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STUDY SHOWS MANY FIRST TIME BUYERS CAN’T TAKE ADVANTAGE OF DECLINING HOME PRICES

BURLINGTON—In spite of the softening real estate market, Vermonters earning the median income still could not afford the median priced home, according to a new report released today. The report, “Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Housing and Wages in Vermont,” is the latest in an annual series that tracks housing costs in relation to Vermonters’ incomes. For the last several years, Vermont’s tight housing markets have driven up prices while wages, particularly those employing the most Vermonters, have not kept pace.

PROCTOR PLACE RESTORED; HOUSING AFFORDABILITY EXTENDED

BURLINGTON, VT ! Proctor Place, a 12-unit elderly housing development in Rutland County’s Town of Proctor, is the first to use funds from Vermont Housing Finance Agency’s (VHFA’s) new pre-development loan program, funded by the MacArthur Foundation. A total of $236,000 from the program is helping restore the historic Main Street building following a fire last August. Work is nearly complete. As part of the funding, current owner SCI Group Ltd.

FITCH RATES VHFA BOND RESOLUTION ‘A+’

BURLINGTON, VT  Fitch Ratings has assigned an “A+” rating to Vermont Housing Finance Agency’s 1990 single-family housing bond resolution. Fitch has labeled its rating outlook “stable.” Fitch’s long-term credit ratings operate on a 10-grade scale from “AAA,” the highest-quality investment grade bond, to “D,” the lowest category junk bond. The resolution, which includes approximately $447 million in outstanding bonds in Series 9 through 27, was created in 1990 and issued bonds from 1990 to 2007. This is Fitch's initial rating assignment for the resolution.

GOV. DOUGLAS APPOINTS PELLETIER CHAIRMAN OF VHFA BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

BURLINGTON, VT  Gov. Jim Douglas appointed Thomas N. Pelletier of Montpelier to be chairman of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) Board of Commissioners. The change took effect upon the Governor’s appointment Tuesday. “Tom’s been a highly-respected member of Vermont’s lending community for more than a decade and has served on our Board since May 2008,” says Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. “We welcome him as VHFA’s new Board chairman.” Pelletier has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Northfield Savings Bank in Northfield since 1998.

HOME VALUES IN VHFA LOAN PORTFOLIO UP 24 PERCENT

BURLINGTON—An independent review of Vermont Housing Finance Agency’s single-family home loan portfolio shows property values increased by 24 percent compared to values at time of purchase. The median increase in individual home values in VHFA’s portfolio was 14 percent. “During this recession we’ve heard a lot about homes dropping in value, but properties in VHFA’s portfolio are doing well. This is evidence of the fiscal strength of the Agency,” said Executive Director Sarah Carpenter.

GOVERNOR DOUGLAS AND VHFA APPLAUD TREASURY ACTION ON HOUSING FINANCE AGENCY ASSISTANCE

BURLINGTON—Gov. James Douglas and the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) applauded the U.S. Treasury Department announcement yesterday to bolster state Housing Finance Agencies (HFAs) and their efforts to stimulate home buying for low- and moderate-income homeowners, and provide affordable rental homes. The initiative is part of President Obama’s Making Home Affordable program. “I am so pleased that the Treasury Department has responded to calls for assistance from Vermont and across the country.

VHFA NAMES TOP PARTICIPATING LENDERS, FY2009

BURLINGTON—Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) named its top five participating lending institutions for fiscal year 2009: Chittenden Bank, first; New England Federal Credit Union, second; Universal Mortgage Corp., third; Mortgage Financial Services, fourth; and Heritage Family Credit Union, fifth. VHFA has many participating lending institutions around the state that help homebuyers qualify for VHFA mortgage loans.

SARA HOEHN HIRED AS STAFF ACCOUNTANT

BURLINGTON—Executive Director Sarah Carpenter announced that Sara Hoehn of Colchester has joined VHFA as Staff Accountant. Hoehn is responsible for the Agency’s accounts payable and daily cash receipts functions. A native Vermonter, she was most recently Staff Accountant at Anderson, Johns & Yao CPAs PC in San Antonio, Texas. Before that she spent time as a Collector at Bank of America in Orono, Maine. Hoehn holds a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance earned at the University of Maine, Orono.

VHFA HONORS TOP MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATORS FOR FY2009

BURLINGTON— Vermont Housing Finance Agency is pleased to announce its top mortgage loan originators for fiscal year 2009: Michelle Shambo, Chittenden Bank, Middlebury, Addison County; Debbie Corey, Chittenden Bank, Bennington, Bennington County; Susan Laferriere, Union Bank, St. Johnsbury, Caledonia, Essex and Orleans counties; Kelly DeForge, Universal Mortgage Corp., Colchester, Chittenden and Grand Isle counties; Judy Smith, Peoples Trust Co., St.

GEORGE DEMAS HIRED AS GENERAL COUNSEL

BURLINGTON—Executive Director Sarah Carpenter announced that George Demas of Colchester has joined Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) as General Counsel. He directs and administers all legal matters for the Agency, including: real estate closings; federal and state housing program activities; work associated with the issuance of bonds and other funding sources; litigation, including foreclosures; and legal aspects of VHFA’s corporate matters. “George brings many years of commercial finance and lending experience, as well as general counsel support.

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