Housing Matters blog

Vergennes Senior Housing groundbreaking

Posted Jun 20, 2011 at 9:40 am by Craig Bailey

Join Addison County Community Trust, Housing Vermont, Sen. Bernie Sanders and U.S. Housing & Urban Development Regional Administrator Barbara Fields at a groundbreaking celebration for Vergennes Senior Housing.

It takes places next Monday, June 27, at 9:30 a.m., Armory Lane, Vergennes.

R.V.S.P. to dot@hvt.org.



HUD: Chronic homelessness down, family homelessness up

Posted Jun 16, 2011 at 3:49 pm by Craig Bailey

The U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) this week released its “2010 Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress.”

Despite a troubled economy, the report shows homelessness up less than 1 percent from 2009 to 2010 — from 404,957 to 407,966. According to the report, more than 1.59 million people spent at least one night in an emergency shelter or transitional housing program during 2010. That’s a 2.2 percent increase from the previous year.

From 2009 to ’10, chronic homelessness decreased by 1 percent from 110,917 to 109,920 people. This number is down 11 percent since 2007. HUD attributes some of the decline to the 34 percent increase in permanent supportive housing (PSH) from 2007 to 2010. Almost 295,000 people used PSH during the reporting period.

From 2009 to ’10, the number of homeless families increased by 1.2 percent. From 2007 to 2010, the number of homeless families increased by 20 percent. The report states “families currently represent a much larger share of the total sheltered population than ever before … with the majority of homeless families consisting of a single mother with young children.”

Read more in HUD’s press release.



HUD Deputy Secretary Sims resigns

Posted Jun 16, 2011 at 10:46 am by Craig Bailey

U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development Deputy Secretary Ron Sims is stepping down from his post at the end of next month.

Sims, who has been HUD’s second-in-charge since May 2009, says he’s leaving to spend more time with his family in Seattle.

Read more in The Seattle Times.



Small housing development gaining traction on West Coast

Posted Jun 16, 2011 at 9:50 am by Leslie Black-Plumeau

Local governments in Portland, Ore., Los Angeles, Calif., and Kirkland, Wash., have taken steps to promote small housing development, according to the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development’s case studies clearinghouse.

Portland’s Living Smart Program offers permit-ready “skinny home” plans — plans pre-approved by the city council that have already passed life, safety, and structural review — that developers can acquire to build on small, infill lots in the city’s neighborhoods.

Los Angeles’s Small Lot Ordinance allows subdivision of lots in multifamily or commercial zones for the development of fee-simple, detached, townhouse-style homes. Developers can build several detached units as small as 600 square feet on subdivided lots, without the liability issues and insurance costs associated with a condominium project.

Kirkland conducted a demonstration project and then adopted a cottage housing ordinance to increase housing choice styles and promote housing affordability by encouraging smaller homes. The city allows cottage homes, which can have up to 1,500 square feet of total floor area, in certain existing zoning districts.

Read more and see a photo gallery of some of these innovative homes.



Thayer Commons in Free Press

Posted Jun 14, 2011 at 8:36 am by Craig Bailey

The ground breaking at Thayer Commons in Burlington’s New North End yesterday was the subject of an article in today’s Burlington Free Press.

The article cites Housing Vermont’s Nancy Owens with a figure of about $760 for a two-bedroom rental in the facility, including heat and water, compared with a market rate of about $1,200.

Read the article online. And see our post from yesterday.

(Illustration: Lincoln Brown Illustration)



Good luck, Erin!

Posted Jun 14, 2011 at 8:26 am by Craig Bailey

VHFA Homeownership Outreach Coordinator Erin Perrin wrapped up her tenure at VHFA this week.

After five years with the Agency, she’s off to Sugar Tree Mortgage, a new joint venture between Lang McLaughry Spera and Shelter Mortgage.

Good luck, Erin!



Thayer Commons breaks ground

Posted Jun 13, 2011 at 2:36 pm by Craig Bailey

Sen. Patrick Leahy joined affordable housing developers and local, state and federal officials this morning to break ground on Thayer Commons in Burlington.

The project, in city’s New North End, will create 33 new affordable apartments for seniors and 33 affordable apartments for families.

Cathedral Square Corp. plans to construct an additional 26‐32 senior apartments in a second phase of the development. Developer Eric Farrell is renovating the former Thayer School for commercial use and constructing a new building that’ll add 47 more market rate apartments.

Sen. Leahy secured a $433,000 special purpose grant through the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development as a piece of the overall $13.8 million project developed by non-profit partners Cathedral Square, Champlain Housing Trust and Housing Vermont. VHFA allocated federal Housing Tax Credits to the project.

Construction will continue through the summer and fall, with occupancy expected in Spring 2012.

(Illustration: Lincoln Brown Illustration)



Chittenden County planning organizations to merge

Posted Jun 13, 2011 at 12:51 pm by Craig Bailey

The Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission (CCRPC) and the Chittenden County Metropolitan Planning Organization (CCMPO) will merge July 1.

CCRPC was created by 15 Chittenden County municipalities in 1966 and authorized by state law in 1968.

CCMPO was created in 1983 as a result of the population exceeding 50,000 in the Census defined Urbanized Area. The federal designation as a Metropolitan Planning Organization required the communities in the Urbanized Area to undertake more intensive transportation planning in collaboration with the Vermont Agency of Transportation.

Both organizations provide planning services for all Chittenden County municipalities.

Read more about the merger in the organizations’ press release.



Lender profile: Shelter Mortgage Co.

Posted Jun 13, 2011 at 8:37 am by Craig Bailey

This is the second of many profiles we’ll be publishing over the coming weeks shining the spotlight on VHFA’s participating lenders.

Shelter Mortgage was created in 1984 as a subsidiary of Guaranty Bank, a federally-chartered bank founded in Milwaukee nearly 60 years earlier. The company partners with real estate companies, builders, community banks and relocation companies to offer mortgage financing as part of their businesses, allowing them to offer a convenient one-stop experience for home buying and home financing nationwide.

Many of Shelter’s loan officers have been in the industry for decades and have successfully handled many types of home buying situations.

There are four loan officers in two Vermont offices to help you into a VHFA loan:

Wanda Allaire
Morrisville, VT
(802) 888-2228

Kelly Deforge
Colchester, VT
(802) 654-7896

Tina Plante
Colchester, VT
(802) 654-7896

Marilyn Roberts
Colchester, VT
(802) 654-7896



Homelessness summit in Times Argus

Posted Jun 10, 2011 at 8:58 am by Craig Bailey

This past Tuesday’s Governor’s Summit on Housing the Homeless was written up in the Barre-Montpelier Times Argus.

Read the article online (subscription required).

Like the other press we’ve seen about the event (“Homelessness summit draws crowd”), the Argus focuses on advocates’ call for prevention of homelessness through assistance with delinquent mortgage payments and rent.




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