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Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on June 14, 2016 - 11:02am

A modest, two-bedroom apartment costs $1,099, according to the annual Out of Reach report from the National Low-Income Housing Coalition. In order to afford this level of rent and utilities — without paying more than 30% of income on housing — a household must earn an hourly “housing wage” of $21.13—far more than Vermont’s minimum wage of $9.60 or the average wage among the state’s renters ($11.79).

“This report shows exactly how hard it is for ordinary working Vermonters, for seniors, for people with disabilities and others living on fixed incomes to afford safe, stable housing,” said Erhard Mahnke, the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition Coordinator.  “Vermonters have to earn more than twice the minimum wage for something that should be considered a basic human right, leaving them with little left over for other basic needs and just a step away from homelessness.”

Wondering how things look in your own community?  Check out the Vermont Housing Data web site which was recently updated to include 2016 housing wage information.


Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on June 6, 2016 - 3:03pm

“I want more...” explains VHFA’s Director of Policy and Administration Maura Collins in a recent letter to the editor of the Essex Reporter. Collins is a long-time resident of Essex Junction who felt it was time to share her ideas about future expansion of the Junction’s housing stock and population.

“We see beauty in the new faces, appreciate the increasing diversity of housing types and residents, and want to champion thoughtful growth…. We want more...” writes Collins.


Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on June 6, 2016 - 10:45am

As the fog lifted over a brilliant Lake Champlain, eight VHFA-ers raced to the finish line Saturday morning at the Colchester Causeway 5k & 15k Race. Joe Erdelyi, Brittany Garland and Sara Everest showed their endurance with flying colors in the 15k race, while the rest of us happily reached our 5k goals. Saturday’s race capped a multi-month C25K (“couch to 5k”) agency wellness initiative organized by Office Manager Lori Gilding earlier this spring.  Marathoner Robin Howe from VHFA's Development and Multifamily Management departments handed out much-appreciated cups of water along the route.

Check out our Facebook page for more photos.

Pictured below: Sarah Carpenter, Leslie Black-Plumeau, Joe Erdelyi, Brittany Garland, George Demas, Sara Everest, Diane Edson and Lori Gilding.  Right: Erin Philbrick and son Aiden.


Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on June 2, 2016 - 4:00pm

June is a terrific time to reflect on the importance of homeownership in this country, especially in Vermont where residents are more likely than in most states to own their homes. VHFA is working with local lenders across the state to extend the opportunity to own a home to even more Vermonters through low interest loans from a trusted non-profit source.

First-time home buyer Dorothy Pfende told us that what she likes most about the home she recently purchased with a VHFA mortgage is the freedom and feeling of achievement. Moving to the U.S. five years earlier, Dorothy is proud of how quickly she was able to reach her goal of homeownership. "If you aim high, the sky is the limit" she remarked.

Read more about how VHFA can help you own your own piece of Vermont.

Photo by Paul Detzer.


Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on June 1, 2016 - 3:45pm

Black and Latino mortgage applicants from New England continued to experience much higher denial rates than whites and Asians in 2013 and 2014, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s recent study.  The disparity occurred at every income level. Even at the highest income level tracked in the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act data set used for the study ($150,000+), blacks and Latinos, respectively, were almost 2 times and 1.3 times more likely to be denied a loan relative to whites with equivalent earnings.

The study also compared the types of mortgages made by the New England states.  About 27 percent of Vermont’s home purchase mortgage originations were through the federal FHA, VA, or Farm Service Agency/Rural Housing Service programs.