Housing Navigator Program

Immigrants Resource Center of Maine > Housing Navigator Program

The Housing Navigator Program has been structured to achieve the following five key goals.

  • Engage landlords in areas where the rental vacancy rate is very low and develop partnerships that encourage them to rent to families experiencing or at significant risk of experiencing homelessness.
  • Partner with the regional Homeless Response Service Hubs, Public Housing Authorities, Community Action Agencies, and Homeless Liaisons in area schools and/or community networks that assist families with housing to accept referrals of families experiencing or at significant risk of homelessness.
  • Support families with rental assistance – including Stability Through Engagement Program (STEP) vouchers and Emergency Rental Assistance (ERA) supports – to obtain units and continue that support during the first year of tenancy to assist them in remaining stably housed.
  • Assist families with homeless students who have been referred by area schools in obtaining rental assistance through STEP.
  • Ensure that all participating families remain stably housed through their first year of tenancy.

To optimize our efforts in achieving these goals efficiently, we have expanded our housing navigators’ team and strategically positioned them in various locations to enhance service delivery. Specifically, we have deployed:

  • One housing navigator at the General Assistance Office in Lewiston and Auburn.
  • Another housing navigator in Brunswick.
  • One housing navigator is stationed at the IRC office, located at 124 Canal Street.

Additionally, we are actively in the process of rehiring for Kennebec County.

This strategic expansion of our housing navigators’ team has yielded substantial results, enabling us to successfully secure stable housing for over 300 families.

We are pleased to report that we have successfully recruited more than 30 landlords, including 5 major landlords, who play a pivotal role in providing the majority of rental units within the Lewiston and Auburn area. This achievement significantly enhances our ability to secure suitable housing options for those we serve.