BELFAST — City officials have taken the next step in securing more affordable housing.
Belfast officials have voted to allow the city’s economic development director to apply for the Community Development Block Grant Housing Assistance Program.
The $500,000 grant will help the city add more affordable housing units for moderate and low-income people.
The economic development director said in 2020, the city began working with a firm named Developers Collaborative to build affordable housing.
And now with official city council support for the CDBG, a major step in the process of bringing more housing to the city was completed.
“The reason we’re doing the grant is not only to help the overall finances of the project by replacing some of the loan proceeds with grant money that does not to be re-paid if they meet the requirements. But actually, it will help their application to Maine Housing,” said Thomas Kittredge, Belfast’s economic development director.
He added the grant would increase the amount of what’s called, low market capital because the money wouldn’t come from a loan, which will help Developers Collaborative secure tax credits from Maine Housing.
“We think it will help the project, but it will also help their tax credit application which is probably the most important part of it because that will be the lion share funding we need to build the project. They might be able to do it without the CDBG grant but they certainly can’t do it without the tax credit. So we’re doing whatever we can to help them get those tax credits,” Kittredge said.
Now that the city council voted to approve the application in Tuesday’s public hearing, Kittredge said he has limited time to complete it and send it off.
“I’m actually working on the application as we speak. But the application is due May 7,” Kittredge said.
He said the city will know in mid-June if the grant application will be approved.