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Using Tax Increment Financing for Affordable Housing in South Portland, ME

December 3, 2021

Saint John Church in South Portland, MaineThe Challenge

The former St. John Church in South Portland, ME, has been vacant since 2013. With a mounting need for affordable housing, the South Portland Housing Development Corporation (SPHDC) was in search of creative financing to support the redevelopment of this 2-acre site. They were interested in partnering with the City of South Portland and applying to the Maine State Housing Authority to create an Affordable Housing Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District and commissioned Camoin Associates to help.

The Solution

Camoin Associates completed the Maine State Housing Affordable TIF Application including all needed financial tables and supporting documentation. In addition, Camoin worked with SPHDC to submit the application to the City of South Portland and their TIF attorney to complete and approve the TIF Development Plan. For this TIF project, a 75% tax reimbursement would be granted to the developer, and 25% of those funds would go towards education.

The Impact

In July 2018 the resolution to create a TIF program was passed 7-0 by South Portland’s City Council. A development consisting of 42 affordable apartments and commercial space will take the place on the site of the decommissioned church. In addition, the site will feature a 10,000-square-foot section for community gardens or a playground. With a waiting list of over 850 households, this development meets a pressing need in the region.