One of the five new buildings for asylum-seekers under construction at Brunswick Landing. Courtesy of Developers Collaborative

A fire at one of the buildings being built to house 60 asylum-seeking families at Brunswick Landing has delayed the move-in schedule.

Portland-based Developers Collaborative is constructing five buildings with 12 units each. The fire, which Developers Collaborative founder Kevin Bunker described as small, broke out last month above a kitchen in one of the units of a building due to faulty wiring. The families were scheduled to start moving in over the summer. Bunker said that will likely now happen in November, as the construction schedule was delayed as crews replace the wiring.

“We’re being very careful and cautious,” Bunker said. “We’re looking forward to finishing up and getting folks in there.”

He said the first two buildings are expected to be completed next month and the other three are expected to be completed in January. The families, selected from a wait list of more than 250 applicants, are currently staying in hotels and shelters in Portland, Freeport and Scarborough, among other communities.

Meanwhile, town officials and community organizers are organizing a massive goodwill response from the community in the form of donations and volunteers to help the families.

Since March, scores of people have donated more than $40,000 to a town-run GoFundMe campaign, which is still active, that will pay for necessities like furniture and kitchen supplies. More than 150 people have volunteered to help the families with services like transportation and mentoring. Thanks to donations from Mid Coast Hospital, the Immigrant Resource Center of Maine and the United Way of Mid Coast Maine, the Brunswick Link public bus system will be free through at least next summer.

“We’re so appreciative,” said Deb Crocker, the town’s director of human services. “Volunteers have come from all over and that is just amazing.”

The town also has a welcome center that provides free English lessons, and the Brunswick School Department has been in the process of hiring more staff to accommodate the influx of students when they arrive.

MaineHousing is covering the rent for the Brunswick Landing units for two years. MaineHousing is also providing an $8 million loan package for the housing complex, while the Brunswick-based Genesis Community Loan Fund is providing a $4 million loan.

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