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BURLINGTON, VT  Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) Executive Director Sarah Carpenter announced today the hiring of Maura Collins as Research Analyst. Collins develops and maintains housing databases; and conducts research and writes reports to support various agency programs, new housing initiatives, special projects and strategic planning initiatives. A graduate of the University of Buffalo, Collins spent the last three years working for the Technical Assistance Collaborative in Boston. The collaborative works to achieve positive outcomes on behalf of people with special needs by assisting organizations and policymakers in a number of areas, including affordable housing. In October 2000, she was recognized by Fannie Mae for dedication and commitment to creating housing opportunities for people with disabilities. VHFA was established by the Vermont Legislature in 1974 to finance and promote affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Since its inception, the agency has helped more than 23,000 households with affordable mortgages and 4,900 families into affordable rental units.