OAN’s Brooke Mallory
12:10 PM – Friday, January 12, 2024
In Brunswick, Maine, a new taxpayer-funded initiative aims to give undocumented migrants and asylum seekers free lodging for two years as the nation continues to struggle with feeding, housing, and supporting the influx of incoming foreigners.
In recent months, the surge in the number of illegal immigrants entering the United States has only continued to rise, which has presented a plethora of difficulties for officials in U.S. cities everywhere in regards to allocating resources for them.
Incoming and residing migrants have complained to reporters that they are having trouble finding consistent accommodation, especially in areas where there is already a housing scarcity for tax-paying American citizens.
While the majority of them have been lodging in hotels and shelters around the nation, one town in Maine is starting a new migrant program that will provide a number of free accommodations to those who apply, first come, first served.
According to Maine news station WCSH-TV, Brunswick, Maine, wants to offer at least 60 brand-new, furnished apartments for incoming migrants, 24 of which are already constructed. The apartments will be designed especially for “undocumented [foreigners] who are waiting up to a year for work permits.”
The Maine State Housing Authority is in charge of the program, the local outlet reported.
The state will reportedly use money authorized by the state legislature in order to cover the cost of rent for all migrants interested in entering the free-housing program, WGME reported. State officials say that the program “has enough funds to cover rent for up to two years.” However, if migrants find employment, they will pay “thirty percent of their rent.”
After the two years of the program end for migrant families and solo individuals utilizing the free immigrant housing, the company Developers Collaborative will reportedly provide market-rate and affordable housing units that foreigners without documentation can apply for.
It has also not been determined whether Maine officials will eventually plan to change the rules of the program, allowing a “longer stay time than two years, if necessary.”
The Maine State Housing Authority’s executive director, Dan Brennan, told WCSH that the initiative is a “unique solution to a very exciting opportunity in our state.”
“We have thousands of folks coming to Maine who want to make Maine home. We’re doing everything we can to help that situation,” he told the news station.
When the official waitlist for Brunswick’s free-housing apartments was announced at local shelters and hotels that were housing migrants in May 2023, more than 250 families applied, forcing officials to push back the opening date in order to build even more apartment units, according to The Times Record.
Brunswick’s population is around 21,931 inhabitants, according to 2022 statistics from the U.S. census bureau.
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