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RECORD ATTENDANCE AT YESTERDAY’S VERMONT STATEWIDE HOUSING CONFERENCE

BURLINGTON—A record number 480 people attended yesterday’s Vermont Statewide Housing Conference held at the Hilton in Burlington. The previous record for the biennial event was nearly 450 in 2006. “This year’s huge attendance is partly due to an increasing awareness of the importance of housing, a result of the mortgage crisis that brought the topic to the top of the news over the last year,” says VHFA Policy & Planning Manager Maura Collins, chief organizer of the conference.

VERMONT’S HOMEOWNERSHIP CENTERS RECEIVE 2010 HOUSING HERO AWARD

BURLINGTON—The state’s non-profit network of NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Centers of Vermont (HOCs) received the 2010 Housing Hero award. Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) Executive Director Sarah Carpenter presented the award to six HOC representatives at yesterday’s 2010 Vermont Statewide Housing Conference held at the Hilton in Burlington. The award recognizes individuals or organizations whose leadership, vision and actions have brought about positive and lasting change in the way their community or the state regards housing.

HOUSING AGENCIES PUBLISH FAIR HOUSING REPORT

BURLINGTON—Burlington’s Community & Economic Development Office (CEDO) has published “Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice.” The 50-page report examines hurdles that might prevent Burlington residents from equal access to housing opportunities and suggests potential solutions. The report cites five primary impediments to fair housing choice in Burlington: 1. High rental and homeownership prices, and limited land and public resources 2. Policies and practices of some housing professionals that intentionally or unintentionally limit housing options 3.

VERMONT AGENCIES TURN DILAPIDATED, FORECLOSED PROPERTY INTO SUSTAINABLE, AFFORDABLE HOME

BARRE TOWN, VT—Central Vermont Community Land Trust (CVCLT) has converted a dilapidated foreclosed property in Barre Town into a sustainable new home with low operating costs, thanks to funding from an innovative federal program. Situated on a 1.3-acre lot at 8 Short Street, the property had initially listed for $64,900, but the price kept dropping when potential buyers discovered it would need to be demolished. “It was in bad shape — failed septic system, asbestos, and more,” according to CVCLT Rehab Specialist Norm Benoit, who has 40 years' experience in home building and design.

RENEE COUTURE BECOMES FINANCIAL ANALYST/COMPLIANCE SPECIALIST

BURLINGTON—Executive Director Sarah Carpenter announced Renee Couture of Burlington has accepted the position of Financial Analyst/Compliance Specialist. In her new role, Couture is responsible for the reconciliation of bank and general ledger accounts and trustee billing for the Agency, as well as the accounting for several U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) programs administered by VHFA.

LISA CLARK PROMOTED TO FINANCE OPERATIONS MANAGER

BURLINGTON—Executive Director Sarah Carpenter announced Lisa Clark of Essex has been promoted to Finance Operations Manager. In her new role, Clark works closely with the Agency’s Chief Financial Officer, Investment Manager and Controller to develop and implement the Finance Department’s strategy for optimal systems, processes and operations. She’s responsible for the management of accounts payable, cash receipts, loan accounting, compliance monitoring and various reconciliations; coordinates all computer system needs of the department; and more.

VHFA HOME LOAN DELINQUENCY, FORECLOSURE RATES MUCH LOWER THAN STATE, NATIONAL RATES

BURLINGTON—Recent analysis of Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) home loan data shows delinquency and foreclosure rates of VHFA mortgages were considerably lower than rates for Vermont and the nation. As of June 30, 2010, VHFA home loans that were delinquent by 90 or more days were just 0.94% of all the Agency’s outstanding loans. Vermont’s rate was more than twice as high: 2.05%. The national rate was 4.54%.

VHFA OFFERS LOWEST HOME MORTGAGE LOAN INTEREST RATE IN ITS 36-YEAR HISTORY

BURLINGTON— Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) is offering a new low mortgage interest rate: 4.125% APR for a 30-year, fixed rate loan with no points for qualified borrowers. The new rate, which became effective Thursday, Oct. 7, is the lowest ever offered by VHFA. “This new rate means the dream of homeownership is within the reach of more people,” said VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. “Market conditions have never been more challenging for organizations such as VHFA, so we can’t say how long we’ll be at 4.125%.

VERMONT FAMILIES, COMMUNITIES AND BUILDERS ALL BENEFIT FROM INNOVATIVE HOUSING PROGRAM

BURLINGTON, VT  On July 1, Sarah and Thad Launderville realized their dream of becoming homeowners when they moved into their new house on Williamstown’s Pleasant Street. Their purchase was the culmination of their 3- year quest to buy a home, finally made possible with help from Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA), Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) and Central Vermont Community Land Trust (CVCLT).

NEW PARTICIPATING LENDER JOINS VHFA ROSTER

BURLINGTON, VT  PrimeLending has become a Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) participating lender. Participating lenders work with borrowers to answer questions about purchasing a home with a VHFA mortgage, determine borrowers’ eligibility, and process applications for low-interest rate VHFA home loans. “We’re pleased to have PrimeLending join the ranks of VHFA participating lenders,” said VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter.

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