Million dollar dream for Millinocket housing project

Housing initiative in Millinocket

MILLINOCKET, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- As opportunity grows in the Katahdin region so does the need for affordable housing, the only problem is that there are few options available -- however one organization is hoping to change that.

The Northern Forest Center is a New Hampshire based company that is looking to raise and invest $1-million in multi-unit properties in downtown Millinocket. So far the organization has purchased four homes that they plan to fully remodel and update. The goal is to provide more opportunity for young workers to come to the region and find a place to start their lives.

"What we really want is to make sure that we have quality rental opportunity in town for people who are coming to enjoy the monument, participating in the revitalization in the community and a lot of the businesses here." Rob Riley said. Riley is the President of the Northern Forest Center. 

Apartments in the area are hard to come by and many of the family homes for sale need quite a bit of work done. "We had some trouble finding what we were looking for." Matt DeLaney said. DeLany is the Executive Director of Millinocket's public library. He moved here a year ago to help revitalize the library but says it almost didn't happen.

"We couldn't find a house that we wanted to buy and we couldn't find a property that we wanted to rent," DeLaney said. "We became a little concerned and saw the possibility of it all kind of falling apart because we didn't know where we were going to live."

There is lots of work to be done on many of the properties, but the organization says there's no better time to be a part of the Katahdin region.

"That's part of the reason that we are going to do the work is to get over that hump and make better quality rentals available," Ailish Keating said. Keating is the real estate agent helping with the housing initiative. "So people can actually come and establish themselves here and see the benefits of being in the Katahdin region and enjoying a good quality home."

Renovations on the homes will be begin in a few weeks. The company plans to rent them for the first few years and then sell them.

© 2017 WLBZ-TV


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