Housing Matters blog

Young professional housing survey report

Posted Mar 3, 2015 at 12:12 pm by Marina Demas

PictureIn 2014, the Lake Chamber of Commerce, through its Burlington Young Professionals group, created the Young Professionals Advocacy Task Force with a specific focus on housing issues in and around Burlington. The Task Force compiled a survey to better understand the needs and concerns of Vermont’s young workforce.

400 individuals responded to the survey, with the majority of people between the age of 26 and 35. According to the survey results, almost half of those young professionals who responded are dissatisfied with their current living situation. Across all age groups, the primary reasons for their dissatisfaction were the need for more space (58%) and the desire to own but inability to afford it (56%) . The largest chunk of respondents pays between $500 and $1500 per month in rent or mortgage.  Almost half pay more than 30% of their take home income in rental or mortgage payments. Check out the rest of this report.

VHFA is currently pursuing new ways our programs can work even better for the first time homebuyers many young professionals strive to be. We are excited by bills currently being considered by the Vermont legislature, supported by the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce, that would expand VHFA’s ability to offer down payment assistance to first time buyers

Need an affordable apartment?

Posted Mar 3, 2015 at 8:19 am by Marina Demas

Need an affordable apartment or know someone who does?

There are vacancies in a number of 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.

504 Coordinator Training Event

Posted Feb 20, 2015 at 1:13 pm by Marina Demas

504 Coordinator Training On Thursday, April 9, 2015, Vermont Housing Managers Association (VHMA), Granite State Managers Association (GSMA) and New England Affordable Housing Management Association (NEAHMA) are co-sponsoring a one day training.  The training is 504 Coordinator Training with Debbie Piltch.  This training will examine Federal requirements to provide persons with disabilities reasonable accommodation throughout the occupancy cycle. It will shed light on the confusion regarding what a housing provider’s legal obligations are in the area of reasonable accommodation. The training will also discuss how state and local law may have an impact on a site’s obligation as well. In addition, VHMA, GSMA and NEAHMA will review the role of a 504 coordinator in general and in the context of reasonable accommodations as well as the 504 grievance procedure.

The training will be held at the Fireside Inn & Suites in West Lebanon, NH.  The cost is $125 per person if you register before Friday, February 27th; after February 27th the cost will increase to $150 per person.  Non-membership rate is $200 per person   The cost of the registration also includes lunch.

To register for the training please click on the following link and it will walk you through the steps.  http://www.cvent.com/d/vrqnjq/1Q

If you should have any questions regarding the registration process you may contact Sarah.Kaufmann@neahma.org.  If you should have any questions about the training, are in need of any reasonable accommodations or have any food allergies, please contact Heidi.setien@vt.usda.gov.

President Obama’s housing plan seeks better financing options for home buyers and rental housing

Posted Jan 8, 2015 at 12:12 pm by Leslie Black-Plumeau

flagIn addition to federal FHA mortgage insurance program modifications, President Obama announced this week his support for other ways to improve the availability of affordable owner and rental housing, including several initiatives administered by VHFA and partner housing agencies in other states.

Regarding housing finance reform, the President explained the importance of:

  • drawing more private capital into the system
  • ending the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac business model, and
  • ensuring broad access for all creditworthy families to sustainable mortgage products like the 30-year and fixed-rate mortgage in good times and bad.

The President’s announcement also spelled out the Administration’s support for:

  • strengthening access to affordable rental housing,
  • protecting the affordable rental housing market during the economic crisis through HUD’s Tax Credit Assistance Program and Treasury’s Credit Exchange Program
  • supporting efforts to capitalize the Housing Trust and Capital Magnet Funds
  • partnering with state and local housing finance agencies to enable the development and rehabilitation of tens of thousands of affordable rental units

Read the President’s fact sheet.

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.


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


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!

