Housing Matters blog

Two Vermont organizations recognized as national Green Building Standards Partners of Excellence

Posted Jul 24, 2014 at 9:38 am by Leslie Black-Plumeau

NGBSSnyder Homes of Shelburne and Vermont Energy Investment Corporation of Burlington were recognized as National Green Building Standards Partners of Excellence last week.

The awards were made by Maryland-based Home Innovation Research Labs for outstanding contributions by organizations to advancing green building in their communities and commitment to voluntary, market-driven, third-party certification of high-performance homes.

Read more.

Vermont Residential and Commercial Energy Code under revision

Posted Jul 22, 2014 at 1:08 pm by Leslie Black-Plumeau

DPSThe Vermont Department of Public Service is currently in the process of working with stakeholders to update the Vermont Residential and Commercial Energy Code. An updated version of the proposed Code will be made available soon.

There will be a public meeting held in September with an additional comment period of three weeks for those who wish to provide further input into the process based upon the revised draft.

Details about the meeting will be posted on the Department of Public Service website as soon as they are finalized. Contact:  Barry Murphy, EM&V Program Manager, Vermont Public Service Department.

Need an affordable apartment?

Posted Jul 17, 2014 at 11:29 am by Leslie Black-Plumeau

rentalNeed an affordable apartment or know someone who does?

There are vacancies in 16 different apartment complexes across the state, according to the Vermont Directory of Affordable Rental Housing.  Find out more about particular units by visiting the vacancy profiles on line.

VHFA celebrates Pat Loller’s retirement with tears, smiles and feng shui

Posted Jul 15, 2014 at 10:51 am by Leslie Black-Plumeau

Sarah Pat CakeSurrounded by “lucky bamboo” to ensure a retirement filled with happiness and prosperity, VHFA staff celebrated Pat Loller’s last day as Director of Administration—a critical role Pat half-jokingly often described as “Chief of Stuff.”

Sam Falzone, Multifamily Program Director, recounted Pat’s 16 years at the Agency with a heartfelt “Ode to Pat.” Executive Director Sarah Carpenter described Pat’s pivotal role during many important Agency transitions and presented Pat with a beautiful commemorative chair. Last, but certainly not least, Program Operations Chief David Adams and CFO Tom Connors bestowed gift boxes of necessities to ensure Pat’s comfort during this next phase of life.

Read more about Pat’s retirement and check out more photos from the party on our Facebook page.

Vermont-based bank wins outstanding ranking for meeting local needs

Posted Jul 10, 2014 at 12:45 pm by Leslie Black-Plumeau

Union Bank Based on the FDIC’s recent assessment of how well lending practices of selected banks contribute to the vibrancy of local communities, Union Bank, based in Morristown, stood out.

Union Bank earned an “outstanding” ranking, reserved for banks that most effectively meet the credit needs of their local communities. Only four of the approximately one hundred banks reviewed nationwide during the most recent round of assessments in June received such a ranking.

Union Bank is also a VHFA participating lender, helping low and moderate-income Vermonters become home buyers through the Agency’s homeownership programs.

To learn more about Union Bank, visit www.unionbankvt.com. Read more from vtdigger.org and the FDIC.

VHFA announces executive manager retirement and promotion

Posted Jul 7, 2014 at 10:00 am by Leslie Black-Plumeau

Pat_MauraPat Loller, Director of Administration, will be retiring from the agency effective July 15, 2014. Concurrently, Maura Collins will be promoted to the position of Director of Administration and Policy.

“Pat has been my right hand since I joined the agency 15 years ago,” Executive Director Sarah Carpenter explained. “Her dedication to VHFA’s mission and unmatched diligence have guided so many ground-breaking improvements in the way the agency operates.”

Loller, a long-time South Burlington resident, was named Vermont’s Human Resource Professional of the year in 2013. In addition to overseeing both the human resources and information technology departments as VHFA’s Director of Administration, Loller has served as vice president and Society for Human Resources Management representative on the board of the Vermont Human Resource Association. She joined VHFA in 1998.

Upon her departure, Pat will pass the reins for VHFA administration to Maura Collins, currently the agency’s Policy and Planning Manager. In her new role, Collins will oversee both the agency’s administrative functions as well as its research and communications activities. She will also continue to serve as VHFA’s legislative liaison for Vermont’s congressional delegation.

“Among all the players who build, operate and finance housing, Maura has emerged as one of the state’s most effective coalition builders and communicators,” commented Sarah Carpenter, VHFA’s Executive Director. “I am delighted to have her helping me lead the agency in an expanded capacity.”

Ms. Collins of Essex Junction received the Rising Star Award from the Vermont Business Magazine in 2012. This award recognized Collins as one of Vermont’s top 40 young leaders younger than 40.

Pictured:  Pat Loller (left) and Maura Collins (right).

U.S. rental housing assistance illustrated on YouTube by Urban Institute

Posted Jul 3, 2014 at 11:48 am by Leslie Black-Plumeau

Check out this short video from the Urban Institute that explains the role of rental housing assistance for those who receive it and the problems that ensue for those who need it but can not.

New name for Central Vermont Community Action Council

Posted Jul 2, 2014 at 12:01 pm by Leslie Black-Plumeau

capstonevtCentral Vermont Community Action Council, Inc. has changed its name to Capstone Community Action, Inc.

The new name “more accurately reflects our organization—its service area (more than Central Vermont), its statewide coordination of efforts, and its capstone-like role working together with many programs and partners to address poverty and create opportunities for the people we serve”   explains Lori Belding, President of the Board of Directors.

There is no change to the agency’s mission, services, office address or contact details.

NERSC captures spirit of resident services coordinators in video

Posted Jul 1, 2014 at 12:38 pm by Leslie Black-Plumeau

NERSC_videoWhen resident services coordinators from across New England come together each year, the benefits of sharing experiences, honing skills, and learning new approaches is hard to capture in words.

The video released after this year’s conference in New Hampshire in May helps paint a picture of the power created when these devoted professionals come together.

Watch the video.



Welch champions legislation to strengthen Housing Credit program

Posted Jun 16, 2014 at 1:11 pm by Leslie Black-Plumeau

miro,welch,sarah,Congressman Peter Welch visited Bobbin Mill Apartments, an affordable housing renovation project in Burlington, Friday to highlight his legislation (H.R. 4717) to improve the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) and stimulate the development and rehabilitation of affordable rental housing in Vermont.  Welch was joined by Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, VHFA’s Executive Director Sarah Carpenter and other leaders from Vermont’s affordable housing community.

“Every Vermonter should have the peace of mind that comes with safe and affordable housing,” said Welch. “The Low Income Housing Tax Credit has been a critical tool in financing the development of affordable housing in Vermont and across the country.  While the credit has worked well, it needs to be updated to provide more predictability to housing agencies and developers.”

“The Low Income Housing Tax Credit program is the largest affordable housing capital source we have available,” said Sarah Carpenter of VHFA which administers the tax credit. “Under current complex tax rules, these credits provide an estimated $23 million dollars in private equity to build and renovate affordable housing, like the Bobbin Mill Apartments.  HR 4717 improves the operation of the tax credits to provide predictability to developers and investors and could provide over a 20 percent increase in the equity available for much needed housing.  Any increase will reduce the strain on the other limited and diminishing housing resources.  If this legislation had been in place when Bobbin Mill was completed, it would have resulted in an additional $1.4 million in tax credit equity investment and relieved pressure on city and state resources.”

Read the full press release or check more photos from the press conference on VHFA’s Facebook page.

Pictured:  Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, Congressman Peter Welch, and VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter.  Photo by Ann Marie Plank.

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