LEWISTON — The Visible Community, a local group of downtown residents with low-incomes and other ally community members, has recently received three grants to carry out a new project to educate and advocate for tenants around housing issues.
The Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People, the Sparkplug Foundation and the Maine Community Foundation have all granted the group resources to carry out different phases of the project during the next year.
Throughout its six-year history, the Visible Community of Lewiston has worked to ensure that downtown residents voices are represented and heard in local and state-level decision-making forums. Just recently, the group advocated for greater investment in Lewiston-Auburn public transit system since public transportation makes a critical difference to residents when it comes to finding work, maintaining employment, realizing educational opportunities and getting their medical and other basic needs met without a car.
The group has been a longtime advocate for safe, quality, affordable housing in the downtown and seeks to work proactively with tenants and landlords to better housing conditions and quality of life for everyone in Lewiston-Auburn.
The new project, entitled the “Neighborhood Housing League,” will enable tenants to develop the knowledge of tenant’s rights and responsibilities in the various buildings in which they reside, obtain valuable information such as how to deal with lead paint, while simultaneously learning self-advocacy and organizing skills.