SCARBOROUGH — On Sept. 9, the Scarborough Town Council voted 6-1 in favor of a credit enhancement agreement for a senior housing facility that is to be located in the Oak Hill area.

The $14 million senior housing complex, Jocelyn Place, will prioritize renting to Scarborough residents ages 55 and up — it has 60 one-bedroom units.

The 20-year agreement will provide a 75 percent reimbursement of property taxes for the new value, beginning with the 2021-2022 fiscal year.

“At the time of execution of this Agreement, the Town intends to deposit the Tax Increment Revenues relating to an amount equal to 3 percent of the Increased Assessed Value into the Town Project Cost Subaccount,” the proposal said.

The South Portland Housing Authority proposed the facility to the Planning Board in June and the Town Council has held several workshops and a public hearing on the credit enhancement agreement.

Councilors suggested in previous meetings that a piece be put into the agreement to make sure that Scarborough senior citizens are prioritized in the affordable housing complex.


Voting in favor of the proposal, Councilor John Cloutier believes the project will benefit the town and its residents.

“I think it’s going to add some economic development to that area and provides much well-documented housing for seniors and it’s going to be a high-quality project,” he said. “I fully support it and I’m glad it was brought forward.”

Councilor Jean-Marie Caterina said that she thinks an affordable senior housing facility is important to the Town of Scarborough.

While Councilor Betsy Gleysteen voted to approve the agreement, she had an issue with the project not being in the affordable housing Tax Increment Finance District, she said.

“I think while affordable housing is great, we have to remember that other people pay for affordable housing,” she said. “And in this particular case the financing is very complex, that’s the way these things work.”

She said that she would like to see an affordable housing TIF written.


“I think we need to scrutinize every dollar,” she said. “We need to have a plan around affordable housing in terms of how much we’re going to subsidize with tax because everything we subsidize, it does make someone else in town pay for it. Perhaps it makes their housing less affordable.”

Councilor Peter Hayes voted against the proposal because he said that the process was missing details of the deal.

“These are very complex deals,” he said. “They extend decades. A minor change suggested by our attorney ended up saving property owners about $1 million by just changing some terms. That’s really concerning to me. I think this is sort of a common theme that I’ve had. … We’re worried about affordable housing for the Greater Portland community. I’m worried about folks in town that have properties that are being at the point where they can no longer afford property taxes.”

Upcoming projects, like a new primary school and library expansion, are on the horizon and the town needs to prepare for those and possible tax increases, he said.

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