Developer to repair old Bangor building and create six affordable housing units
“It won’t solve the whole problem, but it’s a start,” said Bruce Hamel.
BANGOR, Maine – Finding affordable housing in Maine’s largest and most populous cities can be a challenge.
To incentivize developers, the city of Bangor has put in place investor loans that can help developers return an old building in need of repair, especially if the buyer is willing to offer the units at an affordable rental price to tenants. .
Bruce Hamel is a builder and owner of Milford’s construction company, Hamel Homes.
“It’s something I’ve done practically my whole life. It’s my job and I love doing this type of work,” Hamel said.
He recently purchased the vacant property located at 72 Center Street in Bangor.
“You know there is a great need for affordable housing in this area, and when I looked at it I looked at the extent of the work to be done … I knew it was a business,” Hamel said.
The building has three floors and two apartments on each floor. The building needs a lot of work to bring it back to the proper regulations of the code.
“Mr. Hamel contacted our program to see if there was any assistance we could offer him financially to help him rehabilitate the house, ”said Jeff Labree, director of code enforcement for the city of Bangor.
The town of Bangor gave Hamel a $ 125,000 investor in the community development sector.
“We also asked that 51% of the units be for low to middle income renters. He was kind enough to offer the six units, ”added Labree. “It also raised his cap to the maximum loan we can give him.”
Labree agrees, finding affordable housing in Bangor has become more difficult and he said this project is just a great example of what a developer can help do in a community that needs more these renovation projects to house people at an affordable price.
“We hope to work with more people, more investors, on properties … our main goal is to help low to moderate income people with affordable housing, and these six units certainly will.”
“It won’t solve the whole problem, but it’s a start,” Hamel said.
The problem of finding affordable housing in cities like Bangor.
“Just because of the cost of things today … anyone who has invested a lot of money in a project like this … when you’re done and you’re done, the numbers have to work for you to earn money. minus a little money, ”Hamel said.
Hamel is in the process of completing other projects but hopes that all six units will be ready for operation in about eight to ten months. He says it is too early for requests for these six locations.