Taylor Street housing and transit center construction begins

By: Mia Watson

Senator Patrick Leahy joined Governor Phil Scott, VHFA Deputy Director Maura Collins, and many supporters in Montpelier on Tuesday to celebrate the groundbreaking of the 1 Taylor Street affordable housing project. The project, sponsored by Housing Vermont and Downstreet Housing & Community Development, will create 19 affordable apartments for low-income Vermonters as part of a 30 unit development incorporating a new city transit center. The project was funded in part by tax credits and a loan awarded by VHFA.

“[The project] addresses critical transportation and housing needs while setting the stage for new private investments in our capital city’s town,” remarked Senator Leahy. “Vermont’s future requires that we increase the vibrancy and livability of our downtown and village centers and this project does that in a big way.

This innovative project reflects the growing trend in affordable housing towards transit-oriented development. The bottom floor of 1 Taylor Street will contain Greyhound and Green Mountain Transit bus stops with an indoor waiting area. The site itself is located next to the Montpelier recreation path and is close to downtown stores and services. Research has shown that households that spend less on rent often end up spending a greater percentage of their income on transportation due to the greater distance of their housing from workplaces and services. Transit-oriented projects like Taylor Street can help reduce the overall cost-burden for low-income renters.

Among the funding for the project were $450,000 in federal housing credits awarded by VHFA, which were then sold to investors to raise an estimated $4 million in equity for construction. VHFA also awarded the project a $500,000 permanent loan. In total, the $7.6 million project received over half of its funding from VHFA. Other funding partners included the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and the Vermont Community Development Program.