Forms and Resources
General Fair Housing Information
Federal and state laws give you a right to fair housing. These laws prohibit discrimination in the sale, rental, advertising or financing of housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, disability, or familial status. Discrimination means any action, omission or decision that has the effect of restricting your choice of housing and access to housing assistance.
- Learn more about state fair housing and equal access laws from the Maine Human Rights Commission, the state agency responsible for administering and enforcing Maine’s fair housing laws
- Learn more about federal fair housing and equal access laws from the Office of Fair Housing & Equal Opportunity at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, the federal agency responsible for administering and enforcing the federal fair housing laws.
- View HUD Fair Housing Publication HUD-928.1
Federal and state laws provide certain rights and protections for persons with disabilities, including persons with mental and physical disabilities. These laws prohibit discrimination against persons with disabilities; require housing providers to make reasonable accommodations for persons with disabilities in policies, procedures and programs; require housing providers to allow persons with disabilities to make reasonable modifications so they can fully enjoy their housing and related facilities; and require multifamily housing to be designed and constructed in accordance with certain accessibility standards.
- Learn more about State disability rights laws and accessibility standards from the Maine Human Rights Commission.
- Learn more about federal disability rights laws and accessibility standards.
- Federal Fair Housing Act relating to all housing and programs
- Architectural Barriers Act of 1968 relating to federally-assisted housing and programs
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 relating to federally-assisted housing and programs
- Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the U.S. Department of Justice’s ADA and a list of ADA publications
- Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 relating to programs, services and activities provided or made possible by State and local governments – summary of Title II requirements .
- Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 relating to public accommodations – for a summary of Title III requirements .
- Learn more about reasonable modifications.
- Learn more about reasonable accommodations
- For more information and resources
- For consumer guides to disability rights laws prepared by the United States Department of Justice and prepared by Disability Rights Center of Maine .
- For the Federal government’s website on disability-related information and resources
- For the State’s website on disability-related information and resources
- For Alpha One’s website
- For Access Maine’s website
- For Disability Rights Center of Maine’s website
Limited English Proficiency
Federal law requires all recipients of financial assistance from the federal government to make reasonable efforts to provide language assistance to persons with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) to ensure they have meaningful access to the recipient’s programs and services. Persons with Limited English Proficiency are persons who, as a result of national origin, do not speak English as their primary language and who have a limited ability to speak, read, write or understand English.
To File a Complaint
- Learn more about the State’s fair housing complaint process
- Learn more about HUD’s fair housing complaint process
- Learn more about the ADA Title II complaint process for discrimination against persons with disabilities relating to State and local government services and assistance, see Section IX of Title II Highlights and the complaint form .
- Learn more about the ADA Title III complaint process for discrimination against persons with disabilities relating to public accommodations
Advocacy Groups and Legal Resources
- Pine Tree Legal Assistance
- Augusta, 39 Green Street
Tel: 207-622-4731 or 207-623-7777 or 207-623-7770 (TTY)
- Bangor, 61 Main Street
Tel: 207-942-8241 or 207-942-1060 (TTY)
- Lewiston, 37 Park Street, Suite 401
- Machias, Route 1 and Old County Road
Tel: 207-255-8656 or 207-255-6179 (TTY)
- Portland, 88 Federal Street
Tel: 207-774-8211 or 207-828-2308 (TTY)
- Presque Isle, 373 Main Street
Tel: 207-764-4349 or 207-764-2453 (TTY)
- Farmworker & Native American Units – Bangor
- Multi-lingual Language Line
- Augusta, 39 Green Street
- Maine Volunteer Lawyers Project
- Maine Equal Justice Project
- Disability Rights Center
Statewide Hotline, Tel. 1-800-452-1948 (V/TTY)
- For information about other advocacy groups in Maine
Federal laws require PHAs to treat all applicants and tenant families equally, providing the same quality of service, regardless of family characteristics and background. Federal law prohibits discrimination in housing on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, familial status, and disability. The Westbrook Housing will comply fully with all federal, state, and local nondiscrimination laws, and with rules and regulations governing fair housing and equal opportunity in housing and employment, including:
- Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964
- Title VIII of the Civil Rights Act of 1968 (as amended by the Community Development Act of 1974 and the Fair Housing Amendments Act of 1988)
- Executive Order 11063
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
- The Age Discrimination Act of 1975
- Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (to the extent that it applies, otherwise Section 504 and the Fair Housing Amendments govern)
- Any applicable state laws or local ordinances and any legislation protecting individual rights of tenants, applicants, or staff that may subsequently be enacted Affirmative Fair Housing requirements apply to the full spectrum of activities that culminate with occupancy, including but not limited to means and methods of outreach and marketing, through to the qualification and selection of residents. This AFHMP plan will, at a minimum, meet the standards set forth by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as may be amended from time to time.
