October 4, 2016
Contact: Sherrin Vail, MREMA President (cell: 415-7529) email@example.com
Portland, Maine – Maine Real Estate Managers Association (MREMA), the largest apartment association in Maine, is renewing its call for the release of the bipartisan, voter-approved senior affordable housing bond, based on members’ first-hand experiences and new survey data revealing an increasing unmet need for affordable senior housing.
Last month, MREMA surveyed its member base of 92 property management organizations and landlords throughout the state and asked them to provide the number of elderly households on their waitlists. The data collected from this survey reveals a total of 9,890 of senior households currently waiting for an affordable home. A similar survey conducted in early 2015 found an aggregate waiting list of 8,975 senior households statewide.
“As we stated emphatically in offering our support for the senior affordable housing bond last year, the need for safe, affordable homes for our seniors is dire and continues to get more severe,” said Sherrin Vail, President of MREMA. “This data supports the stories heard every day by our members, and reminds us that we must act now to provide more affordable housing for seniors, before the situation gets worse than it already is.”
Last year, with robust bipartisan support, the Legislature authorized the sale of the $15 million senior affordable housing bond, to be used in combination with $22.5 million in leveraged funds, for the construction of affordable, highly energy efficient homes for Maine’s seniors in strategic locations across the state. Funds would also be used for needed repairs and upgrades of existing homes where seniors are struggling to make ends meet.
In November, this bond proposal was approved by an overwhelming majority of nearly 70% of Maine voters. Despite this broad support, Governor LePage still refuses to release it. At a town hall forum in April, he proclaimed that he would not release the bond proceeds so long as he is Governor.