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Ribbon cutting celebrated at Monument View in Bennington

By: Mia Watson on 7/24/2019

Last week, VHFA joined Shires Housing and Housing Vermont to celebrate the long-awaited opening of Monument View Apartments in downtown Bennington. Named for its outlook over the Bennington Battle Monument, the complex includes 24 affordable one and two bedroom-apartments. The project received the majority of its funding from federal tax credits awarded by VHFA.

Despite the urgent need for affordable housing in the area, the project faced opposition from local residents who raised concerns the project would increase traffic, negatively impact the historic character of the neighborhood and strain municipal services and the local school system. Those objections were all rejected by a judge, allowing construction to begin in March 2018.

Affordable housing development often encounters these types of local opposition, but research has repeatedly shown that affordable housing does not increase crime, nor does it negatively impact local schools in any measurable way. In fact, new affordable housing development can actually increase property values in the area. Affordable housing can also easily be designed to fit the community it is built in, and Monument View consists of seven small, energy-efficient duplexes and flats in a neighborhood arrangement that smoothly blends with the surrounding structures.

Monument View Apartments will serve both low and moderate-income Vermont households. The 20 apartments directly funded by VHFA-awarded tax credits are targeted to Vermonters earning 50 to 60 percent of the area median income, or $36,800 to $44,160 for a family of four, with rents capped accordingly. In most subsidized developments, any non-tax credit-funded apartments are rented at market rate. However, due to the availability of funding from Vermont’s Housing for All Revenue Bond issued through VHFA, the remaining four apartments are available for moderate-income Vermonters earning 80-120 percent of median income, or $58,900 to $88,320 for a four-person family.

The $7.3 million project received $525,000 in federal housing tax credits awarded by VHFA.  The tax credits were purchased by TD Bank, raising an estimated total of $4.6 million in equity for construction. This project also received funding from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB), the Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP), and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) HOME program.

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