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Governor’s Address: It’s Time to Move Forward on Affordable Senior Housing

For one thousand, one hundred and sixty-nine days, Mainers who voted in support of affordable senior housing have waited for their voices to matter. They comprise almost 70 percent of those who went to the polls three years ago who voted for the senior housing bond.

No longer will we wait. Earlier this week, I signed a financial order to internally transfer some of the voter-approved $15 million senior housing bond to immediately pay for weatherization and home improvement projects so Maine seniors can live safely in their own homes.

I also notified Treasurer Henry Beck that I will authorize the sale of the bond when Maine goes to market in June to fund projects that are ready to be completed. It’s time to build more affordable housing for Maine seniors, just as the voters intended.

While the people of Maine authorized this bond nearly three years ago, we can now move proudly forward in our goal of ensuring that all Maine seniors can live safely, with dignity and comfort, in the communities they love.

The release of the senior housing bonds would not have been possible without the tireless efforts of the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition, the Maine Council on Aging, AARP, and countless others who never stopped believing in the power of advocacy to create change.

Although this is an important step, we still need your voices. While these bonds will help build more than 200 affordable units and fund weatherization improvements for another 100 homes, we still have more work to do to ensure affordable housing for our seniors. More than 9,000 Maine seniors remain on a waitlist for safe, affordable housing.

I look forward to continuing this work with Maine’s advocates, seniors, and all of you in the coming years.

Let’s get going.

Thank you.

Janet Mills

Governor

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