Housing Matters blog

VAR president on home values

Posted Jan 8, 2010 at 4:02 pm by Craig Bailey

Leslee MacKenzie, President of the Vermont Association of Realtors, join Neal Charnoff yesterday on Vermont Public Radio to talk about new numbers that show a slowing pace of home sales.

Listen to the story online.

Rebates for Vermonters upgrading to energy efficient appliances

Posted Jan 8, 2010 at 8:55 am by Craig Bailey

The federal government is offering nearly $600,000 in refunds to Vermonters who upgrade their household appliances to more energy efficient models.

The money is part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.

The state is running a mail-in rebate program to help Vermonters replace older, inefficient appliances with new, high-efficiency Energy Star® qualified and ultra-efficient appliances.

The program for gas tankless water heaters, gas furnaces, and gas boilers is scheduled to begin this month. The program for clothes washers, refrigerators, and air conditioners is tentatively scheduled to begin in March.

The rebates will end when all the funds are depleted.

Eligible products include:

  • Refrigerators
  • Clothes washers
  • Room air conditioners
  • Gas tankless water heaters
  • Gas furnaces
  • Gas boilers

For more information, contact the Vermont Office of Economic Stimulus and Recovery.

Church trades Tiffany to help homeless

Posted Jan 6, 2010 at 8:42 am by Craig Bailey

melinda bussinoWCAX-TV Channel 3 aired a piece a couple days ago about Brattleboro’s First Baptist Church, which is selling its Tiffany stained glass window to help the needy.

Melinda Bussino of the Brattleboro Drop-in Center appears in the story.

Read the script and watch the video at the Channel 3 site.

A piece about the church was also distributed by the Associated Press. Read it at the ABC News site.

2010 Census coming

Posted Jan 6, 2010 at 8:22 am by Craig Bailey

census logoThe U.S. Census will be conducted this spring and summer.

A complete and accurate population count is vital in helping determine Vermont’s housing needs, so VHFA encourages everyone to complete the questionnaire when it arrives in the mail.

Census population counts help determine how $400 billion in federal funds are distributed to communities across the country. They’re also used to determine the shape of legislative and local government districts.

On a different note, the Census Bureau’s looking for hundreds of temporary workers. Most of the jobs work in the field and pay $13.50 an hour.

Workers are needed to drop off Census questionnaires at homes in March, and conduct face-to-face interviews in late-spring and early-summer with Vermonters who fail to return their questionnaires by mail.

To apply, applicants must take a 30-minute multiple-choice test.

For more information, call to make an appointment: toll-free 1.866.861.2010 or 802.264.0860.

For more information on the Census, visit them online.

Homeless vigil coming Jan. 13

Posted Jan 4, 2010 at 4:06 pm by Craig Bailey

candlesVermont will hold its annual homeless memorial vigil Jan. 13 at noon on the Statehouse steps in Montpelier.

The state’s homeless shelter and service providers will commemorate the thousands of Vermonters who received housing and/or services this past year. Stay after to discuss what can be done for the others who aren’t able to receive these services.

Of the estimated 5,400 homeless in Vermont in 2008, approximately 3,750 were sheltered while the remaining 1,650 were unsheltered.

During a one-day count in January 2009, 46% of people who were homeless were children and adults in families, including 754 children under 17 (28% of all people counted that day).

For more information on the day’s event, contact Linda Ryan, 802.373.6505, lindaryan3@comcast.net.

Sponsored by Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness.

Help spread the word about the event: Download, print and post this flyer.

Mortgage financing course for REALTORS

Posted Jan 4, 2010 at 3:31 pm by Craig Bailey

erin perrinJoin VHFA Homeownership Outreach Coordinator Erin Perrin (pictured) at “Mortgage Financing in a New Age: Navigating the Roadway from Contract to Closing,” Jan. 14, at the Town & Country Resort, Mountain Road, Stowe.

Erin joins Marilyn Morin Roberts, Loan Originator at Universal Mortgage Corp., for this 4-hour credit course for REALTORS.

The two will cover the many changes in the industry that complicate a REALTOR’s life — changes in: appraisal processes; timelines for new disclosures; new rules and regulations that affect buyer qualifications; changes in programs such as conventional, VA, FHA, Rural Development and VHFA.

Presented by the Lamoille Area Board of REALTORS (LABOR).

A full country breakfast and registration begins at 8 a.m. Class begins at 8:30.

Register by sending a check to LABOR, P.O. Box 596, Stowe, VT 05672. The cost is $50, before Jan. 6; $60 after. Check must be received by Jan. 6 to receive the discounted rate.

For more information, contact Sara Waskuch, 802.888.3873, info@lamoillerealtors.com.

$3.4 million awarded to Vermont for homeless assistance

Posted Jan 4, 2010 at 1:42 pm by Craig Bailey

shaun donovanThe Obama Administration announced last week the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) is renewing grant funding to keep thousands of local homeless assistance programs operating.

Seven Vermont organizations will receive a total of nearly $3.4 million:

  • Addison County Community Action Group
  • Bennington Housing Authority
  • Brattleboro Housing Authority
  • Burlington Housing Authority
  • Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity
  • HowardCenter
  • Vermont State Housing Authority

HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan (pictured) said a total of nearly $1.4 billion will help an unprecedented 6,400 programs to continue offering critically needed housing and services to homeless persons and families.

The grants are being awarded through HUD’s Continuum of Care programs. For the first time, HUD’s quickly providing renewal grants to local programs to prevent any interruption in federal assistance and will announce funding to new projects in early 2010.

Visit HUD’s Web site for a local summary of the grants announced.

Sponsor the 2010 Vermont Statewide Housing Conference

Posted Jan 4, 2010 at 11:07 am by Craig Bailey

conference logo

VHFA is looking for sponsors for the next Vermont Statewide Housing Conference.

The conference — scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010 — is the largest housing event in Vermont, bringing together a unique mix of housing financers, advocates, developers, planners, tenants and more.

Signing on early as a sponsor assures you’ll get the full promotional value for your contribution — through logo placement on the conference Web site and other promotional material.

If you’d like to become a sponsor, contact us now.

Our last event, in 2008, had near-record turnout: More than 450 people attended the event, with our survey showing an amazing 99 percent likely to attend again.

We’re just beginning planning for the conference, but already anticipate workshops on green building and energy efficiency; state and federal housing policy; housing development; and changes as a result of the 2009 stimulus package.

We also plan to offer the very popular “Housing 101” introductory workshops, a great crash course to people new to affordable housing.

The 2010 Vermont Statewide Housing Conference will be held Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010, at the Hilton in Burlington, Vt.

Mark your calendars!

And watch the official conference Web site for all types of news about the event.

Directory of Affordable Rental Housing updated

Posted Jan 4, 2010 at 10:08 am by Craig Bailey


We just completed our latest quarterly update to the Vermont Directory of Affordable Rental Housing (DoARH).

The DoARH contains detailed information about all of Vermont’s 12,826 units of subsidized housing.

Mapping improvements coming
Some time ago we added the ability to display a single DoARH property on a map. We’re in the process of beefing up the site’s mapping feature, to allow users to display multiple properties on a single map.

More later …

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