VHFA awards state tax credits for affordable homeownership development

By: Mia Watson

Last week the VHFA Board of Commissioners awarded state housing tax credits for five affordable homeownership development projects. In total, VHFA allocates $1,075,000 in state housing tax credits each year, $425,000 of which was awarded last week for affordable homeownership development. Once sold to investors, those credits will yield approximately $1.9 million in equity for construction.

Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) will develop four of the homeownership projects, including two in Burlington’s Old North End. At 225 Elmwood Avenue, CHT will partner with Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity to build a new 3-bedroom single family home to replace a home previously damaged by a severe fire. CHT will also rehabilitate an existing duplex on Bright Street into a single family home. Renovations will include layout redesign, energy efficiency upgrades, new flooring, and a new kitchen.

Champlain Housing Trust and Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity will also partner on a new project on Hinesburg Road in South Burlington. The project will replace a home that was demolished due to poor condition with new a fourplex with 3-bedroom homes. The townhouses will be sold to moderate-income Vermont families at a net price of $140,000, far below the town median price of $330,000. The homeowners will form their own condominium association.

Champlain Housing Trust will build 16 townhouses and 8 flats on Malletts Bay Avenue in Winooski. The land, which will be donated by the City of Winooski, is also home to the O’Brien community center and the Winooski Memorial Library. All 24 homes will have 3 bedrooms. CHT anticipates selling the homes $161,000 to moderate income families. A large portion of the down payment assistance provided to the buyers of these homes will be through the federal New Market Tax Credits (NMTC) program. This project will be the first homeownership NMTC development in Vermont.

The Board also awarded state housing tax credits for eight affordable townhouses at East Branch Farms in Manchester. East Branch is a longstanding 20-home project that began under a private developer and was eventually taken over by Shires Housing. This round of state tax credits will support the final phase of the project.

Homes receiving tax credits will retain their affordability for future buyers should the owners sell the home in the future.

State tax credits will also fund approximately 33 new mobile homes across the state. Champlain Housing Trust’s statewide Mobile Home Down Payment (MHDP) Loan Program will replace older units with new, energy-efficient homes. 195 households have been served by the program since 2012. 

Pictured: Rendering of Mallets Bay Avenue homes. Courtesy of Champlain Housing Trust