Joint Committee on Tax Credits to review qualified allocation plan on September 29th

Posted Sep 16, 2014 at 3:37 pm by Victoria Johnson

Vermont’s Joint Committee on Tax Credits has scheduled its review of the qualified allocation plan for Monday, September 29, 2014. Read meeting specifics below:

Time and Location:

  • 1:00pm-4:00pm
  • Vermont Housing Finance Agency, 164 St. Paul St., Burlington, VT

Tentative Topics:

  • Review of developer fee policy:
    • VHFA recommendations.
  • Discussion of appraisals, operating costs, and requests for resources:
    • Discussion of current policies.
    • How should these look when underwriting applications?
  • Discussion/clarification on current definition of special needs housing:
    • How does AHS review this?
    • Should QAP changes be made? If so, process for input, when?
  • Discussion on current priorities/limitations, including age-segregated housing:
    • Review of current data.
    • Should QAP changes be made? If so, process for input, when?
  • Other State and Federal Policy Issues.

Housing events calendar for week of June 9, 2014

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

weekly plannerOrganizing your schedule for the week? Check out the list below and the Events Calendar page on VHFA’s website for the latest Vermont housing events.


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition Monthly Meeting

  • 9:30 am-11:30am
  • Vermont Center for Independent Living, 11 East State Street, Montpelier, VT

VAHC membership meetings are usually held the second Wednesday of every month except August, same time, same place. Join us early at 9 for coffee and networking. More information: Justin Henry, VAHC, 802.660.9484


Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Building inclusive and vibrant communities

  • 6:30 pm-8:30pm
  • Bethel Town Hall, 318 Main Street, Bethel, VT

Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission and the statewide Fair Housing Project of CVOEO offer a presentation and group discussion about building inclusive and economically vibrant communities. Such communities create opportunities for regional economic growth and stability of businesses, agriculture and tourism. They are supportive of business owners as well as those who work for businesses in the towns. Special panel of guest speakers. Local Contact: Loralee Morrow (802) 457-3188 X 20 | lmorrow@trorc.org and Fair Housing Project: Ted Wimpey, (802) 660-3456 x 106 | fhp@cvoeo.org.


Friday, June 13, 2014

Hold the Date – Press Conference

  • Harrington Village, 5059 Shelburne Road, Shelburne, VT

Press Conference with Rep. Welch on Tiberi-Neal Housing Credit Rate Bill.




Vermont Managers Association Fair Housing Training in April

Posted Mar 7, 2014 at 9:25 am by Victoria Johnson

blocksVermont Housing Managers Association (VHMA) is offering a one day training with Fair Housing Solutions, LLC.

  • April 16, 2014 8:30 AM-4:00 PM  (Registration opens at 7:30a.m.) 
  • Fireside Inn & Suites, 25 Airport Road, West Lebanon, NH.
  • Registration Deadline: April 1, 2014.
  • Registration Cost: $195.00 per person for VHMA/ GSMA members $320.00 per person for Non-members (Lunch is included in the registration cost).

Topics to be covered at this training will include:

  • Introduction to the Fair Housing Act;
  • Protected Classes and discriminatory conduct under the Fair Housing Act;
  • Fair Housing Impact on applicant screening; Reasonable accommodation;
  • How to analyze requests for service, companion, and other assistance animals;
  • Reasonable modification;
  • What constitutes a “direct threat” under the Fair Housing Act and how does that impact violent behavior caused by a disability?;
  • Specific policies that may have a discriminatory impact on the basis of race, national origin, and sex;
  • Special issues to consider to avoid discriminating on the basis of familial status;
  • Housing harassment and how to develop and implement a housing anti-­‐harassment policy;
  • HUD Mortgagee Letter and how it will affect your future CNAs,PNAs and GPNAs;
  • The BIG Differences in managing your properties in the coming years and how Baby Boomers will affect Accessibility; April, 2013 News on HUD’s Final Rule to provide comprehensive direction to owners and agents who are processing request for assistance animals and companion animals;
  • The latest (April 2013) HUD & DOJ Joint Statement on Fair Housing Act Accessibility Guidelines and how it will affect your properties.

For more information contact Vermont Housing Managers Association, 802.535.3594, http://www.vhma.net/events.php.

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