Maine’s Housing Crunch Squeezes Refugee And Asylum-Seeking Communities

Efrain Ferrusca, left, and Hussein Albraihi move a cabinet at the former Saints Matthew and Barnaby church in Hallowell. They said they hoped to have the place move-in ready by early August. (Ari Snider/Maine Public)

It’s no secret that affordable housing can be hard to come by in Maine. Home prices are up nearly 30% compared to this time last year, according to the Maine Association of Realtors. Meanwhile, skyrocketing demand for rental units has overwhelmed an already limited housing stock.

The severe lack of affordable housing poses a particular challenge for people who arrive in Maine as refugees or asylum seekers — and it’s pushed at least one organization to come up with a unique housing solution.

On a recent morning, Efrain Ferrusca and Hussein Albraihi were busy removing a sink and cabinet from the former Episcopal Church of Saints Matthew and Barnabas in Hallowell.

Click here for the full story from Maine Public Radio.