BRDC receives $300K housing grant

Wed, 08/23/2023 - 1:00pm

Earlier this month, Boothbay Region Housing Trust was the first applicant to receive a Lincoln County American Rescue Plan Act grant. County commissioners have set aside $1.5 million in ARPA funds for affordable housing projects. Boothbay Region Housing Trust received a $21,000 grant for its project at 1 Alexander Way in Boothbay Harbor. BRHT has a project under construction for seven modular homes with three bedrooms, two baths and one-car garages. The trust will sell these units to income-qualified applicants for $287,000 each. 

On Aug. 15, Boothbay Region Development Corp. became the second recipient of a county ARPA grant. BRDC is a 501(c)(3) created in response to the Boothbay region workforce housing crisis. The corporation is developing a 137-unit affordable housing project on a 30-acre parcel on Butler Road in Boothbay. Commissioners approved a $300,000 grant to assist with phase one of the project. County Planner Emily Rabbe told commissioners the $300,000 grant will assist in extending sewer and water lines running along Butler and County Club roads. BRDC is constructing a variety of houses, town houses and rental properties.

Rabbe reported the two Boothbay projects fill a large gap in the affordable housing crisis. A recent Lincoln County housing study showed a need for 900 additional units over the next decade. “These two projects would provide 15% of the projected need. I think this is a great project which received unanimous approval from the committee,” Rabbe said.

Commissioners set $300,000 as a maximum limit for ARPA housing grants. 

In other action, commissioners approved receiving a Community Resilience Partnership Service Provider Grant. Lincoln County Regional Planning Commission will serve as Alna’s and Damariscotta’s service provider assisting the town with enrolling in the governor’s office’s Community Resilience Partnership. The commission’s work includes assisting Alna and Damariscotta in completing a CRP self-evaluation, a list of community actions indicating what actions the communities have completed and holding public workshops reviewing climate resilience projects for implementation.

Once these projects are finished, the commission will assist with project scoping, writing and submitting a community action grant for the next grant round. Assistant Planner Emily Graziano said Community Action Grants have a $5,000 minimum or $50,000 maximum per town. If two or more towns collaborate, a request could be as large as $125,000.

Commissioners meet next at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 5 in the county courthouse.