- Westbrook Housing (WH) is responsible for resident selection, including but not limited to drafting the resident selection plan, marketing, and determining the qualification of potential tenants. WH is responsible for paying all the costs of affirmative fair marketing.
- When more than one civil rights law applies to a situation, the laws will be read and applied together.
Affirmative Fair Housing requirements apply to the full spectrum of activities that culminate with occupancy, including but not limited to means and methods of outreach and marketing, through to the qualification and selection of residents. This AFHMP plan will, at a minimum, meet the standards set forth by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), as may be amended from time to time.
Westbrook Housing (WH) is responsible for resident selection, including but not limited to drafting the resident selection plan, marketing, and determining the qualification of potential tenants. WH is responsible for paying all the costs of affirmative fair marketing.
Westbrook Housing has designated the following person responsible for coordinating compliance with applicable federal and state nondiscrimination requirements and addressing grievances: Mary Bouvier, Westbrook Housing, 30 Liza Harmon Drive, Westbrook, Maine 04092, Telephone Number (207) 854-6822, email email@example.com.
Family Self Sufficiency
The newly enhanced Money Smart Computer-Based Instruction (CBI) is an easy-to-use tool to learn more about basic personal financial management. The CBI can complement formal classes by providing learning assignments that users can complete at their own pace.
The Maine CareerCenter provides a variety of employment and training services at no charge for Maine workers and businesses. Whether you are looking to improve your job qualifications, explore a different profession, find a new career or hire an employee, the CareerCenter can help.
New Ventures Maine ((formerly known as Maine Centers for Women, Work, and Community), Helping Maine people succeed in their jobs, businesses, and communities. We help individuals recognize strengths, overcome barriers, find resources, develop a plan, take action towards their goals: start a business, find a career, return to school, build assets, be active in the community.
America Saves is a campaign coordinated by the nonprofit Consumer Federation of America (CFA) and is dedicated to helping individuals save money, reduce debt, and build wealth. – See more at: http://www.americasaves.org/#sthash.om3tricj.dpuf
Annual Credit Report, Federal law requires each of the three nationwide consumer credit reporting companies – Equifax, Experian and TransUnion to give you a free credit report every 12 months if you ask for it. They also make it easy to accomplish many credit-related tasks right from your computer. Visit today to learn more.
The Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection oversees many aspects of the consumer finance industry, including non-bank mortgage lenders, debt collectors, loan brokers, retail creditors, money transmitters, credit reporting agencies and non-bank ATMs. The office administers state credit-related statutes and protects consumers by conducting compliance examinations, responding to consumer complaints, issuing licenses and providing consumer education and outreach.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives.
Better Money Habits, Build your financial know-how with free tools and information to help you make more confident decisions. It’s a simple way of getting real, practical knowledge, brought to you by Bank of America in partnership with Khan Academy.
Find Financial Freedom provides you with a unique opportunity to get the knowledge, tools and services you need to manage your finances, improve your credit-worthiness, and maintain your household budget on a secure website with no distracting advertisements.
Are you a veteran looking for work? My Next Move helps you find a civilian career similar to your military job.
Legal Assistance for Tenants and Applicants
Pine Tree Legal Assistance provides free legal help to Maine people with low incomes. The agency can help you with housing complaints. The Portland office is at 88 Federal St., P.O. Box 547, Portland ME 04112. Call 207-774-8211.
