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VHFA News

Posted by: Mia Watson on 11/30/2018

Do you need an affordable apartment or know someone who does?  

There are vacancies in 34 different apartment complexes across the state, according to the Vermont Directory of Affordable Rental Housing. Learn more about particular units by clicking on the development name below, or by visiting the vacancy profiles on the website.

Development Namesort descending Street Address City/Town Vacant Units  Apts restricted to elderly and/or tenants with disabilities
86 Raymond Street      86 Raymond Street Lyndon 1 0
Autumn Leaves 24 Grove Street Poultney 1 0
Barre Street Apartments 39-40 Barre Street Montpelier 1 0
Black River Overlook 146, 147 & 161 Rublee Lane Ludlow 1 0
Bromur Apartments 2 - 8 & 1 - 21 Bromur Street Barre City 2 0
Colonial Village 59 & 63 S Pleasant St and 94 & 128 S Main St Bradford 1 0
Coventry Senior Housing 10 Covered Bridge Road Coventry 1 0
Cummings Street Apartments 21-25 Cummings Street Montpelier 2 0
Downstreet Apartments 22 Keith Avenue Barre City 3 0
Duggan Row House 94 - 106 Maple Street Burlington 0 0
French Block Apartments 34 Main St Montpelier 18 0
Green Mountain Seminary 201 Hollow Rd Waterbury 1 0
Heritage Court 624 York Street Poultney 1 1
Highgate Apartments Highgate Drive Barre City 9 0
Hollister Hill Apartments 42 & 94 Austin Road Marshfield 6 0
Hotel & Kidder 22 & 29 West Street Derby 1 0
Island Pond 19 Walnut Street, 190 Derby Street, 74 Mountain Street, 84 Elm Street Brighton 2 0
Keen's Crossing 65 - 85 Winooski Falls Way; 15 Cascade Way and 16 Abenaki Way Winooski 6 0
Lyndon Housing 467, 473 & 491 Main Street Lyndon 1 0
Mad River Meadows 144 Butcher House Drive Waitsfield 1 2
Newport Senior Housing 107 & 119 Main Street Newport City 1 0
North Branch Apartments 87 & 89 Elm Street; 6 & 8 Monsignor Crosby Ave and 47 Barre Street Montpelier 2 0
Norwich Senior Housing 4 Dorrance Drive Norwich 1 1
Park House 16 Park Row Box 4 Rochester 4 0
Parker House 129 Church Street Rutland City 1 0
Regency Manor Haywood Avenue Rutland City 0 0
River Station Apartments 191 Barre Street Montpelier 1 0
Riverview Apartments 73 Westminster Street Rockingham 1 0
Sadawga Springs 9 School Street Whitingham 2 0
Southview Apartments 30 Stanley Road Springfield 1 0
Spear House and Spear House Apartments 69 Main Street North Newbury 1 0
Waits River Apartments 64, 68, 108, 234, 245 South Main Street; 33 South Pleasant Street and 25 Cobblestone Street Bradford 4 0
West River Valley - Assisted Living 461 Grafton Road Townshend 2 0
Winooski River Apartments 11 Bailey Avenue; 15 Baldwin Avenue and 37 Barre Street Montpelier 7 0
Posted by: Mia Watson on 11/27/2018

New England Federal Credit Union (NEFCU) President/CEO John J. Dwyer, Jr. announced today a $500,000 grant from NEFCU to Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) to address the area’s shortage of housing affordable to Vermonters with low and moderate incomes. The money will support construction and renovation costs for perpetually affordable homes in Bristol, Jericho and several other towns. 

“This investment will help address the shortage of affordable housing in the area, which impacts not only our residents but also businesses and communities,” Dwyer remarked. “We believe that improving the affordability of homes in the counties we serve creates a cascade of benefits that help make the region more economically healthy in the long run,” he continued.

NEFCU serves residents in Addison, Chittenden, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille and Washington counties. 

In Bristol, the Pleasant Hills apartment complex is in need of major upgrades which the NEFCU grant will make possible. These apartments near downtown Bristol are home to 16 low-income senior households. Improvements will include replacement of major systems, energy efficiency upgrades to the envelope and accessibility improvements. Housing Vermont is partnering with the Addison County Community Trust to redevelop the property.

“We are thrilled that residents of Pleasant Hills can be with us today,” remarked Sarah Carpenter, Executive Director of Vermont Housing Finance Agency. “The renovations funded in part through NEFCU’s grant will provide a safer and healthier environment and create an attractive, efficient and durable building that will benefit both residents and the community for years to come” she continued.

The NEFCU grant will also help to construct two new perpetually affordable owner-occupied homes in Jericho.  These homes will be part of a small, 6-home condominium complex on Morgan Road near Mount Mansfield Union High School.  The NEFCU grant funding will help lower the sale prices of the two homes to roughly $160,000, making them affordable to households with lower incomes. Through Champlain Housing Trust’s shared appreciation program, the homes will remain affordable to lower income households in perpetuity.

“The residential construction in Jericho will help bring much-needed homes into our regional housing stock,” explained Charlie Baker, Executive Director of the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission. “Our housing market is so tight that it quickly absorbs new homes, especially those offered at lower price points,” Baker continued.

This grant continues NEFCU’s bold steps toward helping the tens of thousands of lower income Vermonters who receive no housing assistance but face housing costs that are out of line with their income. In 2017, NEFCU provided a $1 million investment to VHFA for affordable housing. This grant has provided critical support to four affordable housing initiatives so far. The development of affordable apartments in the historic French Block building in downtown Montpelier, construction of apartments for seniors in South Burlington’s new City Center, a memory care facility in Williston and the financing of several new high-efficiency Vermod homes will create decent, perpetually affordable homes for 74 Vermont households in the region.

