September 16, 2019
When Breary Farms and Meadowcreek Apartments in Sanford, Maine, were facing bankruptcy in 2016, affordable housing provider The Caleb Group decided to step in. With a mission to “provide secure, affordable homes and build stable communities that offer diverse populations the tools and resources to empower individuals to make positive changes in their lives,” The Caleb Group devised a plan to purchase both projects and retain their affordability.
Facing gaps in traditional financing, The Caleb Group turned to partner Genesis Community Loan Fund, a local CDFI that had supported them with capital for projects in the past. With a $1 million construction loan in January 2019 from the Genesis Fund—in partnership with Norway Savings and supported by a Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston grant and an investment from Bath Savings Institution—The Caleb Group was able to purchase and preserve these 62 vital multifamily affordable housing units in rural Maine.
A much-needed facelift and some necessary repairs to the circa-1985 buildings have created a vibrant neighborhood for the residents of this quiet, family-friendly townhouse complex, which includes lots of green space, a community building with a laundry room, and access to a resident services coordinator. A brand new playground, created by Portland Builders, is also a bright and welcoming spot for families to gather while their children play.
“Support from the Genesis Community Loan Fund made the transformation of Breary Farms possible. The 30 units of affordable housing now have new siding, windows, and doors. The heat was converted to more efficient natural gas. We are grateful for Genesis Fund’s commitment to housing and the people of Maine,” said Deb Nutter, President and CEO/Co-Founder of The Caleb Group.
The loan from the Genesis Fund has breathed new life into both housing complexes and a strong sense of community for residents. Sharing a common purpose to create positive, supportive, encouraging communities by offering resources and programming that help people get out of poverty, the Genesis Fund is helping to stabilize and improve lives for low-income families in Sanford through their collaboration with The Caleb Group.
Photo: Soggy Dog Designs