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First-Ever ‘LGBTQ Affordable Housing’ Project Set To Commence, Opens In Spring 2026 – One America News Network

NEWS HEADLINES: First-Ever ‘LGBTQ Affordable Housing’ Project Set To Commence, Opens In Spring 2026 – One America News Network

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PORTLAND, MAINE. (Photo by Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

OAN’s Brooke Mallory
5:15 PM – Friday, June 14, 2024

Plans are underway to construct the first LGBTQ+ affordable housing complex in the state of Maine. 

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With years in the making, the Equality Community Center in Portland, Maine, is spearheading a project that will establish a first-of-its-kind complex in the center of downtown.

“To have something right [in] downtown Portland for the LGBT community to be part of is huge,” businessman and ECC founding member Ed Gardner said.

Gardner donated the land for the building. The community center’s parking lot will soon be transformed into a five-story structure featuring apartments, a large parking lot, and a café.

54 affordable apartments for those 55 and above are to be made available. Eleven of the apartments will be designated for individuals with HIV/AIDS or impairments. Resources will also be made available to those people via collaborations with the Independence Association and the Frannie Peabody Center.

According to Gardener, the facility will house a “vulnerable population” where they may receive necessary services and acceptance.

“I think we’ll be able to see them come out and be more part of the community rather than being stuck in their homes and not have anybody to socialize with,” he said. 

The ECC was first launched in 2021 by Gardner and a group of LGBTQ+ individuals and allies, offering a “secure meeting place for the community and equality organizations.” Nearly 20 organizations now call it home, and it hosts programming and events every week.

The most recent endeavor broadens that goal. It will be the only complex one of its kind in New England, according to leaders.

“This place brings not only a positive place, a place where you can live with people who are going to be awful to you, but it’s connected right to this. So it’s a place to live and community all put together in one spot,” stated Christine Caulfield, a volunteer at the center.

The organization declared last week that project preparations were finalized, citing years of fundraising. People in the neighborhood who want to make the new facility their home have already reportedly flooded the executive director, Chris O’Connor, with requests.

“We’re at about 150 right now on the interest list,” O’Connor stated. “It’s actually happening.”

The majority of the project’s ongoing funding comes from contributions, with assistance from the city of Portland, MaineHousing, and other organizations. The goal is to have it finished by the spring of 2026, however, that date may change in the future.

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