HOULTON, Maine — The ultimate funding piece for the growth of Tiny Properties of Maine manufacturing facility on the Houlton Industrial Park was awarded to Houlton’s Shiretown Improvement Corp. on Wednesday.
Considered one of 16 state organizations to obtain Northern Border Regional Fee funding, the Shiretown Improvement Corp., which is run by the city, was awarded $500,000 towards the 12,000-square-foot $1.867 million venture.
“Hopefully this may shut the hole in funding and we are able to transfer ahead,” stated Houlton Director of Improvement Nancy Ketch on Wednesday.
Aroostook County just isn’t proof against the nationwide housing disaster and rising residence costs. Many County cities have lengthy ready lists for rental models and the small stock of houses on the market typically promote inside days of the property going available on the market, in response to native realtors.
Tiny Properties of Maine co-owner Corinne Watson stated that tiny houses may also help fill that hole.
“We’ve a significant homelessness downside in Maine. My dream is to sometime purchase a subject and fill it with tiny houses for individuals who don’t have any residence,” Watson stated.
The primary tiny residence village in Maine was authorised in Bangor earlier this yr.
Watson and her husband Tom Small stated their present manufacturing facility is in an outdated unheated airplane hangar on the Houlton Airport and that makes manufacturing tough throughout Maine winters.
The Houlton venture consists of the acquisition of a pre-engineered metal constructing, concrete slab, fixtures and cabinetry, electrical and utility hookups, and web site work on the Houlton Industrial Park situated on the Houlton Airport. The city will retain possession of the property and Tiny Properties of Maine will lease it from the city, Ketch stated.
“A producing venture this large will assist them sustain with orders and supply jobs for the world,” Ketch stated. “Elevated productiveness could have spiral impact for the group.”
Tiny Properties of Maine acquired off the bottom in 2016 after the couple spent 18 months constructing a tiny residence as a enjoyable venture whereas nonetheless juggling life calls for, like holding down full-time jobs and getting their three youngsters to highschool and subject journeys.
Watson, the corporate’s president and chief government officer, is an engineer and has labored at main companies together with Smith & Wesson and IDEXX. Small, the corporate’s design engineer, brings building and housing design expertise and a artistic eye to the corporate’s tiny residence designs.
Small stated a few of the demand for tiny houses comes from householders altering views after the pandemic. Individuals are promoting their houses and shopping for tiny houses as a result of they need a less complicated life and it’s getting tougher to search out contractors and provides to construct new, full-sized houses, he stated.
The city has been working with Tiny Properties of Maine for a number of years to assist the Houlton producer develop, Ketch stated. The venture has additionally acquired Group Improvement Block Grant funding and U.S. Financial Improvement Administration monies, along with matching funds.
Previous to this most up-to-date spherical of funding, Shiretown Improvement Corp. thought there was sufficient funding to maneuver ahead, however building prices rose after the COVID-19 pandemic and so they wanted extra, she stated.
The Northern Border Regional Fee is a federal and state partnership, created in 2008, to encourage non-public sector job creation in Maine, New Hampshire, New York and Vermont.
On Wednesday, U.S. Sen. Susan Collins and Gov. Janet Mills introduced the awards which can be a part of the Northern Border Regional Fee’s Catalyst Program, funded by the federal Bipartisan Infrastructure Legislation and the Fee’s federal appropriation.
There have been 187 candidates for this funding award, with 35 grants going to communities with fewer than 5,000 folks, and 30 to communities that haven’t beforehand been awarded Nationwide Border Regional Fee funding.
“These historic investments will strengthen Maine’s heritage industries, improve our out of doors economic system, enhance our resilience to local weather change, and create good-paying jobs in our rural communities,” Mills stated.