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VHFA News

By: Mia Watson on 8/6/2019

Do you need an affordable apartment or know someone who does?  

There are vacancies in 83 different apartment complexes across the state, according to the Vermont Directory of Affordable Rental Housing. Learn more about particular units by clicking on the development name below, or by visiting the vacancy profiles on the website.

Pictured:  Manchester Commons Housing

Property Namesort descending Street Address City/Town Vacant Units Apts restricted to elderly and/or tenants with disabilities
137-139 Benmont Neighborhood 137-139 Benmont Avenue Bennington 1 0
14 Birge Street 14 Birge Street Brattleboro 1 0
86 Raymond Street 86 Raymond Street Lyndon 1 0
Abbott Neighborhood Housing 10 & 18 Canal Street; 172 Elliot Street and 12 & 16 Horton Place Brattleboro 1 0
Abenaki Acres Bushey Street Swanton 1 0
Adams House 8 & 10 South Park Place Fair Haven 1 1
Addison Housing Limited Partnership 97 - 101 Main Street Vergennes 1 0
Adele Stanley Apartments Cold River Road Rutland Town 1 0
Alfred Court Apartments 20 Airport Road Fair Haven 3 0
Applegate Apartments Applegate Drive Bennington 13 0
Arlington Village Center Apartments 3658 - 3662 VT Route 7A Arlington 1 1
Bemis Block Housing 41 South Main Street Hardwick 1 1
Ben South 120-126 Benmont Avenue and 501-507 South Street Bennington 1 0
Bennington Historic 50 & 100 Carrigan Lane, 316-318 Safford Street, 233 School Street and 119-121 Pleasant Street Bennington 2 0
Benson Heights 2747 Stage Road Benson 1 1
Black River Overlook 146, 147 & 161 Rublee Lane Ludlow 3 0
Bradford Village Apartments 110, 125 & 142 Meadow Lane Bradford 4 0
Branchwood Housing 17, 19 Pearl Street and 3 Randolph Avenue Randolph 1 0
Briars, The 647 Bugbee Street Hartford 3 0
Bridge & Main 27 North Main Street Hartford 1 0
Bromur Apartments 2 - 8 & 1 - 21 Bromur Street Barre City 2 0
Brookside I 5 Victoria Lane St. Albans Town 5 0
Brookview Apartments Bugbee Road Hartford 2 0
Cabot Commons Senior Housing 36 Glinka Road Cabot 1 0
Caledonia Housing 279 Spring; 380 Portland Street; 139 Pearl Street; 72 High Street; 767 Railroad Street; 211 Winter Street; 78 Hastings Hill; 77 Barker Avenue St. Johnsbury 6 0
Canal Street Veterans Housing 120 West Canal Street Winooski 4 0
Castleton Meadows 148 Castleton Meadows Lane Castleton 1 0
Cathedral Square Senior Living 3 Cathedral Square Burlington 11 11
Church St HLP 84 Church Street Hardwick 1 0
Columbian Avenue Apartments 194 & 196 Columbian Avenue Rutland City 2 0
Cora B. Whitney 814 Gage Street Bennington 1 1
Coventry Senior Housing 10 Covered Bridge Road Coventry 1 0
CPWD Scattered Sites 221 Dorr Drive; 76 Williams Street; 25 Cottage Street and 42 & 44 Pine Street Rutland City 1 0
Crystal Lake Housing 117 High Street; 109 Water Street and 35 Main Street Barton 1 0
Cummings Street Apartments 21-25 Cummings Street Montpelier 2 0
Darling Inn 76 Depot Street Lyndon 1 2
