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Posted by: VHFA on April 4, 2008 - 10:47am

world habitat award logoThe Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) is a finalist for the World Habitat Awards, sponsored by the Building and Social Housing Foundation, an international organization dedicated to innovation in affordable housing.

The awards are given as part of the United Nations' World Habitat Day and recognize "practical and innovative solutions to current housing needs and problems." Two staff members from the U.K.-based foundation will visit Vermont next week.

CHT's Community Land Trust model was selected as a finalist because of the way it brings housing opportunity to low- and moderate-income households while creating homes that are permanently affordable.

CHT is the only organization in the United States, and one of only two in North America, to be a finalist for this year's World Habitat Award.

"We are thrilled to receive this attention for our work," said Brenda Torpy, CHT CEO. "We are excited to show the judges just how effective our model of affordable housing is."

The visit begins April 9 and runs through April 11. On the schedule are meetings with the Mayors of Burlington and St. Albans, conversations at the homes of several CHT residents, a reception hosted by past and present Board members, a breakfast with local institutional and developer partners, and tours of housing in the region.

Representatives from NeighborWorks America's Boston office will participate in the site visit to provide the judges with an understanding of how CHT's work has inspired innovation nationwide. Leaders at statewide organizations such as the Vermont Housing Finance Agency and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board will also take part in the three-day site visit.

"The community land trust model pioneered by Champlain Housing Trust provides permanent affordability and has become a cornerstone of Vermont's affordable housing policy. Working in cooperation with countless partners for more than 20 years, CHT has helped prove the model and bring it to scale," explained Gus Seelig of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. "This international achievement is a testament to all who have worked for and supported the innovative housing policies that enrich our communities."

"Champlain Housing Trust is an indispensible partner in Vermont's affordable housing effort," said VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. "Brenda and her staff have been exceptionally creative and dedicated for many years, and the benefits of all that hard work have been bestowed upon thousands of Vermonters and their families."

"We have had tremendous community support to build this model, and this recognition is one in which the broader community should be proud," said Torpy.

For more information about the World Habitat Awards, visit www.worldhabitatawards.org. Visit www.champlainhousingtrust.org for more information about CHT.

Posted by: VHFA on April 3, 2008 - 12:44pm

The special Fair Housing Month edition of Mike McNamara's HUD show we mentioned in yesterday's post ("April is Fair Housing Month") is now available for listening online.

Listen now.

Posted by: VHFA on April 3, 2008 - 8:15am

recalled furnaceThe U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission and Rinnai America Corp. recently announced a voluntary product recall of certain direct-vent wall furnaces.

VHFA is helping bring the recall to the attention of homeowners — and owners and managers of multi-family properties — who might have such furnaces installed in their units.

So far Rinnai has received nearly a dozen reports of carbon monoxide leaks from the furnace models in question, but no injuries have been reported.

For more information about the model numbers affected and how to to get further help, visit the recall's Web site.

Posted by: VHFA on April 2, 2008 - 8:15am

April 11 marks the 40th anniversary of the signing of the federal Fair Housing Act by President Lyndon B. Johnson.

In recognition of Fair Housing Month, celebrated each April, the Vermont Human Rights Commission and the Fair Housing Project of the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) are planning a number of events around the state.

In the Chittenden County area, tune in to cable Channel 17 tonight at 5:25 for a program dedicated to fair housing. Host Mike McNamara, Field Office Director of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Vermont, welcomes Robert Appel of the Vermont Human Rights Commission and Bekah Mandell of CVOEO's Fair Housing Project.

For the entire month, the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington is hosting a fair housing poster exhibit in its mezzanine.

For other Fair Housing Month activities — including a schedule of brown bag lunches being held around the state every Tuesday this month — visit the CVOEO Fair Housing Project on the Web or contact them at 802.864.3334 x202

Posted by: VHFA on April 1, 2008 - 1:11pm

cvclt logo
This Thursday, the Central Vermont Community Land Trust presents the second workshop in its series "Create Affordable Housing in Your Community."

This week's free workshop will be held April 3 at the Bradford Town Hall from 5:30 to 8 p.m.

The event is for homeowners and renters; employers and business leaders; and municipal staff, selectboard members and regional planners. Free food will be provided, as well as childcare, transportation and other reasonable accommodations, upon request.

Delegates from this meeting, and other meetings in the series held around the central Vermont area, will be elected to attend a community summit May 17 at National Life in Montpelier.

If you plan to attend, please register online. For more information, call 802.476.4493 x200.

This series is sponsored by: NeighborWorks® America and TD BankNorth, Central Vermont Chamber of Commerce, Central Vermont Economic Development Corp., Central Vermont Regional Planning Commission, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Vermont Housing Finance Agency, Vermont Housing Awareness Campaign, National Life Group Charitable Foundation, Northfield Savings Bank and Vermont Mutual Insurance Co.