As an architect, I have, over the years, had the opportunity to work with both state and federal housing agencies in the development of affordable housing for the people of Maine.
For three decades our firm worked with HUD (the federal housing assistance program), the Maine State Housing Authority, and the USDA Farmers Home Administration on elderly and multifamily housing developments from Presque Isle to Wells. In this work I had the opportunity to work with developers, towns, and the housing agencies to develop between 70 and 80 quality developments that remain robust and active today.
In a recent phone conversation with Brian Sykes of Volunteers of America, I had the opportunity to review the most significant components of their proposal to the town for the conversion of old A.D. Gray School to affordable senior housing. Briefly, I learned how his organization’s approach, its history and background, could serve the town’s needs. With Brian I was able to review all the key aspects that, in my opinion, would be of concern to the town in developing rental housing for lower income seniors.
While there are clearly some development options that need, as always, to be carefully considered, such as unit type, mix, etc., my discussion with Bryan Sykes convinced me that Volunteers of America is both knowledgeable and experienced at undertaking projects such as this and that they will serve the town well in making the school, which lives on in the memories of so many Waldoboro residents, come alive again.
John Morris lives in Waldoboro