Legal Services for the Elderly provides free, high quality legal services to Maine’s socially and economically needy elderly age 60 and over. Call 1-800-750-5353.
Emergency Assistance and Shelters
City of Westbrook General Assistance provides immediate help to eligible people who do not have enough money for basic needs, such as rent/mortgage, food, heating fuel, medications, non-elective medical care and other essential items. The office is located at the Westbrook Community Center at 426 Bridge St. in Westbrook. Call 854-0676.
Oxford Street Shelter for Men: Located at 203 Oxford St. in Portland, the facility operated by the City of Portland is a 129-bed emergency shelter for men age 18 and over. Services include housing placement assistance, mental health services, and substance abuse services. Toiletries, linen, emergency supplies and community referrals available 7:45 p.m. to 7:45 a.m. daily. Phone is 207-761-2072.
Preble Street Resource Center: Located at 5 Portland St. in Portland, Preble Street provides services to hundreds of homeless people, providing an on-site clothing closet, soup kitchen, and food pantry. It helps manage the Oxford Street Shelter for Men, and provides direct access to a healthcare clinic and casework services.
Florence House for women, located at 190 Valley Street in Portland, provides safe, supported permanent housing to chronically homeless women. The facility is a partnership between Avesta Housing and Preble Street, which provides 24-hour staffing and coordinates services to all tenants. Call 207-775-0026 for more information.
Logan Place provides efficiency apartments and 24 hour on-site support for 30 adults who have been persistently homeless. Administered by Preble Street, it is located at 52 Frederic St. in Portland. Call 207-775-0026.
Shalom House provides mental health services to people with serious mental illness and affordable housing. Call 207-874-1080. Located at 106 Gilman St. in Portland.
Catholic Charities Maine offers comprehensive support services to the refugee community, support and recovery services, and a wide range of case management and response services to children, adults and seniors. Call 1-800-781-8550 or 207-781-8550.
2-1-1 Maine is a comprehensive statewide directory of over 8,000 health and human services available in Maine. The toll free 2-1-1 hotline connects callers to trained call specialists who can help 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Maine Behavioral Healthcare is the new name of a comprehensive mental health program made up of Community Counseling Center, Counseling Services Inc., Spring Harbor Hospital, Spring Harbor Community Services and Mid-Coast Mental Health Center.
The Opportunity Alliance (formerly Peoples Regional Opportunity Program) administers mental health, housing and the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LiHEAP) for renters who have high heating bills.
Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA) provides older adults and their families with information, guidance, education, and programs for their social, financial, and home care needs. Call 1-800-427-7411 or 207-396-6500.
Food Pantries and Community Meals in Greater Westbrook
* Important: Please call the food pantries to confirm that the hours have not changed, food pantries sometimes change their hours. We do not want you to waste your time visiting a pantry that is not open.
Good Food Bus: The Good Food Bus is a colorful, repurposed school bus turned mobile food market with stops across Lewiston-Auburn and surrounding communities. Fresh, local, seasonal produce for sale. Tuesdays 11:30 a.m. at Goodwill Industries 34 Hutcherson Drive in Gorham and 1:00 p.m. at Saint Anthony’s Church 268 Brown Street in Westbrook. For more information and site locations visit the website or call (207) 513-3848. Payment methods: Good Food Bus accepts cash, credit, debit, WIC, and EBT/SNAP.
Maine Food Pantries: There are several food pantries and food banks in the Maine. With help from users like you we have compiled a list of some. If you know of a listing that is not included here please submit new food pantries to our database.
Westbrook Food Pantry: This food pantry at Westbrook Community Center (the former Wescott Junior High School at 426 Bridge St.) is open to all Westbrook residents, regardless of income. Bring your Social Security card and proof you live in Westbrook. You will receive a benefit family bag (described below) once a week! Personal items, such as toilet paper and soaps, are provided when they’re available. The pantry is open Tuesday, noon-2:00 p.m. and 6:15-7:30 p.m.
