Housing Matters blog

Annual Mitten Drive

Posted Dec 2, 2014 at 4:14 pm by Victoria Johnson

Mitten Drive 2014 PicThis year VHFA will be donating stuffed mittens to benefit the children in programs offered by the Sara Holbrook Youth Center. Last year the Sara Holbrook Youth Center served 51 preschool and elementary children and 600 teens through playgroups and direct advocacy. Throughout their various community programs, the Sara Holbrook Youth Center helped over 650 children. Time to break out your knitting needles or put on your shopping shoes to support children in need during the holiday season. Please drop off mittens, gloves or hats to the VHFA office by Monday, December 15th. VHFA staff will fill mittens with candy canes and tie with ribbons for the children in time for the holidays.

164 St. Paul Street, Burlington 802-864-5743

Thank you!

Need an affordable apartment?

Posted Dec 11, 2014 at 9:30 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.

Doarh vacancies

Donate mittens with Facebook likes!

Posted Dec 9, 2014 at 9:39 am by Victoria Johnson

Mitten Drive 2014 PicIn addition to directly donating mittens, gloves or hats for the Sara Holbrook Youth Center, there’s another way to help.  For every new fan that joins our Facebook page, VHFA will donate a pair of mittens! Facebook users can visit the VHFA page, and become fans by clicking the “Like” button at the top of the page.

Donations of new mittens and gloves to our office on the corner of King and St. Paul Streets in Burlington are heartily welcome any time before Monday, December 15. Waterproof gloves and mittens are especially appreciated.  VHFA staff will stuff each donated item with candy in time to have them distributed to the children before the holidays.

The Sara Holbrook Youth Center served 51 preschool and elementary children and 600 teens through playgroups and direct advocacy. Thoughout their various community programs, the Sara Holbrook Youth Center helped over 650 children.


Seeking apartments in Barre and Montpelier for displaced tenants

Posted Dec 9, 2014 at 9:26 am by Leslie Black-Plumeau

cvcltReprinted from the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition News

Central Vermont Community Land Trust is seeking help in relocating residents who are currently housed in units in Barre and Montpelier that will be undergoing construction in 2015. Details are included in the news release below. For further information contact Liz Genge, Director of Property Management, at (802) 477-1333 or lgenge@cvclt.org.

The Central Vermont Community Land Trust (CVCLT) is seeking the help of local landlords to relocate residents who will be displaced during major construction projects in Barre and Montpelier.

The construction, scheduled to begin in early 2015, involves interior upgrades to CVCLT-owned buildings at 39 and 40 Barre Street, Montpelier, and a new four-story multi-family apartment building on Summer Street in Barre.

Assistance from community leaders and local landlords is needed to assure that the displaced CVCLT residents will have safe and convenient housing during the transition. Most of the residents need downtown units within easy walking distance of local amenities and a bus line.

In Barre, 16 CVCLT residents will be displaced from their apartments when demolition begins on three aging CVCLT-owned buildings on the Summer Street site. Those tenants will need apartments for about a year and then most will have the option of moving into the new building.

“This is a win-win situation,” said Barre Mayor Thom Lauzon. “It’s good for the City’s redevelopment, it guarantees rent for Barre landlords, and it helps CVCLT residents stay in housing they depend on. There’s no reason not to work together on this.”

In Montpelier, 14 CVCLT residents will be displaced for about six months while their apartment units on Barre Street are rehabbed with safety and energy upgrades. The fourteen residents will return to their former apartments when the project is finished.

“CVCLT is fulfilling its promise to keep their affordable housing in Montpelier safe and in good repair,” said Montpelier Mayor John Hollar. “I hope Montpelier landlords will do what they can to support this project.”

Private landlords who can offer apartments will be guaranteed rent, lease enforcement and the services of CVCLT’s skilled property managers. All of the tenants, who come with references and detailed rental history, have been CVCLT tenants for at least a year.

VHFA’s holiday mitten stuffing a model for Vermont says Business People-Vermont magazine

Posted Dec 8, 2014 at 11:58 am by Leslie Black-Plumeau

Business People VermontVHFA was delighted to be among the Vermont companies highlighted in this month’s Business People-Vermont article Warm Hearts, Deep Pockets: Our annual guide to creative ways to make life better for somebody in need.

Holiday mitten drive, a long-standing annual tradition at VHFA, is currently underway, made possible through donations of new mittens, hats and gloves from readers like you.

Donations may be dropped off at our office by Monday, December 15th.  Read more.

