AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Maine has been efficient in distributing money from rental assistance programs, staving off mass evictions.
State data shows Maine has been faster than most states in distributing rental assistance from two congressional COVID-19 relief packages, the Bangor Daily News reported.
That prevented evictions due to non-payment of rent as a patchwork of federal prohibitions on evictions expired in recent weeks.
Maine received $200 million in December and another $152 million in mid-March from the American Rescue Plan Act.
“The amount of that for a state like Maine is remarkable,” said Greg Payne, director of the Maine Affordable Housing Coalition.
The Maine State Housing Authority has approved more than 10,000 households to receive nearly $58.4 million, with most of it going toward covering rent or addressing rental arrears, the newspaper said.
The state has spent 28% of its December funds, putting it 11th in the nation, according to the National Low Income Housing Coalition.
The relief programs helped larger property owners to withstand the pandemic, even with non-paying tenants, said Paul Cook, the founder of Maine Real Estate Management, which oversees 3,500 units across Maine.
“We haven’t seen a crush of non-payment of rent,” Cook said. Most tenant disputes and evictions have been for reasons other than non-payment, such as tenant behavior, he said.
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