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By: VHFA on 5/1/2008

statehouseMontpelier Mayor Mary Hooper declared the week of May 18-24 "Montpelier Affordable Housing Week."

The mayor's official declaration recognizes "great leadership" among many interests in working "to increase the number of affordable homes in Montpelier.

"However," it continues, "despite this excellent work to make this city more affordable, there is much work to be done."

Affordable housing week is a "thank you" to Montpelier residents for supporting the Montpelier Housing Trust Fund, and an invitation to celebrate investment in affordable housing close to the downtown area of the capital city.

By: VHFA on 4/30/2008

harvard studyHarvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies has just released "America's Rental Housing: The Key to a Balanced National Policy."

"The damage from today's mortgage foreclosure crisis reaches deep into the rental market," the report states. "With affordability already a long-standing problem, the current housing debacle not only adds to the number of households competing for low-cost rentals and threatens current renters with eviction from their homes, but also increases the costs of financing rental housing construction and preservation.

"Moreover, because many high-risk loans now in default are concentrated in low-income and minority communities, the fallout from foreclosures is hitting the same neighborhoods where many of the nation's most economically vulnerable renters live."

Read the Harvard study.

By: josh on 4/24/2008

green building coverVHFA has just published our Green Building and Design Standards for housing developers.

The standards, which were approved by VHFA's Board of Commissioners on April 7, encourage developers who apply for VHFA financing and Housing Credits to embrace green practices, materials and design in the planning and construction of their buildings.

When looking at "life-cycle" costing (both operating expenses and development costs), green building saves money and energy and reduces the impact on natural resources, while creating healthy, comfortable living environments for tenants.

VHFA's standards, which incorporate Efficiency Vermont's energy standards, emphasize energy efficiency, good indoor air quality, and other features such as native vegetation that reduce the negative environmental impact of development.

The new standards will be implemented on a voluntary basis through October 2009, and are considered in addition to our existing design standards.

The new standards are the result of more than two years' work among VHFA staff, other state housing finance agencies, and local developers and architects. They reflect many common practices in affordable housing development in Vermont, as well as concepts that are new to the Green Mountain State.

We hope affordable housing developers will continue to strive to provide healthy, safe and affordable homes to Vermonters, and that these new standards help.

By: VHFA on 4/21/2008

For several years, the Vermont Housing Council and Vermont Housing Awareness Campaign has published their annual "Between a Rock and a Hard Place: Housing and Wages in Vermont."

The report examines the gap between what Vermonters tend to earn and what they can expect to pay for housing in the Green Mountain State.

The Center for Housing Policy in Washington, D.C., has published its most recent "Paycheck to Paycheck," a study that tackles the same topic for housing markets across the country.

Visit the "Paycheck to Paycheck" site or read MSN Money's story on the topic.

By: VHFA on 4/18/2008

pat lollerVHFA Director of Administration Patricia Loller, PHR was reappointed to the board of the Vermont Human Resources Association.

Pat's been on the board for the past two years, and was reappointed as Society of Human Resource Management liaison for another two-year term.