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By: Mia Watson on 10/28/2019

VHFA honored Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Tom Connors and Information Technology (IT) Director Rick Jean for their many years of service as they retire from the Agency this month.

Tom Connors served as VHFA’s CFO since 2006. Prior that, he worked at Trak Sports USA and IDX. In addition to his work at VHFA, Connors has served on the Boards of the Energy Co-op of Vermont and ReSource, and has taught courses on finance and accounting at Champlain College and Community College of Vermont. He is a graduate of Saint Michael’s College and Bentley University.

From his start as Project Planner/Application Specialist in 1999, Rick Jean has led VHFA’s IT Department through countless upgrades, conversions and new releases, effectively managing his team and IT resources to meet the ever-changing needs of the Agency. Jean previously worked as the Director of IT for the American Red Cross and is retired from the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves. He is a graduate of the State University of New York (Nassau) and completed continuing education courses at the University of Vermont.

“Tom and Rick’s skills, dedication, and leadership have been essential to the Agency’s success for over a decade,” remarked VHFA Executive Director Maura Collins. “We have been incredibly lucky to have them on our staff and wish them the best as they enjoy their well-deserved retirements.”

Although VHFA will greatly miss Connors and Jean, the Agency will be in good hands under the leadership of Chris Flannery, the new CFO, and Dave Chien, the new IT Director.

By: Mia Watson on 10/18/2019

The State of Vermont’s Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is inviting the public to complete a survey on community needs to inform its upcoming HUD Consolidated Plan. 

The 5-year HUD Consolidated Plan outlines priorities for over $10 million in funding that Vermont will use for affordable housing and community development from 2020 through 2024. DHCD's survey asks for input on local needs for public facilities, job creation, housing and homelessness, which will be incorporated into the plan. 

The survey, and more information on opportunities for public participation, are available on DHCD's website


By: Mia Watson on 10/16/2019

New England Resident Service Coordinators Inc. (NERSC) is calling for nominations for its annual Excellence in Service Award. The award recognizes outstanding achievement and extraordinary performance among Resident Service Coordinators, housing management companies and others working in the field of housing services throughout New England.

Nominations can be made for either individuals or groups that have displayed visionary thinking and successfully implemented programs or modified the way they perform service coordination to better meet the future needs of their residents. Instructions on how to submit a nomination are available on NERSC's website.

Nominations must be received by December 15, 2019.

By: Mia Watson on 10/14/2019

Executive Director Maura Collins announced that Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) has selected Eric Hoffman of Essex Junction as its new Manager of Business Development – Homeownership.

Hoffman comes to VHFA from Champlain Housing Trust, where he served the community for more than five years as a Home Education Counselor helping Vermonters gain access to safe and affordable housing. He holds a law degree from Golden Gate University School of Law in San Francisco. Hoffman briefly practiced real estate law in Vermont before entering the non-profit sector. He currently holds a part-time professorship at Champlain College where he teaches real estate law.

“VHFA’s team is filled with people passionate about our mission and so we’re thrilled to find a candidate with such extensive knowledge of affordable homeownership,” Collins remarked. “Eric’s experience and his familiarity with our partners will be a great addition to our Homeownership team.”

As Manager of Business Development, Hoffman will develop and promote Homeownership loan programs and services, working closely with VHFA’s network of participating lenders, real estate professionals, home building organizations, consumers and other state housing partners.

By: Mia Watson on 10/10/2019

VHFA Executive Director Maura Collins joined Lieutenant Governor Dave Zuckerman, Mayor Miro Weinberger, affordable housing advocates, and future residents at a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Monday at Laurentide Apartments in Burlington. The new building, developed by Champlain Housing Trust and Housing Vermont, offers 76 apartments including 52 affordable apartments for low and moderate income households. The project received the majority of its funding from federal tax credits and loans awarded by VHFA.  

Laurentide Apartments is one of the first buildings to be completed at the new Cambrian Rise neighborhood off North Avenue overlooking the shores of Lake Champlain. Just two weeks ago, VHFA celebrated the start of construction at neighboring Juniper House. In total, the Cambrian Rise development will create over 800 new homes for both renters and homebuyers at a wide range of income levels. The new neighborhood is an important addition to Burlington’s tight housing market, which has a very low rental vacancy rate of just 1.5% and high rents.

"We're able to not just cut a ribbon on 76 apartments today, but also know that we're doing so much more with that investment and with this land," remarked Maura Collins.

Laurentide Apartments will serve a variety of income levels, ranging from 12 apartments for households who are transitioning out of homelessness to 24 apartments rented at market rates. According to Champlain Housing Trust, rents will range from $713 to $1,100 per month for a 1-bedroom apartment, $852 to $1,397 per month for a 2-bedroom apartment and $1,193 to $1,630 per month for a 3-bedroom apartment, with additional rental assistance available for the lowest-income households.

The $20 million project received $1,380,000 in federal housing tax credits awarded by VHFA.  The tax credits were purchased by People’s United Bank, raising an estimated total of $12.4 million in equity for construction. The project also received a $4.1 million loan from VHFA. Other funders included Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) HOME program, the National Housing Trust Fund (NHFT), the Burlington Housing Trust Fund and Neighborworks.

Laurentide and Juniper House are just two of several project groundbreakings and ribbon-cutting events taking place this month and next month. VHFA staff also recently attended a groundbreaking ceremony at Lake Paran Village in Shaftsbury with Shires Housing and a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Casavant Overlook in Winooski with Summit Properties.

Photo courtesy of Champlain Housing Trust