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VHFA News

Posted by: admin on January 20, 2006 - 3:08am

BURLINGTON, VT  Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) Executive Director Sarah Carpenter announced today the hiring of Erin Navin of Williston as Homeownership Outreach Coordinator. Navin is the primary outreach and marketing representative for VHFA’s Homeownership Department. She promotes VHFA’s homeownership programs in Vermont through training and marketing with mortgage lenders, real estate professionals, homebuilder organizations, non-profit organizations and consumers. Before joining VHFA, Navin worked as Individual Development Loan Manager at Opportunities Credit Union in Burlington. Before that, she was a Branch Manager at Merchants Bank. She previously spent six years working for Vermont Federal Credit Union. Navin holds a Bachelor of Science in International Business from the University of Vermont, and a Certification in Residential Lending from the Credit Union National Association. The Vermont Legislature established VHFA in 1974 to finance and promote affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Since its inception, the Agency has helped almost 25,000 households with affordable mortgages and nearly 7,000 families into affordable rental units.

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Posted by: admin on November 29, 2005 - 4:23am

BURLINGTON – To celebrate Homeownership Week, Vermont Housing Finance Agency is giving a boost to homeownership across Vermont. VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter announced today that VHFA has increased income and purchase price limits for its homeownership programs in most areas of the state. In addition, VHFA is introducing a special rate option to help home buyers with cash for down payment and closing costs, often major obstacles faced when buying a home. The interest rates are the result of a bond sale last month for its homeownership programs, resulting in rates as low as 6.2%, Carpenter said. Over $30 million in low-interest rate funds are assisting approximately 400 Vermont families and individuals purchase homes. The Cash Assistance rate option is available at a 30-year fixed rate of 7.0% throughout Vermont. This rate option provides cash at closing of up to 3% of the mortgage amount with no repayment required. Carpenter said, “The Cash Assistance funds will allow Vermonters who otherwise could not become home buyers to reach their dream of homeownership through this affordable option.” “VHFA’s low interest rates in all its homeownership programs will give new homeowners significant purchasing power.” For instance, a household earning $45,500 can now afford a $135,000 purchase price (at VHFA’s rate of 6.5% with 0 points), an increase in purchasing power of $8,500 when compared with other mortgage programs, Carpenter explained. Again this year, VHFA has expanded income limits for every county in Vermont and increased purchase price eligibility limits for many counties in Vermont where home prices have risen substantially in the past year. The income limit increases will boost homeownership, in particular for economically distressed targeted Vermont counties. “VHFA is committed to making our programs meet the needs of Vermonters who want to buy a home, for both first time and move-up home buyers in areas of the state where the first-time buyer requirement does not apply.” [See tables with complete list of income and purchase price limits for every county.] “Our programs have difficulty keeping up with local conditions in some parts of the state, where personal incomes have grown substantially and home prices escalated quickly. These program enhancements address those local conditions and represent good news in every region of the state, especially in southern Vermont and the red-hot real estate markets in northwest Vermont and the upper Connecticut River valley," Carpenter added. For further information, contact VHFA’s Homeownership Department at 802-864-5743 or contact a local lender. 

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Posted by: admin on November 21, 2005 - 4:07am

BURLINGTON—Vermont Housing Finance Agency is pleased to announce its top mortgage loan originators for 2005: Kathy Rice, Connecticut River Savings Bank, Springfield, Windsor County; Helen Wachtel, Brattleboro Savings Bank, Brattleboro, and Cathy Eakins, Brattleboro, Chittenden Bank, Windham County (tie); Paul Walsh, Heritage Family Credit Union, Rutland, Rutland County; Donna Kennison, Community National Bank, Troy, Orleans County; Wanda French, Universal Mortgage Corporation, Barre, Orange County; John Romano, Factory Point Bank, Manchester, Bennington County; Michelle Shambo, Chittenden Bank, Middlebury, Addison County; Jeanne Boucher, New England Federal Credit Union, Williston, Chittenden County; Kerry Whalen, People's Trust Co., St. Albans, Franklin County; Wanda Allaire, Union Bank, Morrisville, Lamoille County; Susan Laferriere, Union Bank, St. Johnsbury, Caladonia County; and Lee Youngman, Community National Bank, Montpelier, Washington County. “We rely on loan originators at VHFA participating lenders to act as our mortgage sales force,” explained VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. “We’re pleased to have originators like these on our team.” VHFA has 31 participating lending institutions around the state that help homebuyers qualify for VHFA mortgage loans. VHFA has several home mortgage loan programs, all of which have income and purchase-price limits. A list of participating lenders and information about VHFA’s programs and interest rates can be found on the Agency’s website: www.vhfa.org. VHFA was created 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 almost 25,000 Vermont households with affordable mortgages and financed the development of nearly 7,000 affordable rental units.

