Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland’s Critical Home Repair program returns to interior work after pausing during the pandemic

After over one year of pausing indoor repair jobs for COVID-related safety reasons, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland’s Critical Home Repair program has returned to interior work. The program that partners with low-income Maine homeowners whose homes require safety and structural repairs has been working on outdoor repairs only for over one year. With their staff now fully vaccinated, Habitat feels safe to return to repairing issues on inside spaces.

The Critical Home Repair program provides comprehensive repairs designed to eradicate problems and extend the functional life of a house. In addition, it allows the owners to age in place in the safety and security of their own home.

“To keep our families and staff safe, we’ve been working on exterior jobs like roof repairs and accessibility ramps only for the past year,” said Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland Critical Home Repair Manager Ryan Carmichael. “We are happy to be able to get back to completing necessary repairs on interiors of homes for people who really need it.”

The Critical Home Repair service addresses repairs where the owner’s health and safety may be at risk. This includes but is not limited to structural issues (excluding foundations), accessibility issues, unsafe roofing or flooring, lack of heat, and electrical and plumbing hazards. The program does not address painting and aesthetic updates, replacing carpeting or flooring (unless for structural reasons), window replacement (unless current windows are rotted or have shattered glass), or bathroom or kitchen renovations or remodels (except to make necessary health and safety repairs).

Qualified homes must be in Cumberland County, excluding Brunswick, and have a tax assessment building value less than $200,000. The homeowner must have a household income at or below 80% of HUD median income adjusted for family size, must be current on their mortgage and property taxes, must own and occupy the home, must have lived there for over three years, and must be willing to let Habitat conduct a credit check and background check on all residents over age 18. Homeowners are responsible for paying a portion of the project cost (materials and subcontracted labor) equal to their family’s income as a percentage of the area median income. All Habitat staff time is donated.

Click here for more information on the Critical Home Repair program.

Critical Home Repair sponsors include the Cumberland County Community Development Block Grant, Town & Country Federal Credit Union, and Gorham Savings Bank.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland Announces New Executive Director Tara Hill

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland announces Tara Hill as the new Executive Director of the nonprofit housing organization. In this role, Hill will lead the Habitat team in achieving its mission of bringing people together to build homes, communities, and hope. She succeeds Interim Executive Director John Shumadine.

Tara Hill is a strategic and innovative leader who has developed thriving organizations with her creativity and vision. Her experience includes serving as the Executive Director of Habitat for Humanity/7 Rivers Maine and Maine Cancer Foundation. Most recently, she was the Director of Community Development at Town & Country Federal Credit Union.

“Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland is excited to welcome Tara as its new Executive Director,” said Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland Board of Directors President Julie Ray. “Tara has years of experience as the Executive Director of Maine Cancer Foundation and has a demonstrated passion for nonprofit work. She will bring her skills in organizational leadership, strategic planning, coalition building, and initiative development to position this affiliate for exciting growth moving forward.”

“I am honored to have the opportunity to join the team at Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland,” states Tara Hill. “The organization is poised to really develop its vision and build on the tremendous momentum of recent years. I look forward to being a part of the effort to bring Habitat to the next level, making a positive difference for those in need of safe and affordable homes.”

Habitat thanks John Shumadine for stepping in as Interim Executive Director. As a longtime Board member, his continuing service and dedication to the affiliate allowed for a smooth transition while engaging in the Executive Director search.

Hill will begin work at Habitat on June 7. The affiliate is currently working on a three-home community in Freeport.

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland Receives $20,000 Grant from The Avangrid Foundation

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland is pleased to announce the receipt of a $20,000 grant from the Avangrid Foundation in partnership with Central Maine Power. The Avangrid Foundation is the primary philanthropic arm of AVANGRID, the parent company of Central Maine Power. The grant will support the development of Habitat’s 3-home community in Freeport.

“The Avangrid Foundation’s tradition of community giving and longstanding relationship with Habitat for Humanity continues to create a positive impact for our families, and our community as a whole,” said Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland Interim Executive Director John Shumadine. “We thank the Avangrid Foundation for this generous donation that will allow us to address the need for affordable housing in Cumberland county.” The Avangrid Foundation was the leading energy efficiency donor to the recently completed community in Scarborough, ME.

The AVANGRID family of companies are the poles, pipes, and wires that power the very homes at the heart of healthy and prosperous individuals and communities,” said Nicole Licata Grant, Avangrid Foundation, Executive Director. “Never has the need for stable, affordable and healthy housing been more apparent than during this pandemic and we are grateful for our national partnership with Habitat for Humanity that helps us invest in our neighbors and neighborhoods.”

Three families have been selected for the homes in Freeport and are working with Habitat on the construction of their homes. Once the Freeport project is complete, Habitat will move on to an 8-home community in South Portland.

State Farm Presents Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland with $12,000 Grant

Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland is excited to receive a $12,000 grant from State Farm Insurance. The funds will be used to support Habitat for Humanity’s upcoming 8-home community in South Portland, Sunset Place.

“We are so grateful to State Farm for this generous grant that will support our new building projects,” said Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland Interim Executive Director John Shumadine. “State Farm is a longtime champion of Habitat, both financially and in volunteer hours. Their support continues to create a long-lasting, positive impact for our families.”

“We at State Farm are happy to have supported Habitat for Humanity of Greater Portland since 2011 and we are excited to continue that support in 2021,” said State Farm Corporate Responsibility Analyst Jennifer Young.  “Habitat has a strong commitment to providing safe, affordable housing to those in need.  Part of State Farm’s mission is to help people realize their dreams, which is why this relationship works so well.”