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Swanton housing project beneficiary of latest recovery funds

The $1.4 million in American Recovery & Reinvestment Act funds awarded to Vermont today (Read our previous post about the award) will be used to finance Blake Commons, a 16-unit multifamily housing project in Swanton.

Blake Commons is being developed in partnership with Housing Vermont and Champlain Housing Trust. It'll provide homes to households at 50-60% of the area median income.

Vermont to receive $1.4 million for affordable housing

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced today another $1.4 million in federal funds are coming to Vermont for affordable housing.

This latest allocation of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds includes a total of $309 million distributed to seven states:

Home values underlying VHFA mortgages rising

Considering the unprecedented economic downturn focused on the housing market, VHFA wanted to better understand the values of the homes underlying its single-family mortgages. It’s clear Vermont has among the lowest delinquency and foreclosure rates, but how VHFA-financed properties were faring was important to understand.

Vermont mortgage laws profiled in WSJ

Today's Wall Street Journal article "Vermont Mortgage Laws Shut The Door on Bust — and Boom" examines Vermont's low rate of foreclosure and attributes it, in part, to banking regulations and land use practices.

New home sales up

The U.S. Department of Commerce reported sales of new homes were up 11 percent in June — the largest jump in more than eight years and well above the rise of 2.3 percent expected by analysts.

Resales of existing homes were up 3.6 percent in June, the third straight monthly increase.

“The evidence is clear that home buyers are taking advantage of Recovery Act tax incentives, declines in home prices and relatively low mortgage rates,” U.S. Under Secretary for Economic Affairs Rebecca Blank said.

New minimum wage still too low for housing

While last Friday's boost in the federal minimum wage to $7.25 an hour will help working Americans on the lower end of the pay scale, it still doesn't allow those people to afford decent housing.

According to the National Low-Income Housing Coalition's annual "Out of Reach" report, a household must earn $17.84 an hour to afford the national average two-bedroom "fair market rent" (FMR) of $928 a month.

According to the Coalition, "In no county in the U.S. can a full-time minimum wage worker afford even a one-bedroom apartment at the FMR."

Growing demand for housing vouchers

A few Vermont media reported over the weekend on the growing demand for Section 8 housing vouchers.

The most extensive story appeared in the Rutland Herald.

"Local housing authorities are finding themselves caught in a balancing act as they try to accommodate the demand for the program — as the economy has faltered, more and more applications are being received," writes Stephanie Peters.

"The portion of the rent costs the housing authority pays for its voucher holders has also increased as voucher holders join the unemployment rolls"

$10.3 million coming for affordable housing in Vermont

union square
brookside villageThe U.S. Department of Treasury announced Friday that Vermont will be one recipient of a total of $468 million to benefit affordable housing nationwide.

Grants to benefit affordable housing in Springfield, Johnson, Bellows Falls

Yesterday the Douglas administration announced nearly $6 million in grants to benefit affordable housing in Vermont.

The funds come from the Neighborhood Stabilization Program.

NeighborWorks of Western Vermont to receive $2 million

Our friends at NeighborWorks of Western Vermont will receive $2 million in federal economic stimulus funds to help first-time homebuyers.

The funding comes from the Community Development Financial Institutions Program, part of the recent American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The $2 million is part of $6 million being split among three Vermont non-profit organizations: NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, Vermont Community Loan Fund and Opportunities Credit Union.

The federal government is allocating $90 million to 59 organizations in 26 states.


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