, low-income individuals and families, and military Veterans?
Word reached Mission Housing Rehab Program Manager Scott Shaw that a Washington County disabled military Veteran named Ryan needed a place to live. Ryan’s situation was a perfect reason to build a tiny house.