Milliken Heights housing project approved by Old Orchard Beach Town Council

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Old Orchard Beach Town Council in Maine, USA has approved the construction of Milliken Heights housing project a seniors’ affordable housing project aimed at those aged 55 and above.  A request for the construction of Milliken Heights housing project was unanimously approved by the Town Council.

Szanton Company of Portland, the project’s developer is expected to start construction of the seniors’ affordable housing project next summer.  In addition, the Town Council also approved a tax increment financing program that will see the developer’s annual property taxes slashed by 80% for 15 years.

The council also approved a $510,000 state Community Development Block Grant that will be used to fund the architectural and engineering services for the seniors’ affordable housing project.

Shawn O’Neill, the Council Chair said there had been several closed-door meetings to discuss the project as well as public hearings and public workshop son the TIF proposal.

O’Neill said the developer requested a 30-year TIF but in the end, all parties agreed on the 15-year plan.

According to proposal documents, the developer requested the TIF because of the large number of affordable housing units that the project will have. Up to 75% of the units in Milliken Heights will be designated to households earning less than the area’s median income.

Kristin Martin, the development officer at Szanton Company said all units will strictly be reserved for those aged 55 and above. Old Orchard Beach has a median household income of $50,246 according to the U.S Census.

According to Martin, the site as well as its subdivision plan were approved by the Old Orchard Beach Planning Board in August. He added that following the approval of the project, they will move forward with the application of the Affordable Housing Tax Credit to the MaineHousing. This will be followed by the full design and start of bidding on the construction. Construction of the project is expected to start in the summer of 2021.