Sustaining a Year-Round Community through Affordable Housing

Founded in 2004, Homestart is a 501(c)(3) volunteer organization that seeks to create and preserve affordable year-round housing on Peaks Island. For over a hundred years, Peaks has been home to people working on the island and in Portland, and also a popular summer destination. Rising real estate prices and competition from high summer rentals has meant that many islanders now find housing costs beyond their reach. To preserve a healthy, diverse year-round community, Peaks needs more housing that’s affordable for year-round residents of moderate incomes.

Board of Directors:
Betsey Remage-Healey, President
Chris Roberts, Treasurer
Ann Marie Barter
Bill Hall
Timothy Wyant

About Us

Since its founding in 2006, Home Start has focused on both creating and maintaining year-round affordable rental housing on Peaks Island and identifying zoning changes that could encourage small scale development of additional year-round affordable housing on Peaks.

First, Home Start acquired an existing house and land at 18 Luther Street and secured a Conditional Zoning Agreement that allowed the land to be subdivided to create two new lots suitable for two new affordable rental houses. To support this project, Home Start secured over $600,000 in funding from grants and loans, including $35,000 in community donations.

Second, in 2012, Home Start began a project to identify zoning changes that could encourage the small scale development of more year-round affordable housing on Peaks Island. In 2015 , Portland City Council approved a zoning ordinance change that allowed the building of attached Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), as long as they are rented year-round within affordability guidelines. In 2018, Home Start successfully sought approval to allow an ADU at its property on 18 Luther Street.

Several other zoning changes were widely discussed and recommended by Peaks Island residents with support from the Peaks Island Council, but have been tabled due to the on-going citywide ReCode project.

Our current project is to build the ADU at 18 Luther Street. We were one of three projects that received a grant from the Portland Housing Trust Fund in the amount of $36,000 IF we can raise an additional $35,221 by April 1, 2020.


Sale of 18 Luther

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Accessory Dwelling Units

With expert assistance from residential designer Rachel Conly, Home Start has created a Guide to ADUs on Peaks Island.

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Donation Amount

  • Peaks Island, ME
  • PO Box 174