“We are impressed that NEFCU not only recognized the need for affordable housing but has invested in VHFA to address that need.  We look forward to continuing to partner with NEFCU to expand the supply of affordable housing for the Vermonters who need it most,” explained Sarah Carpenter. “The stability that comes with housing affordability gives lower-income Vermonters the opportunity to succeed and contribute to the community around them.”

Pictured (from left):  Robert Leuchs​, Director of Homeownership Programs at Champlain Housing Trust; Charlie Baker, Executive Director of Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission; Sarah Carpenter, Executive Director of Vermont Housing Finance Agency; John J. Dwyer, Jr, CEO of New England Federal Credit Union (NEFCU); Greg Hahr, NEFCU Chief Lending Officer; Patricia Weaver, NEFCU Mortgage Loan Manager; Cindy Morgan, NEFCU Chief Marketing Officer; and Elise Shanbacker, Executive Director, Addison County Community Trust

Posted by: Mia Watson on 11/19/2018

Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) has issued a Request for Proposals to provide trustee services for VHFA’s bond issues.

The details of the RFP can be found on our website. The deadline to submit a proposal is Tuesday, December 11, 2018.

Proposals and questions should be directed to finrfp@vhfa.org with your questions. We will be posting your questions related to the RFP, and our answers, on the RFP page.

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Posted by: Mia Watson on 11/16/2018

Doug Hemmings, President of Vermont Resident Service Coordinators (VRSC), passed away this week after a brief illness.

In addition to his work with VRSC, Hemmings was Resident & Community Services Coordinator at Highgate Apartments in Barre since 2006. Of his work in resident services, Hemmings said, “At times, I am a counselor, conflict resolution specialist, cruise director, lease compliance cop, professional good listener and chief cook and bottle washer; it all depends on the day and the resident issues.”

Hemmings also served on the Board of Children’s Literary Foundation and was a long-time volunteer on the New England Resident Service Coordinators (NERSC) conference planning team.

Through VRSC and NERSC, many VHFA staff had a chance to work with and become friends with Doug and his family. “This is a great loss not only for the families at Highgate, but for the Resident Service Coordinators statewide, as so many of us looked to Doug to learn from his experiences,” said Sarah Carpenter, VHFA’s Executive Director. “He was a kind and generous man who was genuinely dedicated to helping support residents.”

Throughout his career, Hemmings was a tireless advocate for children, families, and the most vulnerable. His leadership and commitment to social justice was an inspiration to many in the Vermont housing community.   He will be missed by his colleagues at VHFA.

 

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Posted by: Mia Watson on 11/15/2018

Over 400 housing professionals from across Vermont came together this week at the Hilton Burlington to discuss strategies to promote stable, affordable housing. The high level of attendance at the conference reflected the concern that many Vermont communities feel over the increasing cost of housing in their communities.

“This opportunity to connect and learn about new paths to addressing housing imbalances in Vermont communities could not come at a better time,” remarked Vermont Housing Finance Agency Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. “We are hearing much more frequently from our municipal partners that they are ready to look at new ways to expand housing opportunities in their jurisdictions,” she continued.

The conference offered workshops on a variety of tools for communities to use to make housing more available, safe, and affordable, such as zoning and employer assisted housing. Experts emphasized the importance of building connections between housing and schools, infrastructure, healthcare, and addiction treatment. Speaker Tiffany Manuel from Enterprise Community Partners stressed that appropriate messaging is essential to building community support for affordable housing.

“We need to think about what actually gets people to lean in rather than lean out,” said Dr. Manuel. “If we don’t build a larger story about how housing both benefits people personally and the community as a whole, they may tune out the message.”

The conference also featured keynote speaker Liz Ogbu, a designer, urbanist, and social innovator who described how emphasizing the lived experience of people at the heart of housing issues can build consensus and inclusivity in the housing development process, ultimately resulting in stronger, more sustainable communities.

“Instead of talking about the number of housing units created, we need to start talking about the number of better stories lived through our efforts,” said Ogbu.

The conference also featured interviews with policy experts at the state and national level. Erhard Mahnke of the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition interviewed Stockton Williams of the National Council of State Housing Agencies and David Lipsetz of the Housing Assistance Council, who suggested that although a divided Congress can sometimes result in gridlock, housing’s bipartisan nature should provide opportunities for political cooperation.

At the state level, Rebecca Ramos of the Necrason Group interviewed Mitzi Johnson, Vermont Speaker of the House, and Katie Buckley, Commissioner of the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development. Johnson emphasized that, for the first time in a decade, the State of Vermont is not struggling to overcome a budget deficit. Buckley and Johnson agreed that this widens the possibilities for making the state more affordable for Vermonters.

In addition to highlighting community practices supporting affordable housing, the conference honored three statewide leaders for their service and achievements. Vermont State Senator and President Pro Tempore Time Ashe received the “Legislative Housing Hero” award for his strong leadership and stewardship of important housing bills, including the $37 million state housing bond and expanding the state housing tax credit for down payment assistance for first-time buyers.

Gisele Kloeckner and Hilary Melton jointly received “Innovation and Impact Housing Hero” awards for decades of service and vision for affordable housing. As Relationship Manager at TD Bank, Kloeckner personally oversaw over $400 million of credit towards the development and rehab of affordable housing, impacting over 1,000 homes. Hilary Melton received the award for her pioneering work as the Founder and Executive Director of Pathways Vermont, which brought the Housing First model of ending homelessness to Vermont. Since Pathways Vermont was formed in 2009 it has ended homelessness for 550 people.

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