ELLSWORTH, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The need for affordable family housing in the Ellsworth area has never been so high with 59% of families there unable to afford a two bedroom home in today's housing market. A development plan fell to the way side for many years to solve the problem, until Friday when the Straw Way Family Housing apartments opened.
A ribbon cutting ceremony along with an open house was held at the newly developed Straw Way Housing Friday afternoon. The public was invited to browse through some of the 29 apartments available, including both two and three bedroom units. Those apartments are available to families who either recieve a low or very low income. The limits for very low income are 1 person: $22,400, 2 people: $25,600, 3 people: $28,800, 4 people: $31,950, 5 people: $34,550, 6 people: $37,100. The limits for low income are 1 person: $26,880, 2 people: $30,720, 3 people: $34,560, 4 people: $38,340, 5 people: $41,460, 6 people: $44,520. Sandra Martin qualified for her 2 bedroom apartment at Straw Way that she moved into last week.
"It's saving me a lot," said Martin. "It's just a quarter of my income so it really helps me out a lot."
The apartments are a subsidiary where renters pay no more than 30% of there paychecks in rent that includes heat, hot water, sewer and high speed internet. The property includes an on-site community space, fully accessible laundry and on-site parking. Penquis Housing, Inc. built the complex after seeing a huge need in the Ellsworth area according to the Chief Executive Officer for the community action agency, Stephen Mooers.
"There hadn't been a subsidies multi family project built in Ellsworth in 28 years," said Mooers.
There are 5 units already spoken for, and a long list of people waiting in line for the rest. If you'd like to obtain an application to apply for one, you can contact The Housing Foundation by calling 1-866-394-2049.