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January 18, 2018

Nonprofit Avesta Housing adds paid parental leave as employee benefit

About Avesta Housing

Avesta Housing is a nonprofit affordable housing provider with over 40 years of experience as a leader in affordable housing development and property management in southern Maine and New Hampshire. The organization is headquartered in Portland and currently has more than 80 properties and 2,400 apartments in its portfolio. Its mission is to improve lives and strengthen communities by promoting and providing quality affordable homes for people in need. Its five areas of focus are advocacy, development, property management, senior and assisted living, and home ownership.

Portland-based nonprofit Avesta Housing announced Wednesday it has added paid parental leave to its employee benefits package, effective Jan. 1.

The parental leave allows for eight weeks of leave at 100% pay for birth mothers and four weeks of leave at 100% pay for all other parents. The policy includes paid leave time for women and men, biological births and adoptions, and full- and part-time employees.

Founded in 1972 with a staff of three, Avesta Housing currently has 133 employees in its primary operations.

"Avesta has been very successful helping communities through affordable housing over the years. That success stems in large part from our incredibly talented, hardworking, and devoted employees," Avesta President and CEO Dana Totman said in a news release. "I'm proud that we're able to offer paid parental leave to our staff. I fully anticipate it will enhance employee satisfaction, retention and recruitment."

According to the Society for Human Resource Management's 2016 Employee Benefits Research Report, only 17% of employers in the U.S. have a paid-parental-leave plan for both parents.

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