FARMINGTON — Selectmen, at their Jan. 23 meeting, authorized Town Manager Erica LaCroix to write a letter of support for Community Concepts’ affordable housing program.

LaCroix had written a similar letter for Winslow when she worked there.

“Community Concepts, through the USDA-Rural Development program they provide funding for first time homeowners,” she said. “Specifically for low-income type housing. It doesn’t obligate the town to anything, adds our name as supporting the effort. They are always looking to get the assistance from USDA-Rural Development.”

Selectman Dennis O’Neil asked if participating families would be involved in building their homes, similar to a barn raising.

“I am not 100% sure if it’s like that or to help getting the financing to get it done,” LaCroix replied. “It is for new construction.”

The form letter can be amended, she noted. “I like to add a bit personally about our town and what our challenges of finding housing are, the need for housing,” LaCroix said. Referrals weren’t needed in Winslow, which may not have had any applications, she stated.


“I think they do this as an annual drive to try to get towns to support their application to Rural Development,” LaCroix said. “I can certainly get more information.”

“I would suspect if anybody, our [General Assistance] staff would have kind of a pulse on what the need is for housing accommodations were, a source of referrals,” Selectman Stephan Bunker said.

Farmington has had several families in the program over the years, Steven Kaiser, code enforcement director, noted. The department helps prospective homeowners with permitting and finding out about available resources such as Community Concepts, he said.

“I think that is how the general awareness gets out there,” he stated. “They have been well done, they are well taken care of. There is sweat equity injected into this. We have probably had a handful in town.”

Community Concepts helps families achieve their dream of homeownership through its 523 Self-Help Homeownership program, according to information provided. It will use the Rural Development funds to assist families in building their own homes by working with other families to meet the required labor commitment, it noted.

Community Concepts plans to help build homes in Androscoggin, Cumberland, Franklin, Kennebec, Oxford and York counties, the information stated. The program has helped more than 400 families realize affordable homeownership and invested in the communities in which they live through the ‘neighbors helping neighbors’ theme, it noted.

Comments are not available on this story.