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Feb. 1, 2024

With your support, we raised $53,549 toward Phase Two, asbestos abatement and demolition of existing structures, which was necessary before we could be eligible for pre-development funding. Asbestos abatement was completed in December, and the buildings were demolished in January 2024. While it was bittersweet to see them go, they'd fallen into disrepair years before we purchased the property and were not salvageable. The metal roofing was sorted for recycling, and most of the rest was burned to generate electricity. 

Entering Phase Three, we'll now continue to solidify our architectural and engineering plans to be “shovel ready” to apply for Rural Affordable Rental Housing Program (RARHP) funding from the state of Maine. We welcome your support to make Phase Three happen!

November 20, 2023

This past year has been one of extraordinary growth for CEBE with new staff, new funding and new partnerships. Since our general operating budget is in good shape, we have decided to focus this year’s annual appeal on one of the most important and impactful projects in our ten-year history, one that will help address the local housing crisis and bolster the local economy.

After two and a half years of visionary work by dozens of people, we have arrived at a critical juncture in the incubation of the Norway Equitable Housing Cooperative (NEHC). To get to our goal of building twelve beautiful, affordable and inspired net-zero housing units on our recently acquired lot, we must first remove the existing derelict structures and remediate the site. Once that’s accomplished, we will be eligible for critical pre-development funding in preparation for our application to MaineHousing. 

That’s why we’re asking for your support of Phase 2 of the project — asbestos abatement and demolition. All donations will be matched 1:1 by generous donors until we hit our $75,000 goal!

FundRAZE for Equitable Housing!

Help us raise $75,000 to raze the derelict structures standing between us and funding for our Norway Equitable Housing Cooperative

Your support will get us closer to breaking ground on equitable housing

✓ Phase 0: Local renters come together and enlist CEBE’s support with a shared need of affordable, energy-efficient housing in Norway (2021)

✓ Phase 1: CEBE purchases a dream site for NEHC within walking distance of Main Street (2022)

☐ Phase 2: Asbestos abatement and demolition of existing structures

☐ Phase 3: Architectural design and engineering

☐ Phase 4: Apply for full project funding from MaineHousing

☐ Phase 5: Construction

☐ Phase 6: Live cooperatively and affordably!

Why housing? Our mission includes working for a just transition to a thriving, regenerative economy. Affordable, safe, energy-efficient housing will play a crucial role in getting us there. While we’re laser-focused on this project during this giving season, other aspects of our work continue to address the climate crisis in our community:


• Our community solar cooperative is surging forward, bolstered by a $100,000 federal DOE Energizing Rural Communities Prize. Expect to see panels on the ground in 2024! 


• Our ninth annual Solar & EV Expo brought scores of EV and eBike enthusiasts together at the Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School to drive cars, ride bikes, and learn about ride sharing, heat pumps, community and residential solar, and active transportation. Our 2023 expansion of CEBE’s Western Maine EV charging network leveraged state and private funding, as well as municipal support, to add eight new plugs and upgrade four existing stations. We now have 26 EV charging plugs across the region!


• Our annual bulk tree order from Fedco is happening now (we’re hoping to break last year’s record of over $4,000 in fruit and nut trees distributed to our community). We also have plenty of other food-related programming in the works for 2024 to help move our bioregion towards food security in a changing climate. This work is supported for the next two years by a $150,000 EPA grant for “environmental justice problem solving.”


• We’re supporting our 10th, 11th, and 12th towns to enroll in Maine’s Community Resilience Partnership and access state funding for a variety of climate resilience projects.


• Our fourth annual Climate Convergence, 2030 Vision: Unite to Meet the Moment, brought many of you together in Norway for two joy-filled days of inspiration and education. Mark your calendars for next year’s Convergence, May 17-18th, 2024, with Living on Earth’s Steve Curwood as a keynote speaker (You heard it here first!). 

CEBE has been building resilience and sustainability in Norway and surrounding communities for over a decade, and transforming a blighted downtown lot into the Norway Equitable Housing Cooperative is our most ambitious project to date. We have been fortunate enough to develop this project and purchase our dream site within walking distance of Main Street (Phase 1) through many private donations, large and small, while a team of CEBE staff, advisors, and potential resident-owners have been hard at work crafting the project vision and plans, and advocating statewide for equity-based affordable housing. Once Phase 2 is complete, we’ll quickly move on to architectural design and engineering (Phase 3) to make the project “shovel ready” to apply for full project funding through Maine’s Rural Affordable Rental Housing Program (Phase 4). 


Your donation will help make this groundbreaking, resident-owned affordable housing project a reality (Phase 5!), and in the process support local workers and businesses, as we pull together towards a thriving local economy and a healthy planet.

Thank you for your support!


Scott Vlaun, Executive Director

Thea Hart, NEHC Founding Member


We're building community resilience. Join us in your support! 

Rosemary Bunn

CEBE represents the best of the progressive ideas of Western Maine! Thanks for all you do for all of us.

2030 Vision Attendee

It was so great to be out in the sunshine, making connections with other climate-caring people and learning so much from the various speakers and workshops. [It] was a great reminder of why I do what I do and I walked away feeling more hopeful and empowered!

Elena Laughton

There is no better work to be done for the Earth than that which can be done locally.

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