rendering of proposed affordable housing in the Downs

Shown is a rendering of a proposed affordable housing development at The Downs in Scarborough that is geared to people with mobility issues. Courtesy rendering / 3i HoMe

At the Scarborough Town Council meeting on Nov. 15, council members voted in favor of a credit enhancement agreement put forth by 3iHoME and POAH. Three other orders faced unanimous defeat.

Orders aimed at modifying zoning maps for specific parcels, were tabled from a previous meeting and were unanimously rejected. Similarly, an order concerning the allocation of school impact fees for Crossroads Holdings, LLC, was also defeated.

However, council members voted 6-1 vote for a Credit Enhancement Agreement that will help with the development of an innovative and inclusive apartment project within The Downs’ town center. The apartments will cater to households with at least one member with a mobility disability. Presented by 3iHoMe/POAH, this project garnered attention for its dedication to accessibility and forward-thinking community planning.

The proposal had its first reading, paving the way for a subsequent public hearing and second reading. The proposed Credit Enhancement Agreement is aimed at facilitating development of the project.

Via Zoom Mitch Sturgeon, a board member of 3iHoME, said the project was very significant. “I live in a bustling diverse generally accessible neighborhood.” He said he is a quadriplegic due to advanced MS and pointed that many with similar disabilities or other types of disabilities don’t have financial support or resources and lack the ability to ensure proper and fair treatment. Sturgeon said the plan to design 51 units with state-of-the-art assistive technology for individuals with mobility disabilities would be an asset to Scarborough.

Karen D. Martin, executive director of Scarborough Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO), said the town is exploring a credit enhancement agreement to reimburse POAH for a portion of the property taxes they would pay. The CEA received support from local entities like the Scarborough Housing Alliance.


The project, featuring a four-story building on a 1.3-acre lot, promotes independent living for individuals with mobility disabilities. Units are designed for easy mobility with or without a wheelchair. Bathrooms, kitchens and living areas will be barrier-free and the entire building will be wired for adaptable environmental controls.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8% of Maine residents aged 18-64 have a mobility disability affecting their daily lives.

Town Council member Jean-Marie Caterina said, “Think and focus on what is the purpose of this project. This project will be a leader, not only in this area but in the U.S. for what can be done for persons with disabilities. This project will be a leader in the U.S. for what can be done for persons with disabilities.”

Town Manager Thomas Hall said there was general support for the CEA and the development from the Town Council. “There appeared to be general support by the Town Council to support this project and a recognition of the importance to show local support through a CEA. There are a number of options that will be considered before finalizing the CEA request.”

Town Council member Don Hamill said he believed the project would move forward, whether the CEA gets approved or not.

Council member Jon Anderson highlighted the social value of the project and said, “I’m very much supportive of doing the CEA. I’m proud that Scarborough is the place where this project chose.”

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