By: Chad Simmons

Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) is seeking an organization or consortium to design a housing development technical assistance (TA) program for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) seeking to develop housing in Vermont. VHFA is providing up to $15,000 for a contractor or consortium to design a TA program that could be operationalized in 2024. The initial funding is essentially a planning grant to develop programming components. Once the program is designed, additional funding will be made available to launch and offer the programming for BIPOC individual and BIPOC owned entities.   

Grove Impact report

GROVE Impact, a national collective foundation, issued a report on the barriers restraining diversity in real estate and community development. The report includes a database that tracks Black and Hispanic Developers across the nation. Vermont is identified as a state with a severe underrepresentation of developers of color, with an estimated market potential to add 11 new firms if capital, technical, and system barriers are reduced. Vermont is increasingly an outlier in not having formal developer initiatives focused on increasing diversity within the community development field.  

Technical Assistance is a powerful tool for helping historically marginalized individuals and owned or led organizations in navigating housing and community development resources, permitting, and technical environments. The successful respondent to this funding opportunity will help Vermont’s community development systems take critical next steps to establish the framework, structure, and identify all components of a developer TA program.  

VHFA will host a public session on Wednesday, January 10th for interested parties. The session will include an opportunity to connect with other individuals and organizations who would be part of a combined application using a consortium approach. To register for the online session, click here.  

Responses to the Request for Proposals (RFP) are due by February 8th with an expected award date of February 20th.  

A full description of the program goals and instructions on how to apply is available here. 

Questions about the scope of work and other aspects of the RFP may be directed to Seth Leonard, Managing Director of Community Development, VHFA, [email protected]