Depot Street 211, 213 & 215 Depot Street Bennington 1 0
Dogwood Glen Dogwood Glen Drive Northfield 6 12
Downstreet Apartments 22 Keith Avenue Barre City 2 0
Downtown Crossing 302 & 304 South Street and 343 - 349 School Street Bennington 1 0
Eagle Crest 129 Eagle Crest Drive Williston 3 3
Evergreen Place 5308 Main Street Waitsfield 2 0
Falcon Manor 104 Falcon Manor Williston 4 4
Green Mountain Seminary 201 Hollow Rd Waterbury 1 0
Hawk's Nest 110 Hawks Nest St. Albans Town 1 1
Hebert Farm Apartments 21 & 23 Hebert Road Montpelier 2 0
Heritage Court 624 York Street Poultney 1 1
Highgate Apartments Highgate Drive Barre City 9 0
Hollister Hill Apartments 42 & 94 Austin Road Marshfield 6 0
Homestead Greene Route 67A Bennington 1 1
Hunt Farm 2066 - 2070 Hunt Farm Road. Bristol 2 0
Island Pond 19 Walnut Street, 190 Derby Street, 74 Mountain Street, 84 Elm Street Brighton 2 0
Jeffersonville Bond - Senior 115 Mann's Meadow Cambridge 1 0
Jeudevine HLP 38 Slapp Hill; and 143 Highland Avenue and 9 South Main St Hardwick 5 0
Keen's Crossing 65 - 85 Winooski Falls Way; 15 Cascade Way and 16 Abenaki Way Winooski 6 0
Lyndon Meadows 121 Commerce Street (Route 122) Lyndon 1 0
Mad River Meadows 144 Butcher House Drive Waitsfield 1 2
Main Street Mill 44 Main Street Richford 1 0
Manchester Commons Housing 119, 120, 135 & 150 Torrey Knoll Manchester 3 0
Manchester Knoll 35 - 83 Torrey Knoll Manchester 3 0
Meadows - Middlebury Cedar Court Middlebury 1 1
Newport Senior Housing 107 & 119 Main Street Newport City 1 0
North Branch Apartments 87 & 89 Elm Street; 6 & 8 Monsignor Crosby Ave and 47 Barre Street Montpelier 3 0
North Pleasant Street 31 & 37 North Pleasant Street, 51, 53 & 56 John Graham Court Middlebury 1 0
Norwich Senior Housing 4 Dorrance Drive Norwich 1 1
Park House 16 Park Row Box 4 Rochester 4 0
Parker House 129 Church Street Rutland City 1 0
Regency Manor Haywood Avenue Rutland City 2 0
River Station Apartments 191 Barre Street Montpelier 1 0
Riverview Apartments 73 Westminster Street Rockingham 1 0
Roaring Branch 132-134, 136-138 & 140-142 Benmont Avenue and 100-111 & 113-115 Roaring Branch Lane Bennington 1 0
Sadawga Springs 9 School Street Whitingham 2 0
Silver Street Apartments 212 Silver Street Bennington 1 0
Southview Apartments 30 Stanley Road Springfield 1 0
Spear House and Spear House Apartments 69 Main Street North Newbury 1 0
Stimson and Graves 12 Stowe St Waterbury 1 0
Taylor Street Apartments 1 Taylor St Montpelier 30 0
Tontine 500 Coolidge Hwy Guilford 1 0
Vermont Arts Apartments - Shaftsbury 10-12 & 14-16 Greenwich Street Shaftsbury 2 0
Waits River Apartments 64, 68, 108, 234, 245 South Main Street; 33 South Pleasant Street and 25 Cobblestone Street Bradford 2 0
Wentworth Community Housing LP 117 Wentworth Way Hartford 2 0
West River Valley - Assisted Living 461 Grafton Road Townshend 1 0
West River Valley - Independent Living 451 Grafton Road Townshend 1 0
By: Mia Watson on 8/2/2019