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Posted by: admin on October 18, 2005 - 10:19am

BURLINGTON, VT  Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) Multifamily Development Underwriter Liza Vedder Plantilla has joined the Affordable Housing Working Group of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes committee. LEED for Homes is a voluntary rating system that promotes the transformation of the mainstream home building industry towards more sustainable practices. The Initiative for Affordable Housing, funded by a grant from The Home Depot Foundation, is a component of LEED for Homes that addresses differences between affordable housing and marketrate housing. The working group serves as the committee’s primary resource for the implementation of the Initiative for Affordable Housing. The U.S. Green Building Council is a Washington, D.C.-based group of building professionals working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. Plantilla analyzes prospective multifamily housing and single-family development loans being considered for VHFA financing. She’s responsible for underwriting of Housing Credit applications and assists VHFA’s Director of Development with the administration of the Housing Credit program. This spring, she joined the Board of Directors of the Vermont Green Building Network. The Burlington nonprofit organization strives to increase Vermont’s participation in green building and promotes environmental, financial, community and health benefits of green design, construction, and building operation practices. The Vermont Legislature established VHFA in 1974 to finance and promote affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Since its inception, the Agency has helped almost 25,000 households with affordable mortgages and nearly 7,000 families into affordable rental units.

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Posted by: admin on October 3, 2005 - 11:10am

BURLINGTON, VT  The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) honored Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) with two awards during its 2005 Annual Awards for Program Excellence luncheon. VHFA’s Vermont Housing Data Web site (www.housingdata.org) was a winner in the “Management Innovation, Technological Innovation” category. The “Art House” children’s poster exhibit, created by Agency staff for the Vermont Housing Awareness Campaign (www.housingawareness.org), took the award in the “Communications, Innovative Media” category. “VHFA is proud to be recognized by its peers across the country as an innovator in promoting affordable housing through the Vermont Housing Data Web site and the ‘Art House’ poster project,” said VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. “These awards stand as testaments to the creativity, energy and dedication of the VHFA staff.” VHFA Communications Coordinator Craig Bailey and Policy and Planning Coordinator Maura Collins developed the Vermont Housing Data site along with William Sawyer and Cathleen Gent from the University of Vermont’s Center for Rural Studies in Burlington, with support and guidance from the state’s housing community. The site was developed entirely in-house and is the largest single source for Vermont-related market rate and affordable housing information. It features a searchable database of more than 120 pieces of data for every town, village, county and the state. The site contains approximately a quarter-million statistics including historical figures that stretch back decades. Vermont Housing Data is also home to the Directory of Affordable Rental Housing (DoARH), a searchable database of all subsidized housing in the state, including bedroom size, tenant population, unit restrictions, funding source and vacancies. VHFA Public Affairs Manager John Fairbanks coordinated the “Art House” exhibit under the auspices of the Housing Awareness Campaign, working with the state’s NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Centers, Chittenden Bank, the Committee on Temporary Shelter, Very Special Arts, and other partners. Bailey provided production support. The project began last summer, when the Campaign held several events around the state asking children to paint representations of what home means to them. From dozens of entries, 25 works have been selected to tour the state as a testament to the significant role “home” plays in the lives of Vermont's children. The exhibit has shown in more than a dozen locations, including the Russell Senate Building in Washington, D.C. Carpenter accepted the awards Monday, Sept. 26, at NCSHA’s 35th Annual Conference held at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. More than 1,100 housing professionals and affiliate members from across the country attended the event. NCSHA is a non-profit organization created more than 30 years ago by the nation’s state housing finance agencies to coordinate and leverage their federal advocacy efforts for affordable housing. The Council has more than 400 member organizations. The Vermont Legislature established VHFA in 1974 to finance and promote affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Since its inception, the Agency has helped almost 25,000 households with affordable mortgages and nearly 7,000 families into affordable rental units.

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