Androscoggin County tenants who cannot afford rent payments may be eligible for rental assistance.
The Bridging Rental Assistance Program (BRAP) is a service of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). It provides long-term support for lower income individuals and families who cannot afford the high rents charged in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford Counties.
If you are approved for benefits, you must basically spend 51% of your gross income towards the rent. BRAP pays the remainder of your monthly rent payment.
While the program provides substantial rental assistance for an extended period of time, it is not designed to be a permanent source of support. Instead, it is expected to provide you with enough help to transition into permanent housing that you can reasonably afford. It subsidizes your regular rent payments so that you can live in a normal home rather than in the confines of transitional housing.
There are of course some limitations that ensure that only those who need the most help receive assistance. Even if you have not yet been approved for SSI or SSDI benefits, you could still qualify for rental assistance as long as you applied for those benefits. Section 8 applicants can also be approved for BRAP rent subsidies. Furthermore, if you are homeless (includes motels) or live in substandard housing, you may qualify for BRAP payments.
To apply for rental help, call BRAP at 207-795-6710 extension 101. You may also walk in at 12 Bates Street in Lewiston to fill out an application.
Other rental assistance programs are also available, and BRAP may refer you to one of these opportunities:
- Community Concepts, Inc. Provides affordable rental units in Oxford and Androscoggin Counties. Call 207-743-7716.
- Maine State Housing Authority. Provides housing choice vouchers or subsidized apartments. Call 207-624-5789.
- New Beginnings. Provides an emergency housing shelter on Main Street in Lewiston, plus transitional apartment homes in Lewiston. A Community Living Program provides housing and case management in Augusta, Farmington and Lewiston. Call 207-795-4077.
Don’t assume that you do not qualify. Always talk with an intake counselor who will determine if there are potential ways for you to benefit.