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VERMONT AGENCIES TURN DILAPIDATED, FORECLOSED PROPERTY INTO SUSTAINABLE, AFFORDABLE HOME

BARRE TOWN, VT—Central Vermont Community Land Trust (CVCLT) has converted a dilapidated foreclosed property in Barre Town into a sustainable new home with low operating costs, thanks to funding from an innovative federal program. Situated on a 1.3-acre lot at 8 Short Street, the property had initially listed for $64,900, but the price kept dropping when potential buyers discovered it would need to be demolished. “It was in bad shape — failed septic system, asbestos, and more,” according to CVCLT Rehab Specialist Norm Benoit, who has 40 years' experience in home building and design.

RENEE COUTURE BECOMES FINANCIAL ANALYST/COMPLIANCE SPECIALIST

BURLINGTON—Executive Director Sarah Carpenter announced Renee Couture of Burlington has accepted the position of Financial Analyst/Compliance Specialist. In her new role, Couture is responsible for the reconciliation of bank and general ledger accounts and trustee billing for the Agency, as well as the accounting for several U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) programs administered by VHFA.

LISA CLARK PROMOTED TO FINANCE OPERATIONS MANAGER

BURLINGTON—Executive Director Sarah Carpenter announced Lisa Clark of Essex has been promoted to Finance Operations Manager. In her new role, Clark works closely with the Agency’s Chief Financial Officer, Investment Manager and Controller to develop and implement the Finance Department’s strategy for optimal systems, processes and operations. She’s responsible for the management of accounts payable, cash receipts, loan accounting, compliance monitoring and various reconciliations; coordinates all computer system needs of the department; and more.

VHFA HOME LOAN DELINQUENCY, FORECLOSURE RATES MUCH LOWER THAN STATE, NATIONAL RATES

BURLINGTON—Recent analysis of Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) home loan data shows delinquency and foreclosure rates of VHFA mortgages were considerably lower than rates for Vermont and the nation. As of June 30, 2010, VHFA home loans that were delinquent by 90 or more days were just 0.94% of all the Agency’s outstanding loans. Vermont’s rate was more than twice as high: 2.05%. The national rate was 4.54%.

VHFA OFFERS LOWEST HOME MORTGAGE LOAN INTEREST RATE IN ITS 36-YEAR HISTORY

BURLINGTON— Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) is offering a new low mortgage interest rate: 4.125% APR for a 30-year, fixed rate loan with no points for qualified borrowers. The new rate, which became effective Thursday, Oct. 7, is the lowest ever offered by VHFA. “This new rate means the dream of homeownership is within the reach of more people,” said VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. “Market conditions have never been more challenging for organizations such as VHFA, so we can’t say how long we’ll be at 4.125%.

VERMONT FAMILIES, COMMUNITIES AND BUILDERS ALL BENEFIT FROM INNOVATIVE HOUSING PROGRAM

BURLINGTON, VT  On July 1, Sarah and Thad Launderville realized their dream of becoming homeowners when they moved into their new house on Williamstown’s Pleasant Street. Their purchase was the culmination of their 3- year quest to buy a home, finally made possible with help from Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA), Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) and Central Vermont Community Land Trust (CVCLT).

NEW PARTICIPATING LENDER JOINS VHFA ROSTER

BURLINGTON, VT  PrimeLending has become a Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) participating lender. Participating lenders work with borrowers to answer questions about purchasing a home with a VHFA mortgage, determine borrowers’ eligibility, and process applications for low-interest rate VHFA home loans. “We’re pleased to have PrimeLending join the ranks of VHFA participating lenders,” said VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter.

STUDY SHOWS MANY FIRST TIME BUYERS CAN’T TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DECLINING HOME PRICES

BURLINGTON—In spite of the softening real estate market, Vermonters earning the median income still could not afford the median priced home, according to a new report released today. The report, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Housing and Wages in Vermont,” is the latest in an annual series that tracks housing costs in relation to Vermonters’ incomes. For the last several years, Vermont’s tight housing markets have driven up prices while wages, particularly those employing the most Vermonters, have not kept pace.

PROCTOR PLACE RESTORED; HOUSING AFFORDABILITY EXTENDED

BURLINGTON, VT ! Proctor Place, a 12-unit elderly housing development in Rutland County’s Town of Proctor, is the first to use funds from Vermont Housing Finance Agency’s (VHFA’s) new pre-development loan program, funded by the MacArthur Foundation. A total of $236,000 from the program is helping restore the historic Main Street building following a fire last August. Work is nearly complete. As part of the funding, current owner SCI Group Ltd.

FITCH RATES VHFA BOND RESOLUTION ‘A+’

BURLINGTON, VT  Fitch Ratings has assigned an “A+” rating to Vermont Housing Finance Agency’s 1990 single-family housing bond resolution. Fitch has labeled its rating outlook “stable.” Fitch’s long-term credit ratings operate on a 10-grade scale from “AAA,” the highest-quality investment grade bond, to “D,” the lowest category junk bond. The resolution, which includes approximately $447 million in outstanding bonds in Series 9 through 27, was created in 1990 and issued bonds from 1990 to 2007. This is Fitch's initial rating assignment for the resolution.

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