Spotlight Blog

PHOTO Fatuma Hussein, Immigrant Resource Center of Maine executive director

Construction Loan for New Units – BRUNSWICK, ME

Coming Soon: Asylum Seekers Renting New Apartments

The completion of 60 rental units in Brunswick’s former Naval Air Station, coupled with MaineHousing’s commitment to providing rental subsidies for two years, will mark a significant step in addressing the dire need for affordable housing for local asylum seekers.

Asylum seekers generally arrive in Maine with few possessions beyond clothing. They navigate unfamiliar systems, often while learning English, and want to work, but are not eligible to do so before an enforced waiting period ends.

Safe, affordable housing is a foundation for asylum seekers who are becoming part of the workforce and completing educational opportunities. But establishing a stable living situation can be extremely difficult.

Wanting to help address this critical demand, MaineHousing sought out developers who could implement projects swiftly. Developers Collaborative came forward with a plan. Genesis made a $4 million construction loan.

The Immigrant Resource Center of Maine brought its experience meeting housing needs, to advise potential tenants and review applications. Hundreds of individuals were motivated to apply, but just one hour after opening the application list for the 60 apartments available, the list had to be capped at 250 applicants.

“The new project’s tenants are individuals and families determined to learn about their new homeland, increase their self-sufficiency, and expand their opportunities,” said Fatuma Hussein, Immigrant Resource Center of Maine executive director. “They share the same goals as generations of immigrants to America.”