ROCKLAND — From 2002 to 2009, the city of Rockland was able to rehabilitate 10 apartment buildings consisting of 54 units through the Community Development Block Grant Housing Assistance Program provided by the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development. The rehabilitation work consisted of correcting Building and Life Safety Code violations, making the buildings more energy efficient, providing for mold and lead-based paint removal, and making the buildings handicapped-accessible.
Rockland Community Development Department Director Rodney Lynch recently announced that Rockland is the recipient of a $300,000 2011 block grant, which will enable the department to rehabilitate additional apartment buildings through the Multi-Family Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program. Fifteen statewide block grant housing applications were submitted, and six were approved, including Rockland’s.
The next step in the process is to complete the project development phase and environmental review, followed by the submission of loan applications by landlords, probably in the fall.
Participating in the application process were the various apartment building owners, who
submitted letters of commitment to participate in the program if funded; Code Enforcement Officer John Root and Assistant Fire Chief Adam Miceli, who inspected the buildings for code
violations in order to demonstrate the need for the funds; and Megan Cullen, who performed the tenant income surveys and interviews to show that the grant would benefit low- to moderate-income persons. The Community Development Department, which planned and developed the application, held public meetings on the program, worked with the landlords to obtain commitment letters, wrote and edited the application, and packaged it for submission.
The only other community in the midcoast region to receive a block housing grant was
Belfast, for which the Rockland Community Development Department provided
technical assistance during the development of its successful $300,000 application.
To date, the city of Rockland has been the recipient of three block grants for downtown building facade upgrades, Lindsey Brook storm drainage improvements and multi-family housing rehabilitation totaling $882,000.