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Posted by: Mia Watson on 9/25/2018

This year's conference on November 13-14, 2018 will feature keynote speaker Liz Ogbu, a designer, urbanist, and social innovator who collaborates with communities to leverage the power of design to catalyze sustained social impact. Ogbu has taught at California College of the Arts, UC Berkeley, and Stanford. She has also been chosen as a TED speaker, one of Public Interest Design’s Top 100, and an Aspen Ideas Scholar. Her keynote speech will focus on how to emphasize the lived experience of people at the heart of housing issues and explore how we can achieve a more sustainable, inclusive, and healed future.

The conference will also feature national policy experts and DC insiders Stockton Williams of the National Council of State Housing Agencies and David Lipsetz of the Housing Assistance Council, who will share their assessments of the results of the midterm elections on November 6 and will discuss the likely impact on the housing landscape.

Registration at the special early bird rate is available through October 5. Visit the conference website for a full list of workshops and agenda items.

Posted by: Mia Watson on 9/24/2018

Morgan Stanley is our newest Platinum level sponsor of the 2018 Vermont Statewide Housing Conference. The conference will be held on November 13th and 14th at the Hilton Burlington. Conference registration is now open, with special early bird pricing available for a limited time only.

The conference, held every two years, draws hundreds of housing professionals, including legislators, town and regional planners, advocates, developers, and bankers. It offers a unique opportunity to network, learn, and be inspired about housing in Vermont. This exciting event would not be possible without sponsors like Morgan Stanley.

A limited number of sponsorship opportunities are still available! Sign up to sponsor this event now to get free conference registrations, an exhibit table, and many marketing benefits. Learn more about sponsorship benefits online.

Posted by: Mia Watson on 9/21/2018

VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter joined affordable housing partners and elected officials to celebrate the start of construction of Garden Street Apartments on Market and Garden Streets in South Burlington. The apartments will be built by Snyder Braverman Development and sold to Champlain Housing Trust and Housing Vermont upon completion. The project will create 42 affordable apartments for low-income Vermonters as part of a 60 unit mixed income building. The affordable units will be rented permanently at well below market rates. The project was funded in large part by tax credits and a loan awarded by VHFA.

Garden Apartments is part of South Burlington’s City Center project, and reflects the importance of affordable housing in local economic development. The City of South Burlington is reconstructing Market Street into a downtown main street with office and retail space, bike and pedestrian pathways, and green spaces. Having affordable housing like Garden Apartments and its neighbor, Allard Square senior housing, can supply a consumer and employee base for local businesses, providing a more robust tax base and increasing overall economic vitality in a community. Meanwhile, accessing affordable housing close to jobs, schools, and transportation helps low and moderate income families succeed.

Among the funding for the project were $777,000 in federal housing credits awarded by Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA), which were then sold to investors to raise an estimated $6.9 million in equity for construction. VHFA also awarded the project a $3.7 million loan. In total, the $16 million project received nearly two thirds of its funding from VHFA. Other funding partners included the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s HOME program, the South Burlington Housing Trust, and Neighborworks.

The apartment building will be managed by Champlain Housing Trust and is expected to be open by winter 2019.

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on 9/18/2018

A recent report from researchers at Ohio State University and Fannie Mae describes new evidence of ways to extend homeownership sustainably.  Lower income households seeking to purchase homes face many barriers including lack of wealth for down payment.  Further, “after purchasing a home, lower income homeowners are often at higher risk of default due to unaffordable mortgage terms, higher loan-to-value ratios, and fragile household balance sheets,”  the report notes.

By examining data on more than a million single-family, home purchase loans to low-to-moderate first-time homebuyers securitized by Fannie Mae, researchers discovered that those loans made by VHFA and its housing finance agency (HFA) counterparts nationwide had rates of default, foreclosure and prepayment that were 20-30 percent lower than other similar loans. This finding was based on a matched sample of HFA and non-HFA loans within the data, ensuring that the borrowers were similar at the time of loan closing with regard to geography, loan terms, income, credit score, and loan-to-value ratio. 

The research also pinpointed the mechanisms, such as full documentation of loan information and homeownership counseling, that led to improved outcomes among housing finance agency loans. “Unpacking the HFA effect on loan performance can offer insights for alternative strategies to reduce the default risk of lending to this population of borrowers,” the report explains. 

Posted by: Mia Watson on 9/18/2018

The Chittenden County Homeless Alliance has an opening for a detail oriented, consensus building, people-person to serve as a part-time coordinator for the mission to end homelessness in our community. This unique and interesting 20 hours per week position offers a competitive salary and an excellent benefits package. 

In a cooperative arrangement, this position will be based at Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA), located in downtown Burlington, Vermont.

Read more about the position including the full position description and summary of benefits.