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Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on October 9, 2017 - 10:09am

Caño Martín Peña, a sister community land trust to Vermont's own Champlain Housing Trust, needs our help to rebuild the homes it operates for 26,000 lower income San Juan residents. 

September's hurricanes have left these homes partly or completely destroyed. Donations will be used to buy construction materials and replace furniture and goods for those who have lost everything.

The Caño residents won last year's United Nations / BSHF World Habitat Award for their Community Land Trust -- joining the Champlain Housing Trust as a past award recipient.


Posted by: Will White on October 5, 2017 - 10:01am

One closing cost that is required by the State of Vermont is the Vermont Property Transfer Tax. It is applied any time the deed of a Vermont property is transferred to a new owner, yet is hardly mentioned on any of the websites that breakdown Vermont closing costs. Here are a couple things you should know about the Vermont Property Transfer Tax.

The homebuyer pays the tax

When a home purchase closes, the home buyer is required to pay, among other closing costs, the Vermont Property Transfer Tax. The buyer is taxed is at a rate of 0.5% of the first $100,000 of the home’s value and 1.45% of the remaining portion of the value. 

Example A: Property Transfer Tax due for a typical $200,000 home


   $500    (First $100,000 of value times 0.5%)


   1,450     (Remaining $100,000 of value times 1.45%)

Tax due



A VHFA-funded loan may reduce the liability

As the Vermont Department of Taxes explains, some transactions may be exempt from the Property Transfer Tax. If you use a VHFA mortgage program to buy your home, you may be able to save up to $825 in property transfer taxes. Participating lenders across the state can provide more information about this.

With VHFA’s mortgage programs, the first $110,000 of the home’s value is exempt from the property transfer tax, and the rate of property transfer tax for the value between $110,000 and $200,000 is 1.25% rather than 1.45%.  Even if the home’s value exceeds $200,000, the reduced tax rates still apply to the value below $200,000.

Example B: Property Transfer Tax due for a typical $200,000 home using a VHFA mortgage


$0             (First $110,000 of value times 0%)


$1,125      (Remaining $90,000 of value times 1.25%)

Tax due



   $825    ($1,950 due in Example A minus $1,125)


Take a look at the programs VHFA offers for information then then find a participating lender near you. Only a VHFA participating lender can pre-qualify you and accept your mortgage application. 

For further information, discuss your situation with your lender and closing attorney.  VHFA is not responsible for determining the amount of tax due or collecting the property transfer tax. 


Posted by: Will White on September 29, 2017 - 4:05pm
Vermont Governor Phil Scott speaks at press conference

Vermont Governor Phil Scott joined legislative and housing leaders in a press conference last week to update the public on the first year progress of the Building Homes Together campaign.


In an effort to increase the availability of affordable homes in Vermont, Champlain Housing Trust teamed up with Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission and Housing Vermont to set a goal of 3,500 new homes within 5 years, with 20% of them being permanently affordable.


Building 3,500 homes in 5 years would require building an average of 700 homes each year. Chittenden County exceeded that goal with 916 new homes last year. This is almost twice the average annual production of homes for the past 5 years. However, only 8% of homes built in 2016 meet the Campaign's threshold of being considered "affordable."

Brenda Torpy, CEO of Champlain Housing Trust, explains that the affordability target wasn’t met because there was not enough capital to fund additional development projects. This comes as no surprise in light of statewide support for the new "Housing For All" program to increase capital investment in affordable housing development.

Charlie Baker, Executive Director of Chittenden County Regional Planning Committee, noted that he personally believes 3,500 new homes in Vermont would not be enough to fully meet the county's need for housing.

Moving forward

There are still expected to be 360 new rentals built in Chittenden County by the end of this year, with 52 of them being affordable. Moreover, various nonprofit organizations have said they would like to start developing 300 more homes at the start of next year.

“[There is] a new bond, an opportunity with $35 million to build more housing and to increase the production that we’ve been able to have. We’re very excited and hope that maybe at this time next year we’ll be able to invite you back and be celebrating that we’ve closed that gap in our need to produce affordable housing and also closing the gap for more workers.” – Brenda Torpy, CEO of Champlain Housing Trust.

Posted by: Victoria Johnson on September 18, 2017 - 2:41pm

The Vermont Resident Services Coordinators (VRSC) invites you to join them on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 for a training workshop.  The workshop will be followed by the VRSC member meeting.  The training workshop and meeting will be held at the historic Royalton Academy Building in Royalton, VT.  

The training workshop will feature Mike Ohler and Faith Crocker on “The Nuts and Bolts of Housing Retention”, a subject that is of keen interest across the spectrum of the congregate housing industry.  Click here for training flyer.



Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on September 11, 2017 - 3:34pm

VHFA invited bids from investors Friday for the "Housing for All" initiative passed by Vermont lawmakers earlier this year.  The proceeds from this financing will be used to create and rehabilitate an estimated 650 rental and owned homes across the state.

"We consistently hear about how widespread the lack of affordable, decent housing is in many parts of Vermont," said Governor Phil Scott. "By leveraging other funds, this investment will help create much-needed homes that are affordable for working Vermonters at the middle and lower end of the wage scale."

Funded through a small portion of Vermont's Property Transfer Tax revenue, the "Housing for All" initiative is the largest single commitment of state funds for housing development in Vermont's history.

"We are delighted to use our experience with housing finance tools and investors to help strengthen the impact of this exciting initiative," remarked VHFA's Executive Director Sarah Carpenter.

In order to reduce the cost of underwriting and public offering fees, this particular financing will only be offered directly to institutional and organizational investors, and not to individual investors. This will help maximize the amount of proceeds produced with $2.5 million annual debt service for 20 years. Bids are due October 2, 2017.  Information about future VHFA bond offerings are posted on our website.

Converting the proceeds from investors into new and rehabilitated housing will be the task of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB).  VHCB has a 30-year history in Vermont of funding and supporting permanently affordable housing created by non-profits, municipalities and other public-private partnerships. VHCB is conducting outreach meetings around the state to explain the application process and solicit project ideas.  

Note: This is a public press release and not an invitation to bid, nor is it an offer to buy or sell securities. 

Pictured:  The Roaring Branch apartments in Bennington exemplify the housing that could be created through the "Housing for All" initiative.  Provided by Vermont Housing Conservation Board.