VHFA Executive Director Maura Collins joined Housing Vermont and Addison County Community Trust (ACCT) in Bristol last week to celebrate the redevelopment of Pleasant Hills. The complex offers 16 affordable one and two bedroom-apartments for seniors in a village setting. The project received the majority of its funding from federal tax credits and loans awarded by VHFA.

Pleasant Hills was first built as affordable housing in 1980. However, after over thirty years of service, the property was in need of updates to improve energy efficiency and accessibility. Housing Vermont acquired the site in 2014 and has partnered with Addison County Community Trust to manage the apartments. Improvements include infrastructure upgrades, weatherization and heating systems replacement and updates to living spaces. Staff from Housing Vermont and ACCT built raised garden beds to hold flowers and vegetables donated by Red Wagon Nursery.

Resident Harvey Hart, Jr., who goes by ‘Junior’, remarked, “I can’t express how it looks around here…It’s lovely and it feels more like home than it ever has.”

All of the apartments receive HUD Section 8 Project Based Assistance, which limits the rent to 30 percent of household income, the federal standard of affordability. In addition, all residents will have access to SASH (Support and Services at Home), a care-coordination program that helps residents live safely, comfortably, and independently. Pleasant Hills is located close to the center of Bristol, with easy access to shopping and other amenities.

Resident Theresa Robidoux said, “This place is a really good home, the best I’ve ever had.”

The $3.3 million project was made possible in part by a generous $290,000 interest-free loan from New England Federal Credit Union that is being administered by VHFA. The project also received $955,500 in equity from federal housing tax credits and a $610,000 permanent loan awarded by VHFA.  The project also received funding from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB), the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) HOME program, and the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Boston’s Affordable Housing Program (AHP).

By: Mia Watson on 7/31/2019

Executive Director Maura Collins announced that Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) has hired Megan Roush of Northfield and Bill Schrecker of Burlington as Development Underwriters.

Roush comes to VHFA from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Rural Development, where she served the past four years as a Vermont Housing Loan Specialist and Public Information Officer. Roush is a graduate of Saint Michael’s College.

Bill Schrecker previously served as Family Shelter Coordinator for the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS). Prior to that, he worked as a research analyst at the Reinvestment Fund, a Philadelphia-based community loan fund. Schrecker is a graduate of Boston College, the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University.

“We are delighted to have found two candidates with such extensive and varied experience in affordable housing,” Collins remarked.

The two underwriters will analyze prospective multifamily and single-family housing developments applying for financing administered by VHFA.  This includes applications for state and federal housing tax credits and VHFA loans to developers building and renovating affordable rental housing and homeownership projects. 

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By: Mia Watson on 7/29/2019

In our increasing complex system of government, housing is one of few policy areas that is still largely decided at the local level. Resident input can have a significant influence on the number and types of homes that are built in a community. However, a study of local governments in Massachusetts reveals that people who participate in planning and zoning meetings often do not match the demographics of their communities as a whole. The study suggests that this lack of representation has contributed to the affordable housing crisis that America is currently facing.

The Massachusetts study, conducted by researchers from the Boston University Initiative on Cities, found that homeowners were considerably more likely to participate in housing-related meetings than renters. Meeting participants were older, were disproportionately men and were disproportionately white compared to the population of the towns that they lived in.

63 percent of meeting participants and public commenters studied opposed housing initiatives, with just 14 percent expressing support while the rest were rated as neutral. White residents were much more likely to oppose new development than other groups. Opponents of new housing often cited raise traffic, environmental and public safety concerns, while supporters highlighted housing affordability issues.

Affordable housing tended to be much more popular among actual voters than meeting participants. 56 percent of Massachusetts voters supported a statewide ballot referendum measure promoting affordable housing, and the measure received majority support in 65 percent of the communities examined in the study. However, it is important to note that voting participation itself tends to be non-representative, especially in local elections, with voters more likely to be higher-income, older and White than non-voters.

Simply put, the very people who are most likely to support and who would most benefit from affordable housing, including renter and low-income households, are missing from the debate. The authors of the Massachusetts study link this tendency to the severe lack of new housing and correspondingly high home prices in most areas of country. 

As Vermont attempts to address its own affordable housing crisis through initiatives like the Zoning for Great Neighborhoods project, its cities and towns will need to harness greater community support for regulatory and land use changes. The authors of this study urge local governments to carefully consider how much meeting participants should influence the development of housing policy and make more of an effort to engage residents who are less likely to attend meetings. At the same time, they also advise municipalities to remove at least some aspects of housing development from public meetings by expanding the types of development that are permitted by right.

By: Mia Watson on 7/25/2019

The Vermont Balance of State Continuum of Care (VT BoS CoC) is now accepting proposals for new or renewed projects to be funded by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD) as part of the FFY2019 CoC Program Notice of Funding Availability. 

Projects should address local housing and services needs in the Vermont BoS CoC geographic area (all counties in Vermont, except Chittenden County), with a priority to serve vulnerable populations including individuals and families experiencing chronic homelessness, persons fleeing domestic violence, youth and young adults, families with children under 18, and veterans. Any and all eligible entities, including those that do not currently receive CoC Program funds, are encouraged to apply. There is approximately $4 million in total funding available.

Detailed instructions and application materials are available on The Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness website.  The deadline to submit proposals is Friday, August 16.

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