Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Ranking Member of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that WCARC in Calais has received a total of $3,174,364 to renovate the St. Croix Apartments to provide housing for low-income seniors. This funding was awarded through the fiscal year 2021 U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program. Senator Collins sent a letter in support of the project to HUD.
“As the Ranking Member of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, I am committed to ensuring that the vital housing and services needs of vulnerable individuals and families are met,” said Senator Collins. “I strongly advocated for this investment that will support the renovation of St. Croix Apartments and allow this facility to once again provide housing for seniors of very low income in the Calais area.”
“Housing is an important, pressing issue everywhere at the moment. Washington County stands out in need for additional quality housing inventory. WCARC and Sunrise Opportunities are proud to bring 26 units of elderly housing to Calais,” said Tom Michaud, executive director of Sunrise Opportunities. “Senator Collins’ office has been with us since the beginning of this journey, as have additional key funders the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston and Machias Savings Bank. Other partners in our success include the City of Calais, Senator King, and Representative Golden. Together we look forward to completing this project and continuing to improve housing in Washington County!”
WCARC recently acquired the St. Croix Street Apartments, a 26-unit apartment complex located in Calais, Maine, from a previous owner who lost HUD assistance for the complex due to poor management. Originally built at the turn of the last century, the facility has been expanded and is now comprised of four separate structures linked by hallways to create one building. In 1978, the building was redeveloped using HUD support to create low-income senior housing.
WCARC will own the building through a wholly owned subsidiary, St. Croix Apartments, Inc., a 501(c)(3) organization. Sunrise Opportunities, the co-applicant, will manage the project and will also provide services as necessary to meet the needs of the residents.
The Section 202 Supportive Housing for the Elderly Program provides funding for the development of supportive rental housing for people aged 62 years or older with low-incomes (making 50 percent of the area median income or below). In addition, HUD funds project rental subsidies to maintain ongoing affordability. The program provides elderly residents with the opportunity to live independently, but with important voluntary support services such as nutritional, transportation, educational, and health-related services.
Senator Collins was instrumental in securing $855 million for the Section 202 Housing for the Elderly Program in the fiscal year 2021 Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Bill that was signed into law in December. Additionally, last year, Senator Collins helped to secure a total of $46.5 million in HUD’s CARES Act funding to help communities throughout Maine respond to COVID-19 by protecting affordable housing, providing housing assistance for the homeless, and supporting community development.