Housing Matters News Blog

Vermont home prices likely to resume upward trend

January 26, 2015 - 4:25pm

After a multi-year period of stagnancy, home prices statewide are expected to increase by at least 2 percent each year for the next three years, according to Vermont’s Joint Fiscal Office and state economists.  By 2017, annual home price appreciation is likely to reach 3.4 percent.  Read more in the Vermont Revised Fiscal 2015-17 Revenue Outlook.

Thinking about buying a home before prices head north?  Learn how VHFA’s mortgage programs can help.  

FY 2014 Annual Report sizes up impact and unmet needs

January 23, 2015 - 11:29am

vhfa annual reportCelebrating VHFA’s 40th anniversary made 2014 a great opportunity to take stock of the impact of its activities across the state.

In terms of VHFA's cumulative 40-year impact, Executive Director Sarah Carpenter and Board Chairperson Tom Pelletier explained "with the pride of having assisted 125,000 Vermonters move into homes they can afford comes the responsibility of working to help even more of the growing number of residents in need." Today, 20,000 renters and and 51,000 homeowners are living in homes they can afford thanks to VHFA's programs.

Read the report or learn more about joining the home buyers who achieved their dream of affordable homeownership through VHFA’s programs.

VHFA’s kicks off 2015 with redesigned www.vhfa.org

January 21, 2015 - 11:49am

Here at VHFA, ushering in the New Year meant launching a fully redesigned web site. The new site makes it especially easy for Vermonters resolving to purchase homes this year to find information about qualifying for VHFA’s low interest rate mortgages.

The new site provides visitors with a comprehensive overview of our homeownership and rental housing programs and information for community partners, including new pages devoted to our growing policy and research activities.

“We are delighted to unveil a site that truly reflects the breadth of our programs and initiatives for helping finance and promote affordable, safe and decent housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters,” Executive Director Sarah Carpenter explained.VHFA’s kicks off 2015 by launching redesigned www.vhfa.org

Renovated Bobbin Mill Apartments continue vital role housing Burlington renters

January 16, 2015 - 12:58pm

Amidst Burlington’s ever-tightening rental market, residents and supporters gathered yesterday to celebrate the preservation and renovation of the Bobbin Mill Apartments. This 51-unit complex houses local renters with incomes at or below 50% of the area median.

VHFA was proud to provide critical housing tax credits, acquisition bridge financing and MacArthur Foundation funding to help pay for the recent renovations, conducted in partnership with Housing Vermont and Burlington Housing Authority, the project’s current owner.

The history of Bobbin Mill Apartments shows how a central, pro-active facilitator like VHFA can ensure that affordable, subsidized rental housing remains available to low income households over the long run. As the Section 8 contract administrator for the apartments since 1982, VHFA had the foresight in 2001 to negotiate a preservation agreement with the property’s owners at the time, Pizzagalli.   This agreement helped create the opportunity for Burlington Housing Authority to purchase the property in 2012.

Built in 1905, the original Bobbin Mill Apartments building was one of the earliest examples of concrete block construction. The building was originally the home of Vermont Spool and Bobbin which provided products for textile mills across the U.S., Cuba and India.

Pictured: The original Bobbin Mill building (upper), VHFA's David Adams (lower left) and Mayor Miro Weinberger (lower right) at the Bobbin Mill celebration on January 15, 2015. Photos by Sam Falzone.


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

January 8, 2015 - 12:12pm

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.

Mittens stuffed and delivered!

December 23, 2014 - 1:37pm

MittensLast Thursday, VHFA staff stuffed many pairs of hats, mittens and gloves with yummy holiday candy that were then sent on their way to the children of the Sara Holbrook Youth Center.

The Sara Holbrook Youth Center has helped over 650 children by providing low-income families with educational and recreational programs.

Thank you to all the VHFA staff, partners and friends whose donations made this year's mitten drive such a success!


First annual report on SASH evaluation released

December 22, 2014 - 11:40am

Health and Human ServicesCheck out this new report from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Support and Services at Home (SASH) program was launched in 2013 and has connected residents with community based health services. This program was set up to "decrease health care expenditures for elderly residents of affordable housing developments." Vermont SASH participants were studied in a recent evaluation of the program's first year of implementation. Research found that relative to comparison groups, growth in Medicare expenditures was lower by an estimated $1,756-$2,197 per beneficiary. Check out the rest of the report!


Happy Holidays from Vermont Housing Finance Agency!

December 22, 2014 - 11:39am

Holiday Card


Need an affordable apartment?

December 11, 2014 - 9:30am

rentalNeed an affordable apartment or know someone who does?

There are vacancies in 16 different 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.

Doarh vacancies

Donate mittens with Facebook likes!

December 9, 2014 - 9:39am

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.