Senator Collins Announces More than $16.5 Million to Support Affordable Housing Efforts in Maine Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has awarded a total of $16,517,072 in the first installment of funding to support affordable housing, homelessness, and COVID-19 prevention and response efforts throughout the State of Maine.  This funding was awarded through the supplemental appropriations bill as part of the Phase 3 coronavirus emergency response package, which included a section Senator Collins co-authored directing $48.5 billion to support housing and transportation programs.


“Maine’s state agencies and local governments work to provide seniors, individuals with disabilities, and low-income families with safe and affordable homes that promote their health, independence, and overall wellbeing.  As the Chairman of the Housing Appropriations Subcommittee, I worked hard to secure these vital resources for Maine’s communities to assist their efforts to prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19,” said Senator Collins.  “The coronavirus is taking an unprecedented toll on communities across the country. This investment will help ensure that the State of Maine will continue to be able to provide critical assistance during this difficult time.”


The funding was awarded through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) program, and Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA) program will be allocated as follows:


  • Auburn received $334,985 through the CDBG program;


  • Bangor received $498,873 through the CDBG program;


  • Biddeford received $276,034 through the CDBG program;


  • Lewiston received $538,518 through the CDBG program;


  • Portland received $1,137,154 through the CDBG program and $573,734 through the ESG program;


  • Cumberland County received $920,165 through the CDBG program;


  • Maine State Government received $7,022,416 through the CDBG program and $4,796,255 through the ESG program; and,


  • Frannie Peabody Center in Portland received $418,938 through the HOPWA program.


The CDBG program provides grants to states and local units of government to develop viable urban communities by providing decent housing and a suitable living environment and by expanding economic opportunities, principally for low- and moderate-income persons.  These grants can also be used in coordination with local health authorities to respond to COVID-19.   


The ESG program provides grants to state, local, and private entities to assist people in quickly regaining stability in permanent housing after experiencing a housing crisis and/or homelessness.  In addition to rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention, the ESG program also provides limited funding for street outreach as well as for improving the quality and number of emergency homeless shelters.


The HOPWA program provides housing assistance for people living with HIV/AIDS.  In some cases, HOPWA assistance will include chemical dependency treatment, mental health treatment, nutritional services, job training and placement assistance, and assistance with daily living.