Vineyard Church of Greater Portland: This church, on Route 302 (715 Brighton Ave.) in Westbrook, holds a food pantry every Friday from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m. The pantry is open to all Westbrook residents, bring proof of address. For more information, or to volunteer, call (207) 854-8339.
Westbrook: Located at 11 Bridge Street, Westbrook (207) 856-7729. Food Pantry hours are Mondays 5:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Portland: Located at 297 Cumberland Avenue, Portland (207) 774-6304. Food Pantry hours are Monday through Friday 9:00-11:00 a.m. and 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Old Orchard Beach: Located at 2 Sixth Street, Old Orchard Beach (207) 934-4381. Food Pantry hours are Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Gorham Food Pantry: Offering food assistance at no cost to any Gorham resident in need. Located at 299-B Main Street, Gorham (207) 222-4351. Hours of operation: Thursday 9:00-11:00 a.m. Second and fourth Wednesday of the month from 6:00 – 7:00 p.m. There is no charge.
Buxton Food Co-op: The food co-op is located at 262 Hanes Meadow Road, Buxton and is open Monday Wednesday Thursday and Saturday 9:00 a.m. for the elderly and disabled; 9:20 a.m. for all others.
Standish Connection Congregational Food Pantry: Located at 25 Oak Hill Road, Standish (207) 642-2158, open the 3rd Saturday of the month from 9:30 – 11:00 a.m.
Windham Food Pantry: Located at 377 Gray Road, Windham. Pantry hours: Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.by appointment. Call (207) 892-1931 to set up an appointment. For Windham residents only and must bring proof of residency on first visit. Our Clothes Closet is open Monday and Tuesday from 10:00 a.m.-12:00noon.
Preble Street Resource Center Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry: Located at 252 Oxford Street, Portland (207) 775-0026. The soup kitchen provides breakfast between 8:00 and 9:30 AM everyday and serves lunch between 12:00 and 1:00 PM everyday. The dinner hour is between 6:00 and 7:00 PM everyday. The food pantry opens between 1:30 and 3:00 PM on Thursday.
Preble Street Teen Center Soup Kitchen: Located at 343 Cumberland Avenue, Portland (207) 775-0026. The soup kitchen provides lunch everyday between 12:00 and 1:00 PM, and dinner everyday between 6:00 and 7:00 PM.
White Memorial Pantry: Located at 97 Allen Avenue, Portland (207) 797-4414. Call for pantry hours as they are sporadic.
St Vincent De Paul Soup Kitchen and Food Pantry: Located at 307 Congress Street, Portland and serves East Bayside(207) 772-1113. Pantry hours: Monday 11:30 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
St Luke’s Food Pantry: Located at 143 State Street, Portland (207) 772-5434. Pantry hours are Thursdays 9:30-11:00 a.m.
Seventh Day Adventist Church Pantry: Located at 97 Allen Avenue, Portland (207) 776-0867. Pantry hours are Thursdays 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Sacred Heart / St Dominic Food Pantry: Located at 80 Sherman Street (207) 929-3088. Pantry hours are Tuesdays 10:00-11:30 a.m.
Project FEED Food Pantry: Located at 202 Woodfords Street (207) 761-3920. Pantry hours are Monday through Thursday 1:00-3:00 p.m.
Jewish Community Services Food Pantry: Located at 57 Ashmont Street, Portland (207) 772-1959. The pantry is open Tuesdays and Thursdays by appointment, and serves families and individuals from all over Cumberland and York Counties. Visitors may pick up two bags of food per month. A dedicated fund provides diapers and wipes to families with young children. We are affiliated with Good Shepard Food Bank and the Wayside Food Programs.
Front Street Pantry: Located at 36 West Presumpscot Street, Portland (207) 450-3579. Pantry hours are Fridays and Sundays at 11:00-11:45 a.m.
First Baptist Church Food Pantry: Located at 360 Canco Road, Portland (207) 773-3123. Pantry hours are Wednesdays 1:00-2:00 p.m. or call before noon.
Stroudwater Food Pantry: Located at 1520 Westbrook Street, Portland (207) 772-2193. The Stroudwater Food Pantry is a ministry of the Stroudwater Christian Church, located at 1520 Westbrook Street, Portland ME 04012. The pantry Coordinator is Doug Horner. We are open every Wednesday, to ALL communities, from 12 noon to 6pm.
