LEEDS — The Rural Community Action Ministry recently completed work on its new Senior Housing Residence at 87 Church Hill Road in Leeds and hopes to have people in residence before the end of winter.

In recent years, RCAM has recognized a growing need for permanent housing for low income seniors living in rural areas where few affordable housing options exist. After exploring various way to address this problem, RCAM collaborated with Maine Housing to rehab the former Nason home adjacent to the RCAM offices to create a senior housing residence. Maine Housing has not only provided a deferred loan but has also committed four Section 8 vouchers for rental assistance. Residents must meet Section 8 program requirements and be willing to sign a one year lease. Information about the Section 8 Voucher Program is available at www.mainehousing.org.

The new facility will offer four single room occupancy rental units for low income area residents 55 years or older who are homeless or at risk for homelessness. The facility is fully furnished, thanks to generous community members. There is a common living room, kitchen and laundry and each unit has its own bathroom. Each bed has a colorful quilt made and donated by The Leeds Community Church Women’s Association.

There are numerous gardens on the property. The raised beds of the vegetable garden will enable residents to enjoy “messing about in the dirt” and residents will be able to enjoy looking at the flower gardens from any of the decks and porches that surround the building.

RCAM, a social service agency serving 13 rural towns in Androscoggin, Oxford and Kennebec counties with a focus on preventing homelessness and hunger, will provide supportive services to the residents, including transportation to appointments and referrals for other services.

People wishing applications or more information can contact RCAM at 524-5095. There will be an open house at the Senior Housing Residence from 1 to 3 p.m. Saturday, May 18.

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