Taxpayers in Maine are footing the bill for apartment buildings explicitly constructed for illegal immigrants — plus two years of their rent.
The brand new apartment buildings for non-citizens were unveiled in Brunswick this week.
There is an estimated 4,200 homeless people in the state.
The state plans to spend $3.5 million to cover the migrant's housing costs. Taxpayers will also be covering $100,000 to "dozens" of migrants in Brunswick to cover their asylum application fees and work authorization assistance, according to a report from Fox 45.
The funds are part of a $55 million Emergency Housing Relief Fund that works to provide illegal immigrants with "permanent, transitional and emergency housing."
“Through this program, family members work together to support each other’s goals and achieve long-term stability with the help of a bridging case manager/coach,” a report from the Joint Select Committee on Housing stated.
News Center Maine reports:
On Monday, dozens of people gathered at Brunswick Landing to celebrate 60 new apartment units going up in five buildings. Twenty-four of them are already complete. These units are designed to house asylum seekers, as they wait to receive work permits. That process can often take a while, since asylum seekers can't even file for a permit until at least six months after filing their initial asylum applications.
This program is happening through the Maine State Housing Authority. MaineHousing will essentially pay the rent for these asylum seekers for up to two years. After that, they will be converted to a mix of market-rate and affordable housing, unless the state says the program needs to be extended.
"This is a very unique solution to a very exciting opportunity in our state," Dan Brennan, executive director of MaineHousing, told News Center. "We have thousands of folks coming to Maine who want to make Maine home. We’re doing everything we can to help that situation."
The apartments were constructed by Developers Collaborative, whose website states that they "provide high-quality locations for businesses along with housing for individuals through affordable and senior housing development, commercial, market-rate residential, historic redevelopment, and developments designed to provide services for the least fortunate among us. We have a long track record of innovative financing approaches to create purposeful development projects that might not be possible otherwise."