Applegate affordable apartments revamped for sustainability

By: Will White
Applgate apartment ribbon cutting

Plans were made over two years ago to make renovations to Applegate Apartments, located in Bennington, VT. It's one of Vermont's largest affordable housing developments and threatened by rising fuel costs before improvements were made. The complex paid $175,000 a year on fuel costs, which required rent to rise, and owners were worried that tenants would not be able to keep up.

Last week, the Applegate community celebrated the addition of a new "central biomass plant" which replaced the need for 23 oil burners - one for each building. The project also included a insulated underground pipeline that delivers hot water to all of the buildings.

The renovations are expected to save $80,000 a year, although the benefits of Applegate's renovations are more than just financial. The push to make these apartments for energy efficient is also expected to save 422 tons of CO2 annually, adding a healthy dose of sustainability to affordability.

“Applegate Apartments are critical to meeting housing needs in the Bennington area among lower income families, working Vermonters and seniors,” remarked VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. “We are delighted to provide the housing credits and loans needed to renovate and preserve them.”

Through federal and state housing tax credits and direct loans, VHFA provided half of the $10.1 million cost of the Applegate costs. Housing Vermont and Shires Housing developed the project, with Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VCHB) and the Vermont Community Development Program and others providing the remaining funds needed.

Besides the new biomass plant and water pipeline, this money also went to repairs to sewer lines, replacement of old windows, better insulation, and more accessibility by turning three townhouses into fully-accessible living spaces.

For more information on renting apartments at Applegate Apartments, please visit