Comfortably Home began as a vision of Bath Housing with the belief that safe, stable housing is critical to the health and wellness of a community. Like many housing authorities across a state dealing with an increasingly aging population, Bath Housing was facing a senior housing shortage. Elderly and disabled residents in need were waiting up to 24 months for eligible housing units. Meanwhile research showed many preferred to stay in their own homes but could no longer keep up with maintenance—creating potentially serious health and safety issues.

Under the leadership of Executive Director, Debora Keller, Bath Housing recognized the need to innovate housing solutions for the Midcoast Maine community. After attending a How Housing Matters conference in Washington D.C., Keller realized her organization was already armed with the resources to lay the foundation for change—a skillful maintenance department and a caring, dedicated staff.

Established in 2015, Comfortably Home was designed to offer no-cost home safety checks, minor maintenance repairs, and accessibility enhancements to eligible, low-income elderly and disabled homeowners. These services enable recipients to continue living safely and comfortably at home. This program created a progressive solution for aging homeowners and housing authorities—as well as the community at large—by establishing a model to address the housing and wellness issues of a growing segment of Maine residents.

With a grant from the John T. Gorman Foundation, the Bath Housing team shared their innovative model with four other Maine housing authorities. Funded by Maine State Housing Authority, these Maine communities are rolling out their own programs in 2017. Comfortably Home aspires to eventually serve elderly and disabled homeowners in need all across the country.