PORTLAND, MAINE— Avesta Housing is a leading nonprofit affordable housing developer in Maine, with a history of building innovative projects.

The organization has created housing for seniors, the homeless, and even blind residents.

Avesta leaders take pride in doing difficult projects that respond to people’s specific housing needs rather than reacting to general development opportunities.

The nonprofit is building Pearl Place, a 60-unit development for families located in a key location that borders downtown Portland and a grittier, industrial neighborhood, according to President Dana Totman.

Replacing old warehouses, Pearl Place will be a catalyst in the revitalization of the Bayside neighborhood. The project is expected to open around the end of the year.

Avesta is also in predevelopment on Florence House, a 50-unit facility for homeless women in Portland. The project is being done in partnership with Preble Street Resource Center.

Avesta and Preble Street collaborated to build Logan Place a few years ago. That development, which provides housing for formerly homeless individuals, earned a Charles L. Edson Tax Credit Excellence Award from the Affordable Housing Tax Credit Coalition last year.

One of the keys to Avesta’s success has been working with various partners and identifying different resources, said Totman. The group’s partners will bring their unique skills to the table, such as knowledge of a local market, while Avesta brings its deep development experience. The group may not be an expert in everything, but it generally knows and understands who is, Totman said.

One way that he keeps connected with his communities is by being active in a number of state and local organizations. Totman has served on housing, commerce, and health boards.