Taking affordable housing to new "Heights"

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Formerly homeless veterans are getting a new lease on life thanks to an affordable housing project in Portland.

“Thomas Heights” is an 18-unit efficiency apartment building, with five of those units housing previously homeless vets.

Avesta Housing was able to complete the $3.6 million dollar project with help from city and state grants.

The building was named after Thomas Ptacek, a former navy sailor who spent a living year in shelters in Portland. Pitacek now works as a homeless veterans advocate, and has seen the positive impact projects like this can have.

Officials who spoke at the grand opening ceremony on Wednesday say 110 people applied to live in Thomas Heights, something they believe highlights the affordable housing crisis in the city.