Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on April 15, 2015 - 3:27pm

Caryl Stewart, founder and president emeritus of Opportunities Credit Union passed away at the age of 85 on Saturday, March 28, 2015, after a short illness. 

Among many other accomplishments, Caryl founded the Vermont Development Credit Union, now known as Opportunities Credit Union, one of VHFA’s participating lenders. She created a unique process tailored to help each individual help themselves through saving and money managment and an organizational mission of helping to create wealth among low-income people. Under Caryl's leadership the credit union won wide recognition including receiving the National Credit Union Association's Wegner Award for Outstanding Organization in 2005. That year, Seven Days profiled these acheivements and the lives of Vermonters whose lives were transformed by the credit union's role.  Vermont Business Digest also chronicled the development of the original Vermont Development Credit Union in 1998.

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on April 15, 2015 - 9:11am

Bill Hauke, responsible for much of the moderately-priced, modest sized single-family housing stock in the Burlington area, died on April 1, 2015, after battling leukemia for 8 years.  

Bill devoted his construction career, working with his father and uncle, to creating affordable housing in Chittenden County. Hauke’s Building Supply’s earliest projects were five-room bungalows, many built in Burlington's North End, which sold for $3,500. Bill was also a director for the National Association of Home Builders, a board member of Champlain College and the Burlington Department of Public Works and responsible for many  major philanthropic efforts including helping Habitat for Humanity find home lots in the Burlington area, being the first million dollar donor to Champlain College and, more recently, the Local Motion bike ferry providing access to South Here from the Burlington bike path.   

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Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on April 13, 2015 - 9:57am

Economic pressures and demographic shifts are preventing many young Vermonters and their peers nationwide from becoming home owners. To help Vermont continue to reap the well-documented benefits that homeownership brings to individual households, their neighborhoods and the greater community, policy makers can create tools that make home buying more economically feasible. Efforts to reduce the upfront financial burden of down payment and closing costs could help retain young Vermonters who might otherwise choose to buy homes in a state with lower home prices and put homeownership within reach of would-be first time homebuyers who will otherwise continue renting.

Vermonters pay higher closing costs than the national average. The average Vermont homebuyer making a five percent down payment would need to save a whopping $19,000 for closing costs, down payment and secondary market loan fees—as much as a minimum wage worker earns in a year. Buyers who are able to obtain a mortgage requiring only a three percent down payment would still need to bring about $16,000 to the closing table.


Posted by: Marina Demas on April 10, 2015 - 8:41am

Please join the Vermont Community Development Association (VCDA) for its Spring Conference on Thursday, May 14, 2015, at the Lyons Den in Randolf, Vermont from 9:00am-3:00pm. The theme of the conference is age-friendly communities - possibilities, challenges, and social & economic benefits:

  • Senior Developments - Approaches and lessons learned: case studies from around Vermont.
  • Aging in Place - Enabling seniors to remain vital members of the existing community.
  • Age-Friendly Development - "Complete Streets" and other design elements needed to create a physical environment accessible to all.

VHFA is proud to be a sponsor of this conference and we hope to see you there! Contact Theresa Bachand at the Vermont League of Cities and Towns (VLCT) for more information about the conference by tel: (802) 299-9111 or by email:

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on April 9, 2015 - 1:31pm

When:   June 2, 2015, 8:00 a.m. – 4:15 p.m..

Where: Red Schoolhouse, Vermont Technical College, 46 So. Randolph Rd, Randolph Center, VT


This free training is presented by the Fair Housing Accessibility FIRST Program, which provides training and technical assistance on the accessibility requirements of the Fair Housing Act with assistance from HUD. The training is sponsored by VT Housing and Conservation Board and co-sponsored by the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, the Vermont Human Rights Commission, Vermont Center for Independent Living, and Vermont Legal Aid.

The training will focus on the design and construction aspects of the Fair Housing Act.  The presenter will be Jack Catlin, FAIA, a partner at LCM Architects and former chair of the U.S. Access Board. This information is crucial for developers and architects who need to understand the details of the Fair Housing Act’s design requirements and will include: 

Read more and registerIf you have questions, please contact Grace Sonnabend at LCM Architects at