Many states have adopted programs and initiatives to tackle the affordability crisis. In Maine, policymakers and the housing industry have made concerted efforts to address the problem. Examples include:
Bridging Rental Assistance Program
Bridging Rental Assistance Program (BRAP) began in 1994 and is a transitional housing voucher program that assists adults with mental illness for up to 24 months. Eligible recipients must have applied for federal Section 8 housing vouchers or be willing to apply when waiting lists open. Participants pay 51% of income for rent and BRAP covers the remaining rent up to the Fair Market Rent. In order of priority, this program serves individuals leaving public or private psychiatric hospitals, those who are homeless, individuals living in substandard housing, and those moving from group homes to more independent living situations.
Property Tax Fairness Credit
Maine's Property Tax Fairness Credit replaced The Maine Residents Property Tax and Rent Refund Program in January 2013. Renters and homeowners are both eligible. For renters, the benefit base is 25% of gross rent paid during the tax year, and the maximum refund is $300, or $400 if renter is at least 70 years of age.