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Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on June 30, 2017 - 8:54am

Based on feedback from property managers and apartment seekers, VHFA launched this week a redesigned, user-friendly Vermont Directory of Affordable Rental Housing at www.housingdata.org. We improved search tools and expanded the site to include more information people looking for an apartment need, such as rent and income limits, property photos, proximity to public transportation, accessibility features and pet policies.  

Development of the new website was supported in part by TD Charitable Foundation, AARP Vermont and the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity’s HUD Inclusive and Vibrant Communities Vermont Grant.

The site's on-line directory, updated in real-time by property managers, provides information about every Vermont apartment building that serves lower income tenants and received public subsidies during its development to help rents be affordable. "We are delighted to offer expanded information about vacancies and the status of the wait-list for occupancy in Vermont's affordable, rental housing stock," remarked VHFA Executive Directory Sarah Carpenter.  "Since vacancies are snapped up quickly in many parts of the state, we wanted to optimize the site's ability to connect lower income apartment seekers to the information they need to find an affordable place to live." Carpenter continued. 

Housing managers and owners with questions or comments about the website are encouraged to contact us.   

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on June 27, 2017 - 2:44pm

With the passing of the State budget and enactment of a bond that could produce $35 million, Vermont is making its largest single commitment ever of state dollars for affordable housing. VHFA will issue the revenue bond and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) will administer the funds statewide to expand Vermont’s stock of permanently affordable housing. 

The Governor will sign the budget bill containing the bond on Wednesday, June 28th at 11:00 a.m. in the Ceremonial Office at the Vermont State House in Montpelier.

Revenue from the Vermont Property Transfer Tax, already a source of revenue for VHCB, will be used to pay back the 20 year bond which is expected to be issued later this year. The funds will help pay for the development or rehabilitation of up to 650 homes for Vermonters struggling to afford to live in their communities.

Recent data showed Vermont is the 13th most expensive state in the nation to live for people that rent and the 7th most expensive state for renters in living in rural areas. It is planned that at least 25% of the housing supported through the bond will be affordable to households who earn 50% or less of the median income and at least 25% will be affordable to those earning between 80% and 120% of median.

Related stories: Vermont Business Magazine

Posted by: Madison Noyes on June 22, 2017 - 11:16am

VHFA has an immediate opening for a Chief Operating Officer who will be responsible for the direction, management, and oversight of VHFA's production departments: Homeownership, Multifamily Asset Management and Development. The COO reports to the Executive Director and will work with Senior Management in developing and implementing successful business plans for each program area. Key activities include maximizing capital resources for VHFA programs and developing new business opportunities.

Candidates should have a bachelor’s degree in business/public administration, finance, economics, or equivalent experience (Masters Level preferred) and ten years’ experience in senior level management, finance, commercial banking, residential real estate investing and/or real estate development. The ideal candidate would have experience with public finance, Government Sponsored Enterprises, affordable housing programs, and/or mortgage lending. 

Learn more about this position including the full position description and summary of benefits. 

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on June 14, 2017 - 2:17pm

Governor Phil Scott signed S. 135 last week, a bill to encourage economic growth and affordable housing. Although the law was signed on June 8, 2017,  portions of the bill are effective on date of enactment of the FY 2018-2019 budget. Vermont State Treasurer Beth Pearce (pictured), also on VHFA's Board of Commissioners, was one of the bill signing speakers. 

Among other things, the bill makes development in state-designated centers faster and more affordable by increasing the downtown tax credits by $200,000, exempting housing projects from Act 250 review and enabling six new Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts.  

VHFA also supported the bill's clarification of the definition of "affordable housing" as it relates to Vermont's Act 250 and Chapter 117.  To help communities and decision makers assess impacts and move forward with these changes, the bill requires VHFA to maintain a table of rents and home prices affordable at various income thresholds on its Vermont Housing Data website. 

Read more in the conference report summary of S. 135 and Governor's press release.  


Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on June 14, 2017 - 1:35pm

The Vermont Council on Homelessness has a new website providing information about the state's initiatives to help end homelessness.  The responsibilities of the Council include development, monitoring and periodic revision of Vermont’s Plan to End Homelessness. The Council also makes annual recommendations to the Governor and Administration regarding resource, policy, and regulatory changes necessary to reduce and end homelessness in Vermont.

In related news, the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness recently expanded its website to include the results of the 2017 Point In Time Count.  During this count in January 2017, 1225 Vermonters were found to be literally homeless, an overall increase in homelessness by 11% compared to the 2016 Point-in-Time Count. Included in the total were 306 children, representing 25% of the total population counted.