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VHFA News

Posted by: Mia Watson on May 30, 2018 - 3:07pm

Senator Patrick Leahy joined Governor Phil Scott, VHFA Deputy Director Maura Collins, and many supporters in Montpelier on Tuesday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the 1 Taylor Street affordable housing project. The project, sponsored by Housing Vermont and Downstreet Housing & Community Development, will create 19 affordable apartments for low-income Vermonters as part of a 30 unit development incorporating a new city transit center. The project was funded in part by tax credits and a loan awarded by VHFA.

“[The project] addresses critical transportation and housing needs while setting the stage for new private investments in our capital city’s town,” remarked Senator Leahy. “Vermont’s future requires that we increase the vibrancy and livability of our downtown and village centers and this project does that in a big way.

This innovative project reflects the growing trend in affordable housing towards transit-oriented development. The bottom floor of 1 Taylor Street will contain Greyhound and Green Mountain Transit bus stops with an indoor waiting area. The site itself is located next to the Montpelier recreation path and is close to downtown stores and services. Research has shown that households that spend less on rent often end up spending a greater percentage of their income on transportation due to the greater distance of their housing from workplaces and services. Transit-oriented projects like Taylor Street can help reduce the overall cost-burden for low-income renters.

Among the funding for the project were $450,000 in federal housing credits awarded by VHFA, which were then sold to investors to raise an estimated $4 million in equity for construction. VHFA also awarded the project a $500,000 permanent loan. In total, the $7.6 million project received over half of its funding from VHFA. Other funding partners included the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and the Vermont Community Development Program.

Posted by: Mia Watson on May 24, 2018 - 4:06pm

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

There are vacancies in 24 different apartment complexes across the state, according to the Vermont Directory of Affordable Rental Housing. Learn more about particular units by clicking on the project name below, or by visiting the vacancy profiles on the website. 

 

Affordable rental housing vacancies in Vermont

Project 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
Coventry Senior Housing 10 Covered Bridge Road Coventry 1 0
Cummings Street Apartments 21-25 Cummings Street Montpelier 2 0
Heineberg Senior Housing 72 Heineberg Road Burlington 1 0
Heritage Court 624 York Street Poultney 1 1
Highgate Apartments Highgate Drive Barre City 4 0
Holy Cross Senior Housing 468 Church Road Colchester 1 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 Lyndonville 1 0
Mad River Meadows 144 Butcher House Drive Waitsfield 1 2
McAuley Square 110, 130 and 140 Mansfield Avenue Burlington 1 0
Newport Senior Housing 107 & 119 Main Street Newport Center 1 0
North Branch Apartments 87 & 89 Elm Street; 6 & 8 Monsignor Crosby Ave and 47 Barre Street Montpelier 4 0
Norwich Senior Housing 4 Dorrance Drive Norwich 1 1
Pine Meadow Apartments 9, 11, 39, 57, 85, 87, 89, 91, 93, 127 & 157 Jackson Lane Middlebury 4 0
Riverview Apartments 73 Westminster Street Bellows Falls 1 0
South Main Apartments 36 State Dr. Waterbury 1 0
Spear House and Spear House Apartments 69 Main Street North Wells River 1 0
Stimson and Graves 12 Stowe St Waterbury 2 0
Waits River Apartments 64, 68, 108, 234, 245 South Main Street; 33 South Pleasant Street and 25 Cobblestone Street Bradford 5 0
West River Valley - Assisted Living 461 Grafton Road Townshend 2 0
Wheeler Brook Apartments 19, 31 & 71 Wheeler Brook Drive Warren 4 0
Posted by: Mia Watson on May 22, 2018 - 9:43am

VHFA has been recognized by the New England Resident Service Coordinators (NERSC) for its efforts to support excellence in training and education for Residence Service Coordinators. Resident Service Coordinators offer care and social services for the residents assisted housing, many of whom are elderly or disabled.

The honor was received during the NERSC 20 year anniversary conference and celebration in Newport, Rhode Island on May 2nd through 4th.  Sam Falzone, VHFA’s recently retired Director of Multifamily Programs, accepted the plaque on behalf of VHFA in recognition of his many years of service to NERSC. The conference was also attended by VHFA Multifamily Management Officer Ann-Marie Plank, who serves on the NERSC Board of Directors.

