Transparency and Oversight when Building Affordable Housing

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Dear Friend,

Click here to read State Senator Jon Courtney's (R-Sanford) OpEd in the Portland Press Herald on Tuesday.  The Majority Leader explains the importance of accountability at Maine State Housing Authority (MSHA) in using taxpayer dollars to construct low-income apartments.

6,500 homeless and disadvantaged Maine families are on the MSHA waiting list, hoping for a safe, warm place to call home.  Spending too many precious taxpayer dollars to build too few apartments is unfair to those families-in-need, and unfair to the taxpayers footing the bill.

During the past several years, MSHA has funneled taxpayer dollars to build 1,100-square-foot apartments across Maine costing $268,000 - 292,000 per unit.  The now stalled Elm Terrace apartments in Portland were budgeted at $314,000 each.

The new MSHA board of commissioners is changing the building standards imposed by the staff that have pushed up the cost per unit to unacceptable levels.  This will result in a greater number of less costly apartments, thereby helping more of the 6,500 families-in-need on the MSHA waiting list.

Best wishes,

Bruce Poliquin
Maine State Treasurer

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Transparency and Oversight when Building Affordable Housing