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Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on June 4, 2018 - 5:09pm

Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) announced today that later this year Sarah Carpenter, Executive Director, will be retiring, after twenty years at the agency’s helm. “As a result of Sarah’s vision and skill thousands of Vermonters have moved into decent, affordable homes since she arrived at VHFA in 1998,” said Randy Amis, chair of VHFA’s Board of Commissioners. “She has expertly led VHFA’s financial activities and programs, built strong partnerships and shared her deep expertise with state and federal policy makers. Vermont is a better place to live thanks to Sarah’s impact.”  

Carpenter’s leadership and inspiration propelled VHFA to a spot among the top five Best Places to Work in Vermont in each of the last three years.  In 2016, the agency was ranked at the top of the list among small and medium sized Vermont companies.

The volume of VHFA mortgages provided to low and moderate-income Vermonters grew by $1.3 billion during her tenure, largely due to Carpenter’s work with VHFA’s staff, board, advisors and partners. Most recently Carpenter worked with legislative leaders to enact a down payment assistance program for first-time home buyers. The program’s popularity remains well beyond original expectations due to the critical need this assistance plays for young renters looking to buy homes in Vermont.

VHFA’s role in creating and rehabilitating much-needed affordable rental apartments also grew dramatically under Carpenter’s leadership. In 2000, VHFA spearheaded a successful effort to encourage Congress to increase caps for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit Program and private activity bonds. That same year, Carpenter worked with legislators to enact the State Housing Tax Credit program to supplement the federal allocation due to pressing needs statewide for more affordable rental apartments.  These efforts pushed the total number of apartments financed through VHFA up to 8,600.

Carpenter is a native of Burlington, Vermont, and a graduate of UVM and Harvard University.  Prior to VHFA, she served as the Executive Director of Cathedral Square Corp. from 1983-1998. Carpenter has been the recipient of a number of awards including the Vermont YWCA Susan B. Anthony Woman of the Year Award and a NeighborWorks America Government Service Award. She has also served on numerous of boards with federal, state and local organizations including Leading Age, the National Council of State Housing Agencies’, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston, and Fletcher Allen Healthcare (now the University of Vermont Medical Center).

VHFA’s Board of Commissioners will meet in the next few weeks to plan its strategy for identifying Carpenter’s successor.

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on June 4, 2018 - 10:37am

In recognition of her scholarly and professional achievements, VHFA’s Research and Communications Coordinator Mia Watson received the Marshall E. Dimock Award as a graduate of UVM’s Masters of Public Administration (MPA) program. 

The award was presented by MPA program director Christopher Koliba during UVM’s graduation festivities in May 2018.

The criteria for the award are advancement of ethical principles within public administration, evidence of outstanding academic and scholarly activities, commitment to the advancement of the profession of public administration and vision for the field of public administration.

Just a year earlier, VHFA’s Deputy Director Maura Collins won the award for her work as an alumna of the UVM MPA program.  

Marshal E. Dimock was a national pioneer in the field of public administration with deep ties to Vermont and the UVM MPA program.

Posted by: Mia Watson on May 31, 2018 - 11:44am

The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Boston is coming to Burlington to host a training on the Affordable Housing Program on June 26th. This training is important for any developer or lender who is planning to apply for AHP funds in 2018 or in the future. It will be held at Hotel Vermont (41 Cherry Street, Burlington) from 8:30 to noon. For more details and to register go to their website.

The 2018 funding application period opens on Monday, June 11, four weeks earlier than usual. The program awards grants and low-interest loans through member institutions to organizations promoting homeownership and rental housing for households with incomes at or below 80 percent of the area median income. Approximately $18.1 million in AHP subsidy is available. Applications are due by Thursday, August 2.

We hope to see you there!

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