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BURLINGTON, VT ― Nearly 200 new affordable housing units will be created in five Vermont communities over the next two years with the help of more than $1 million in federal and state Housing Tax Credits awarded by Vermont Housing Finance Agency. “This is part of VHFA’s long-standing commitment to developing greatly-needed affordable housing in Vermont,” said Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. “Vermont is in the midst of a serious housing shortage, and these projects will be a great benefit to the people in their communities.” The projects are: Arbor Gardens, Colchester; Howard Block, Bellows Falls; Marketplace, South Burlington; Victoria's Apartments, Burlington; and Moose River Housing, St. Johnsbury. Housing Tax Credits have helped produce nearly all of Vermont's recently-developed affordable rental housing. Developers have used Housing Tax Credits to create or preserve more than 3,700 apartments targeted at households earning less than 60 percent of the median income. Since the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program was created by Congress in 1986, Housing Tax Credits allocated in Vermont have resulted in approximately $234 million in acquisition, development, and construction activity, benefiting the local and regional economies of 54 communities statewide. Congress created the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program to encourage the creation and preservation of affordable rental housing for low-income households. Tax credits reduce federal tax liability for owners of qualifying rental housing if they agree to conform to certain operating restrictions. Vermont receives $2 million annually in federal Housing Tax Credits, which are awarded in two rounds. The application deadline for the next round will be Jan. 4, 2002. VHFA expects to announce credit recipients from that round by the end of February 2002. More information is available at the VHFA website: www.vhfa.org. 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 provided financing to approximately 23,000 households and almost 4,900 affordable apartments.