The conference theme was “Be the Anchor of Hope” in recognition of the crucial role that Resident Service Coordinators play in supporting low-income residents. The conference had over 400 participants from across the United States and offered training, resources and networking opportunities for Resident Service Coordinators and affordable housing professionals.  VHFA is also proud to serve as a conference sponsor.

(Pictured: Patti Wilson, President of NERSC, Inc.; Sam Falzone)

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Posted by: Mia Watson on May 14, 2018 - 9:28am

VHFA has been chosen by United Way of Northwest Vermont to receive the Affinity Award, which is given to the organization whose campaign results stand out most among their industry sector.  VHFA supports the work of United Way through frequent fundraising activities and by encouraging staff to volunteer in their communities.

The Affinity Award recognizes organizations with the highest percentage of participation in their industry sector. In 2017, VHFA achieved an 83.8% staff participation rate for its campaign activities and raised nearly $12,000. Proceeds from VHFA fundraising will go towards United Way’s many initiatives to support the communities of Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle counties.

“Companies and organizations with this accolade have earned it through leadership, passion for their community and a lot of hard work,” remarked Cari Kelly, 2017 Campaign Manager for Chittenden County. “This year’s award recipient’s United Way Committee is committed to helping employees understand the work of the United Way.  At their Kick-off this year, United Way staff were invited to discuss our community’s work to make homelessness rare and brief for the people of our community – a mission they [VHFA] also support through their incredible work of helping low- and moderate-income Vermonters achieve affordable, safe and decent housing opportunities.  In addition, they keep their staff engaged and educated all year long with monthly United Way workplace events.  Together, we are building a stronger, healthier community”

Awards were presented at the Living United celebration on Thursday evening at St. Albans City Hall. Among VHFA staff in attendance were Steve Gronlund, Administration & HR Manager (pictured) and Joe Erdelyi, Director of Development.

Photo courtesy of United Way

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Posted by: Mia Watson on May 4, 2018 - 9:14am

Senator Patrick Leahy and Congressman Peter Welch joined representatives from the Vermont Legislature, housing advocates, and many other supporters in downtown Montpelier on Tuesday at a groundbreaking ceremony for the French Block affordable housing project. The project, which is a joint effort between Housing Vermont and Downstreet Housing & Community Development, will rehabilitate a historic building to create 14 affordable apartments for low-income Vermonters and four market-rate apartments.

“One of the reasons I work to increase the federal investments that help Vermont build new homes is because a stable and affordable place to live can make all the difference. They make a difference both to the person or family living in that home, but also to the entire community.  Our communities are more vibrant when we ensure that people have the opportunity to live and work in a downtown,” said Senator Leahy.  “Thanks to the hard work of Downstreet and Housing Vermont, that opportunity will be a reality for more of our friends and neighbors.”

Among the funding for the project were $340,000 in federal housing credits awarded by Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA), which were then sold to investors to raise over $3 million in equity. VHFA also awarded the project a $360,000 zero percent interest loan through New England Federal Credit Union (NEFCU). In total, the $6.1 million project received nearly half of its funding from VHFA. Other funding partners included the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Vermont Community Development Program, NeighborWorks, and the Montpelier Housing Trust Fund.

“French Block is exciting because it increases access to affordable, decent rental housing in a low-vacancy community while also achieving important goals of historic preservation and community development,” remarked VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. “We were very pleased to provide support for this excellent project.”

The apartments will include 16 one-bedroom units and two efficiencies.  The project will have services for the homeless and households at risk of homelessness. The apartments will be highly energy efficient while retaining the historic character of the building.  The complex will include an elevator and laundry facilities. The downtown site location will give residents easy walking access to stores, services, and transportation. 

At the ceremony, Senator Leahy also announced that Vermont will receive over $16 million in funding for community development and affordable housing from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and NeighborWorks America.

This ground breaking was celebrated as part of National Housing Week of Action. Advocates from around the country are calling for greater investments in affordable housing at the federal, state, and community level.

Photo courtesy of Housing Vermont

 

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