Ribbon cutting celebrated at Allard Square Apartments

By: Mia Watson

VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter joined affordable housing partners in South Burlington last week to celebrate the completion of Allard Square. The project, developed by Cathedral Square Corporation and Synder-Braverman Development Company, created 39 one and two bedroom apartments for seniors, 29 of which will be rented at rates affordable to low income Vermont seniors. The project was funded in large part by federal tax credits and a loan awarded by VHFA.

Allard Square is named for Doris Allard, a 94-year old who has lived Cathedral Square’s original apartment building for over 40 years. Allard cut the ceremonial ribbon to mark the new building’s official opening.

As part of the opening ceremonies, the activity room in the new building was dedicated to VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter who is retiring after decades of leadership in Vermont’s affordable housing industry. A plaque on the wall reads, “Sarah Carpenter dedicated over 40 years of her career to advancing affordable housing in Vermont. She served as the Executive Director of Vermont Housing Finance Agency for 20 years, and before that she was the Executive Director of Cathedral Square for 15 years. A Burlington native, Sarah recognized that housing is a critical foundation for stability, health, and wellness.”

“It has been such a joy to support Cathedral Square in their creation of much-needed apartments and the SASH program for seniors throughout the state,” said Carpenter.

All residents at Allard Square will have access to SASH (Support and Services at Home), a care-coordination program that helps residents live safely, comfortably, and independently. The energy efficient and accessible building features several community spaces and is within walking distance to shops and services in South Burlington’s emerging downtown center.

Primary funding for the project was provided through federal housing credits awarded by Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA), which were sold People’s United Bank to raise $6.7 million in equity  and a $1.6 million long term loan to the project. Other funding partners included the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) with funding from the recent Vermont Housing Revenue Bond, the Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP), federal HOME program funds, the South Burlington Housing Trust, The TD Charitable Foundation, and the Harry & Jeanette Weinberg Foundation.

Pictured (above): VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter and Kim Fitzgerald, Chief Executive Officer of Cathedral Square Corporation 

Photos courtesy of Karen Pike Photography,