As a member of the Federal Home Loan Bank Atlanta (FHLBAtlanta), Community Housing Capital (CHC) sponsors several applications each year, on behalf of its borrowers, to receive an FHLB Atlanta (FHLBAtlanta) AHP award for up to $500,000. Recipients acquire, construct, rehabilitate, and/or develop affordable rental and ownership housing. In November 2019, Avesta Housing, in Lewiston, Maine, received a $500,000 award through the AHP program. CHC will also provide $500,000 of bridge financing during the project's construction phase. The $7.6 million development, known as Blake & Pine, will create new affordable apartments in an accessible and "elevatored" building. Blake and Pine Street are within easy walking distance of several bus lines, Kennedy Park, and other services and locations that are important to daily living. Eleven apartments will be fully accessible to disabled residents with seven apartments reserved for residents earning between 50% and 65% area median income (AMI) and 21 units reserved for less than 50% AMI.
Avesta Housing is working with another NeighborWorks organization, Community Concepts, Inc., in Lewiston, Maine, to create the 35 new apartment homes in the walkable heart of downtown Lewiston, a city with a critical need for safe, affordable, and accessible rental housing. The Lewiston area (pop. 36,000) has significant economic disinvestment and substandard housing, where approximately 20% of residents live at or below the federal poverty level. About 61% of Lewiston households cannot afford an average two-bedroom rent, and 46% of households are rent-burdened. Lewiston also features some of the oldest housing stock in the country, with 39% of homes constructed pre-1940. This age contributes directly to the high levels of childhood lead poisoning, among the highest in the state and region. The traditional 3-story homes are characteristic of downtown, limiting housing options for people with mobility limitations.