Community Meals throughout Maine can be found here.
Community Dinner every Wednesday 5-6 p.m. This free weekly dinner is served at the My Place Teen Center, at 755 Main St., every Wednesday. It is open to all Westbrook residents, regardless of income. It is sponsored by Trinity Lutheran Church, Wayside Food Programs, and My Place Teen Center. To volunteer or for more information, call Trinity Lutheran Church 854-5653.
Community Dinner, third Saturday of the month, 4:30-6 p.m.: The First Baptist Church at 733 Main St. in downtown Westbrook holds a free community dinner on the third Saturday of every month. The dinner is open to all area residents, regardless of income. For more information or to volunteer, call 854-8394.
Community Dinner, Thursday 12:00 p.m.: Westbrook-Warren Congregational Church at 810 Main St in downtown Westbrook (207) 854-9157. Hot meals served September through May; no meal served on November 26, December 24, December 31, 2015. Reservations not required but appreciated; call for more information on closure dates. No one will be refused a meal due to inability to pay.
Other Housing Assistance
BRAP – Bridging Rental Assistance Program Program participants pay 51% of their income for rent. BRAP subsidizes the remaining portion of the rent up to the Fair Market Rent.
Shelter Plus Care is designed to provide rental subsidies and supportive services to homeless individuals with disabilities, primarily those with chronic mental illness, substance abuse, and HIV/AIDS.
Maine Housing Search is Maine’s free rental listing service. It is updated daily and features photos and descriptions.
Avesta Housing, like Westbrook Housing, is a large developers of affordable housing in the Greater Portland area. Avesta offers extensive family and senior housing communities across Cumberland County. Call 207-553-7777 or 800-339-6516.
Veterans Housing Services: Preble Street Veterans Housing Services helps low-income veterans and their families find and maintain stable housing to end homelessness among veterans. The office is at 18 Portland St. in Portland and is open weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Call 207-956-6556 or 1-800-377-5709 for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Portland Housing Authority offers affordable, non-emergency housing. Call 207-773-4753.
South Portland Housing Authority provides affordable, non-emergency housing. Call 207-773-4140.
State of Maine portal to state departments.
The Maine Affordable Housing Coalition (MAHC) is a diverse coalition of more than 125 private and public sector organizations, including developers, architects, engineers, builders, investors, Community Action agencies, public housing authorities, housing and service providers, advocates and others committed to ensuring that all Mainers are adequately and affordably housed. The group was formed initially as the Southern Maine Affordable Rental Housing Coalition in 2000, but since that time has extended its membership and activities to other areas of the state.
The New England Regional Council of the National Association of the Housing and Redevelopment Officials, also known as NERC/NAHRO, is a professional membership organization comprised of over 250 housing and community development agencies throughout the six New England states – Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.
Public Housing Authorities Directors Association (PHADA) was founded in 1979, PHADA represents the professional administrators of approximately 1,900 housing authorities throughout the United States. PHADA works closely with members of Congress in efforts to develop sensible and effective public housing statutes and obtain adequate funding for low-income housing programs. The association also serves as an advocate before the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on a variety of regulations governing public housing nationwide.
MaineHousing is an independent state agency that bridges public and private housing finance, combining them to benefit Maine’s low and moderate-income people. MaineHousing brings millions of new private and federal housing funds to invest in Maine to create safe, affordable, warm housing.
The Maine Real Estate Managers Association (MREMA) is a Non-Profit Organization Committed to Promoting Professional Asset Management by Providing Effective Leadership through Collaborative Relationships, Educational, and Training Programs.
Southern Maine Agency on Aging (SMAA) provides many services and programs for seniors on a variety of issues, be they financial, medical, or personal. SMAA offers seminars to help navigate the array of insurance and Medicare options, delivers important dietary and fitness practices, and provides older adults with the opportunity to stay active in the community via participation or volunteerism. No matter the reason for your interest, be assured SMAA has the expertise to help find the answers you need.