VHFA intends to consider new projects for the federal 9% Housing Credit and Vermont State Housing Credits at the April 2016 VHFA Board of Commissioners meeting. In order to provide sufficient time to review the proposals from developers, VHFA must receive a complete application by January 29, 2016.
Complete applications include a proposed service plan and service budget as applicable. If you have questions regarding your service plan and/or budget, please contact staff directly prior to the application deadline. If you are planning to submit a project for tax-exempt construction or permanent financing in order to receive the 4% “Bond” Housing Credits and you intend to apply for state housing credits, you must submit that application by the same deadline.
The latest Qualified Allocation Plan and evaluation checklist can be found here. A pre-application meeting is required prior to the application submission. You can arrange a meeting appointment with staff directly. If you have any questions or comments, please contact either Joe Erdelyi or Josh Slade.
Housing preserved by federal and state tax credits -- awarded by VHFA – was recently highlighted as a national example of effective use of public dollars. The $12 million in equity raised by the credits, along with other efforts led by VHFA to keep apartments in the Bobbin Mill and Wharf Lane buildings near Burlington’s waterfront affordable, are the subject of a recent HUD newsletter.
As HUD’s Vermont partner in financing renovations of these Burlington buildings in the early 1980s, VHFA subsequently negotiated agreements with local building owners that provided an option to purchase when they decided to sell or opt out of the affordable program. With real estate in downtown Burlington appreciating quickly, especially near scenic Lake Champlain, these apartments were at risk of converting to market-rate units unaffordable to most low and moderate income Burlington renters. Thanks to the pro-active agreements and options VHFA forged earlier, Burlington Housing Authority was able to purchase both complexes several years ago when the buildings' 30-year subsidy contracts ended and their owners were ready to sell.
Vermont’s preservation successes are certainly not limited to these two Burlington locations. Since 1988, VHFA has secured 102 agreements leading to the preservation of more than 2,000 units of affordable rental housing statewide. In most cases, local non-profit agencies have purchased the buildings with funds in part from the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board which guarantees their perpetual affordability. Very few units have been converted to other uses—a clear testament to the effectiveness of Vermont’s approach to preserving much-needed affordable rental housing.
An additional $2.6 million from the MacArthur Foundation secured by VHFA and Vermont Housing & Conservation Board in 2008 has been of critical importance to preserving Vermont’s rental housing. Among other things, this funding has helped to greatly improve the energy efficiency of properties undergoing renovations as they transferred ownership.
As recently as 2011, VHFA has worked with partners to demonstrate to the Vermont legislature that a proposed Preservation Act, H.216, was unnecessary and could even be counterproductive to preservation successes so far. VHFA continues to track privately owned projects and inform owners and managers about their rental assistance contract renewal options and the benefits of staying committed to affordable housing programs.
The number of people who stayed in Vermont's emergency shelters last year and the average length of their stays were at their highest point in a decade. According to a recent report from Vermont's Department for Children and Families (DCF), publicly-supported emergency shelters in the state served 4,303 people in July 2014 through June 2015, up from 3,934 in the prior year.
On average, people stayed in Vermont's shelters 36.8 days. This is higher than in any prior year since 2002--the earliest year for which comparable data is available.
Other public programs provide homelessness prevention and rapid re-housing assistance such as housing support services and financial aid to prevent eviction or help a family enter new housing. These activities served 2,164 persons in 867 households, approximately 50% of these households were literally homeless.
The American Institute of Architects, in conjunction with HUD, is now accepting entries for the 2016 Housing and Community Design Awards Program. Owners of structures and architects licensed in the United States are invited to submit project designs of any size, budget, or style. Only projects completed after January, 1, 2011 will be considered for the awards. All entries must be submitted electronically before November 20, 2015 at 5:00 pm EST.
Last year, Vermont's Brattlebloro Co-op / Canal & Main Apartments building received the Creating Community Action Award through this program. VHFA is proud to have played a key part in this project, providing Housing Tax Credits as well as long term financing for the project's development.