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HOME VALUES IN VHFA LOAN PORTFOLIO UP 24 PERCENT

BURLINGTON—An independent review of Vermont Housing Finance Agency’s single-family home loan portfolio shows property values increased by 24 percent compared to values at time of purchase. The median increase in individual home values in VHFA’s portfolio was 14 percent. “During this recession we’ve heard a lot about homes dropping in value, but properties in VHFA’s portfolio are doing well. This is evidence of the fiscal strength of the Agency,” said Executive Director Sarah Carpenter.

GOVERNOR DOUGLAS AND VHFA APPLAUD TREASURY ACTION ON HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY ASSISTANCE

BURLINGTON—Gov. James Douglas and the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) applauded the U.S. Treasury Department announcement yesterday to bolster state Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) and their efforts to stimulate home buying for low- and moderate-income homeowners, and provide affordable rental homes. The initiative is part of President Obama’s Making Home Affordable program. “I am so pleased that the Treasury Department has responded to calls for assistance from Vermont and across the country.

VHFA NAMES TOP PARTICIPATING LENDERS, FY2009

BURLINGTON—Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) named its top five participating lending institutions for fiscal year 2009: Chittenden Bank, first; New England Federal Credit Union, second; Universal Mortgage Corp., third; Mortgage Financial Services, fourth; and Heritage Family Credit Union, fifth. VHFA has many participating lending institutions around the state that help homebuyers qualify for VHFA mortgage loans.

SARA HOEHN HIRED AS STAFF ACCOUNTANT

BURLINGTON—Executive Director Sarah Carpenter announced that Sara Hoehn of Colchester has joined VHFA as Staff Accountant. Hoehn is responsible for the Agency’s accounts payable and daily cash receipts functions. A native Vermonter, she was most recently Staff Accountant at Anderson, Johns & Yao CPAs PC in San Antonio, Texas. Before that she spent time as a Collector at Bank of America in Orono, Maine. Hoehn holds a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance earned at the University of Maine, Orono.

VHFA HONORS TOP MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATORS FOR FY2009

BURLINGTON— Vermont Housing Finance Agency is pleased to announce its top mortgage loan originators for fiscal year 2009: Michelle Shambo, Chittenden Bank, Middlebury, Addison County; Debbie Corey, Chittenden Bank, Bennington, Bennington County; Susan Laferriere, Union Bank, St. Johnsbury, Caledonia, Essex and Orleans counties; Kelly DeForge, Universal Mortgage Corp., Colchester, Chittenden and Grand Isle counties; Judy Smith, Peoples Trust Co., St.

GEORGE DEMAS HIRED AS GENERAL COUNSEL

BURLINGTON—Executive Director Sarah Carpenter announced that George Demas of Colchester has joined Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) as General Counsel. He directs and administers all legal matters for the Agency, including: real estate closings; federal and state housing program activities; work associated with the issuance of bonds and other funding sources; litigation, including foreclosures; and legal aspects of VHFA’s corporate matters. “George brings many years of commercial finance and lending experience, as well as general counsel support.

VHFA ANNOUNCES NEW OWNER OF ROCKINGHAM CANAL HOUSE IN BELLOWS FALLS

BURLINGTON—Vermont Housing Finance Agency announced today the selection of Paul Stewart, President of Stewart Property Management, Bedford, N.H., as the new owner of Rockingham Canal House in Bellows Falls. “Paul Stewart has almost 40 years of experience in affordable housing, and he’s been managing the Canal Street building since last fall, so we’re confident he has the background and skills necessary to make this property a showpiece,” said VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. Stewart, who served with the U.S.

STUDY SHOWS RECESSION MAKES VERMONT’S HOUSING PROBLEMS HARDER TO SOLVE

MONTPELIER—The recession hasn’t made finding affordable housing for average Vermonters any easier, 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 helped keep prices up while wages, particularly in Vermont’s biggest job categories, have not kept pace.

HOMEOWNERSHIP INCOME AND PURCHASE PRICE LIMITS REVISED

BURLINGTON — More Vermonters are able to take part in Vermont Housing Finance Agency's low-interest mortgage programs now VHFA has approved new income and purchase price limits. The Agency’s Board of Commissioners approved the changes on April 6. They took effect today. “We’re always working to give more Vermonters the opportunity to realize the dream of owning a home,” said Executive Director Sarah Carpenter.

MACARTHUR FOUNDATION AWARDS $2.6 MILLION TO VERMONT HOUSING INITIATIVES FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND RENTAL PRESERVATION

MONTPELIER—Thousands of Vermonters who live in affordable rental housing will be able to keep that housing, thanks to a $2.6 million investment by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Vermont’s longstanding commitment to the preservation of rental housing was recognized by the investment of grants and loans by the foundation, which will be used in conjunction with other private and public investment to preserve thousands of apartments over the next decade.

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