Pleasant Hills in Bristol celebrates redevelopment

By: Mia Watson

VHFA Executive Director Maura Collins joined Housing Vermont and Addison County Community Trust (ACCT) in Bristol last week to celebrate the redevelopment of Pleasant Hills. The complex offers 16 affordable one and two bedroom-apartments for seniors in a village setting. The project received the majority of its funding from federal tax credits and loans awarded by VHFA.

Pleasant Hills was first built as affordable housing in 1980. However, after over thirty years of service, the property was in need of updates to improve energy efficiency and accessibility. Housing Vermont acquired the site in 2014 and has partnered with Addison County Community Trust to manage the apartments. Improvements include infrastructure upgrades, weatherization and heating systems replacement and updates to living spaces. Staff from Housing Vermont and ACCT built raised garden beds to hold flowers and vegetables donated by Red Wagon Nursery.

Resident Harvey Hart, Jr., who goes by ‘Junior’, remarked, “I can’t express how it looks around here…It’s lovely and it feels more like home than it ever has.”

All of the apartments receive HUD Section 8 Project Based Assistance, which limits the rent to 30 percent of household income, the federal standard of affordability. In addition, all residents will have access to SASH (Support and Services at Home), a care-coordination program that helps residents live safely, comfortably, and independently. Pleasant Hills is located close to the center of Bristol, with easy access to shopping and other amenities.

Resident Theresa Robidoux said, “This place is a really good home, the best I’ve ever had.”

The $3.3 million project was made possible in part by a generous $290,000 interest-free loan from New England Federal Credit Union that is being administered by VHFA. The project also received $955,500 in equity from federal housing tax credits and a $610,000 permanent loan awarded by VHFA.  The project also received funding from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) HOME program, and the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Boston’s Affordable Housing Program (AHP).