Census Bureau releases new estimates and visualization tools

Posted Dec 5, 2014 at 11:51 am by Leslie Black-Plumeau

The Census Bureau released the latest estimates for every Vermont town and county this week along with new, slick tools for quickly viewing them and comparing them to other places. Estimates for the state as well as for every county, place, metropolitan/micropolitan statistical area, and ZIP Code are now available.

Two new tools for looking at the estimates make it super easy to see the estimates:

Census estimates

Your turn to weigh in on VT’s housing and community development priorities

Posted Dec 4, 2014 at 3:18 pm by Victoria Johnson

Survey ImageVermont’s Department of Housing and Community Development is in the process of preparing the 2015 to 2020 HUD Consolidated Plan which guides the investment of more than $10 million annually for three formula grants: Community Development Block Grants CDBG), Home Investment Partnership (HOME) funds and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG). In 2010, DHCD collected 560 responses related to issues such as housing affordability, job creation and retention, the availability of affordable child and healthcare and the need for improved municipal infrastructure. It would be great to exceed that number of responses this year.

It is important to hear from as many Vermonters as possible about the community issues that most impact their daily lives.

Please take a few minutes to complete the online survey and share the link with friends and family who live in Vermont. The goal is for Vermonters who access housing, homeless services, and economic development activities to respond to this survey directly. https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HUD_Con_Plan2015

There are other ways to have your voice be heard: attend one of the seven regional public hearings on the next Consolidated Plan. The dates, times, and locations are all available on DHCD’s website.   http://accd.vermont.gov/department/DHCD


What is the market for new, modest-sized, highly energy-efficient homes in Vermont?

Posted Dec 4, 2014 at 12:10 pm by Leslie Black-Plumeau

High performance homesThis question was recently the focus of a Vermont-based consulting team under the direction of The High Meadows Fund and Efficiency Vermont. The team, composed of VHFA, Energy Futures Group, Milne-Allen Appraisal Company and Fifth Element Associates, conducted extensive housing market, demographic and direct consumer research. Results and conclusions are summarized in a comprehensive report released this week.

While these homes do not yet command a bona fide “market”  in the traditional sense due to general consumer expectations and cost considerations, there are action steps that can facilitate the development of a market in the future, the report concludes. Recommendations range from focusing on consumer needs for specific types of information and a “trusted advisor” to targeting certain types of high performance homes to particular locations in which prevailing land prices and home sizes make them more competitive.


Services for Terry McNight set for Thursday, December 4

Posted Dec 3, 2014 at 9:13 am by Leslie Black-Plumeau

Governor Douglas and Terry McNightTerry McNight, long-time Executive Director of the Addison County Community Trust (ACCT), suffered a fatal heart attack on Saturday. Viewing and visiting hours will be on Thursday, December 4, 2014 from 4 to 7 PM, with a prayer service and time for sharing of memories at 6:30 pm at Ready Funeral & Cremation Service South Chapel, 261 Shelburne Rd. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Catherine of Siena Church in Shelburne at 11 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 5, 2014, with burial to follow in Shelburne Village Cemetery.

During Terry’s 12-year tenure as its Executive Director, ACCT grew to overseeing 650 of the region’s rental and owner homes. Among his many recent achievements are preserving affordable homes in Vaughan’s mobile home park in Monkton, managing 200 affordable apartments, making more than 50 single-family homes and condos permanently affordable and developing new affordable owner and rental housing at Middlebury South Village and Stone Hill apartments.

Terry will be deeply missed by those of us fortunate enough to have worked with him. Read more.

Photo: Governor Douglas and Terry McNight at the Grand Opening of Village Housing in Middlebury in 2008.

“What I learned at the 2014 Vermont Statewide Housing Conference” haikus

Posted Nov 20, 2014 at 4:22 pm by Leslie Black-Plumeau

housing conference poetYesterday’s housing conference prompted participant Mike McNamara of HUD (pictured at left) to wax poetic. He put pen to paper, creating what may very well be the first ever Vermont housing conference haikus:

Biennial must
Statewide Housing Conference
Maura makes it so

Sequestration sucks
Doing less with less and less
Budget dysfunction

Vermonters lament
Affordable housing need
Build it, they will come

Housing is vital
Platform for living one’s life
Things get better soon

Housing day is done
Conference reception fun
Drink tickets abound.

Housing Matters sends out a big “thank you” to Mike and all of this year’s conference attendees who used the day to get their creative juices flowing.

Photo by Sam Falzone.


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