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April 12, 2017

Avesta plans low-income senior housing in Paris

Courtesy / Avesta Housing
Courtesy / Avesta Housing

Avesta Housing plans to transform the historic Mildred M. Fox School in Paris into a 12-unit low-income senior housing complex.

Built in 1885, it was used as an elementary and high school, SAD 17 office space and then continued as the Oxford Hills Christian Academy until January 2016.

The Advertiser Democrat reported that ground-breaking is scheduled for this summer. Avesta will receive historic tax credits for the project. Historic elements such as the original hardwood floors will remain intact, Tom Greer of Portland-based Pinkham and Greer Civil Engineers told the local planning board at a recent hearing on the project, the newspaper reported.

Greer noted that a benefit of being in the village is that seniors will be able to walk most places.

"I think this is going to make it very successful," he said.

The project comes a year after Avesta unveiled, in June 2016, its new 18-unit low-income housing project, called Thomas Heights, at 134 Washington Ave. in Portland.

Earlier this year, Avesta issued a new report that said demand for affordable housing is outpacing the organization's ability to help households find and move into apartments they can pay for in its service area of southern Maine and New Hampshire.

Based in Portland and one of the largest nonprofit developers of affordable housing in New England, Avesta developed 214 new apartments between 2014 and 2016, but with 3,000 people on Avesta's waiting list, that's not enough, Avesta president and CEO Dana Totman said in a release issued with the report.

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