Conversion of downtown Houlton building into apartments would help ease housing crunch
HOULTON, Maine — The Houlton Town Council is aiding a developer seek out funding to renovate component of a downtown business creating into 10 apartments.
The town will file an software for a just about $500,000 condition Community Progress Block Grant on behalf of Shiretown Homes LLC this 7 days centered on the council’s unanimous vote in favor of the action Monday, Could 16.
The council’s conclusion arrives right after a tragic a few-tale multi-device condominium building hearth on Mechanic Avenue in March killed a 4-calendar year-old boy and remaining 38 individuals homeless, making an already serious need for affordable housing in Houlton even worse.
Houlton Community Improvement Director Nancy Ketch reported there is a incredible need for far more housing and that the proposed task would transform current industrial space to 10 residential units, with a sprinkler procedure, energy-productive updates and parking place paving.
The new residences will be crafted on the second floor of the Crucial Lender constructing at the corner of Market Sq. and Water Avenue.
To meet up with CDBG tips, 51 per cent, or 6 of the units, would be selected for very low-to-moderate profits individual persons or people, Ketch explained.
Developer John Harvell stressed this is not state-sponsored housing. The vote in favor of implementing for the grant funds was held after a public listening to.
“I am pretty a great deal in favor of this undertaking. I think it is an excellent repurpose of this setting up. It addresses inexpensive housing here in the town of Houlton, and I think it’s going to be an remarkable boon to the downtown space,” Councilor Sue Tortello stated through the public listening to Monday evening.
If the task is funded, the existing 2nd-floor enterprise tenants will move to other downtown spots.
Northern Lighthouse on the initial ground is transferring out of the setting up and Community Health and Counseling Products and services, presently on the next flooring, will transfer into that house, Harvell stated. This grant application is via the CDBG Housing Help Plan. Although Houlton has been awarded other CDBG grants, this is the very first Housing Assistance Application application the city has produced, Ketch explained.
The KeyBank building at 41 Market place Sq. is for business use on the first and next flooring and the third is residential. If the undertaking proceeds, the 2nd ground would turn into entirely household, necessitating a new sprinkler method on both equally the next and 3rd floors.
In March, the city submitted a letter of intent to the condition about the funding and was then invited to implement. Ketch explained this somewhat narrows the level of competition for the grant funds. This 12 months, the Housing Support Plan has $20 million that will be dispersed in the course of the state.
“The fact that we ended up invited to utilize is a fairly excellent indication,” Ketch reported. “It’s nevertheless no ensure.”
The grant applications will be judged on a stage process — community effect (40 details), development method (40 details), resident aid ( 20 points) — and top rated scoring applicants will then be invited to take part in the project progress phase. Nevertheless, this does not assurance funding. Awards will be declared at the end of the advancement stage.
Ketch stated the town will very likely listen to about the position of its software in late June.
“Because there is these a want, we are energized to be involved in the system,” Ketch said on Tuesday. “This job will be fantastic for the local community.”
Councilors Mark Horvath and James Peters were being absent.
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