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Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on December 8, 2017 - 12:42pm

Housing partners seeking to improve opportunities for lower income Vermonters described this week why federal tax reform bills would make reaching this goal much harder and hurt Vermont communities. Learn more from these WPTZ and CCTV stories.  

The House and Senate bills undergoing reconciliation contain a number of provisions that affect housing.  This table from CPA firm Novogradac & Company compares current law to proposals in the House and Senate tax reform bills. 


Posted by: Will White on December 6, 2017 - 10:43am

Executive Director Sarah Carpenter announced that Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) has hired Mia Watson of Essex Junction for the position of Research and Communications Coordinator.  Watson comes to VHFA from University of Vermont where she worked in the Administrative Business Center while completing a Masters of Public Administration.

“We are excited to have Mia back at VHFA after her graduate internship in our Research Department last year,” Carpenter remarked.

Watson fills a position vacated by Leslie Black-Plumeau. Black-Plumeau has moved into the role of VHFA’s Policy and Planning Manager.  

VHFA is a non-profit agency created in 1974 by the Vermont Legislature to finance and promote affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Since its inception, the Agency has helped approximately 29,000 Vermont households with affordable mortgages and financed the development of approximately 8,800 affordable rental apartments.

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on December 4, 2017 - 4:39pm

The Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition (VAHC), a state leader in housing policy, research and advocacy, issued the following statement last week on the tax bill recently passed by the U.S. House of Representatives and under consideration in the Senate:

At a time when Vermont already has a shortage of 10,866 affordable homes for extremely low income renters and the 5th highest affordability gap for renters in the country, the pending tax proposals would eliminate tax credits and financing tools that have helped create thousands of affordable apartments  in our state and made homeownership more affordable for thousands of Vermonters.

“Vermont already has an affordable housing crisis, but these bills would make it a catastrophe.  Without the tax credits and bonds that the House bill eliminates, thousands of affordable homes will not be built, and more Vermonters will be left homeless or stuck in homes they cannot afford,” said Ted Wimpey, VAHC Steering Committee Chair and Director of CVOEO’s Fair Housing Project.  “The Senate proposal is more favorable but would still substantially reduce affordable rental housing production at a time when the need is so acute.  If either of these tax bills becomes law, it will put families out on the streets and irreparably harm Vermont communities.”

Read more. 

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on November 27, 2017 - 10:46am

The U.S. Census Bureau is offering Local Update of Census Addresses (LUCA) 2020 Workshops for Vermont cities and towns, in partnership with the Vermont State Data Center and the Vermont Center for Geographic Information. For your convenience, workshops will be hosted at two sites. A webinar is also being offered.  

During the LUCA 2020 Workshop, the Census Bureau will review the three options available for LUCA participation. It will discuss the free software tool available (GUPS) to review and update the census address list. This workshop will show municipalities how to prepare, register, and participate in this important program for their communities. The demonstration will provide concrete resources to help your city or town get an early start on LUCA 2020.

Workshop 1: November 30, 2017 (10am to Noon)

  • Montpelier, VT
  • Calvin Coolidge Room, 6th Floor, Davis Bldg
  • 1 National Life Drive, Montpelier, VT, 05620-0501 Link to info
  • To register, email Leslie Pelch

Workshop 2: December 1, 2017 (10am to Noon)

  • Park House (Activity Room)
  • 340 Recreation Park Road
  • Manchester Center VT 05255
  • To register, email Leslie Pelch

Webinar: December 06, 2017 (10am to Noon)

  • Join from your computer.
  • register online 

Questions? Contact Leslie Pelch

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on November 15, 2017 - 2:40pm

When the Senate and House released their initial tax reform proposals last week in Washington, Vermont's Congressional delegation went to work to protect valuable resources that are part of the tax code, such as private activity bonds and housing tax credits.  Tax programs are responsible for most affordable housing developed in Vermont in the past 30 years.

Although revisions are ongoing, both bills as they stand now would likely result in a 15% reduction in the funds the federal low-income housing tax credit generates for affordable rental housing development.  A number of other provisions in the bills would also impact the availability of funds for housing.  

Last Friday, Congressman Peter Welch, VHFA’s Executive Director Sarah Carpenter and partners from Vermont’s business, non-profit and government sectors discussed implications of the recent tax reform proposals.  Carpenter explained that using tax incentives to promote affordable housing was originally a product of president Ronald Reagan’s massive tax reform of 1986. “Congress at the time wanted to move away from government appropriations to tax incentives for housing,” she said. “It’s drawn a tremendous amount of private capital into real estate investment.” 

In 2016 alone, tax credits and proceeds from tax-exempt private activity bond financing created  approximately $35 million in equity for creating and rehabilitating 530 much-needed affordable apartments for low-income Vermonters across the state. Only about a quarter of the 77,000 renter households in Vermont have housing they can afford, with rents that consume 30% or less of income.