Maine Housing Authority Director Resigns

Maine Housing Authority Director Resigns

Dale McCormick, who led the Maine State Housing Authority for seven years but had recently come under scrutiny for the costs of housing financed by the agency, has recently stepped down.

"The Board and the Director have concluded that it is in the best interests of the housing authority and the people of Maine that they reach an agreement on an early end to the Director's term," said a written statement issued by the housing authority and McCormick.

The director had recently been battling the board about the cost of the affordable housing developments that the housing authority helps finance through low-income housing tax credits and other programs.

Specifically, Elm Terrace, a 35-unit historic rehab project in Portland, came under fire. Initial plans had the project with a per-unit cost of about $314,000. State Treasurer Bruce Poliquin, who sits on the board, criticized that amount, saying the median single-family home sells for $159,000. He is now a Republican candidate seeking to replace Olympia Snowe, who is not seeking re-election to the U.S. Senate. McCormick said she rejected the initial proposal and called for the costs to be lowered. The agency then later approved financing for the project at $265,000 per unit.

In January, she said the cost critiques were not an "apples-to-apples comparison" for a number of reasons, including costs that are unique to multifamily developments and to historic renovation projects.