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By: Leslie Black-Plumeau on 8/14/2019

Roughly 9,000 Vermont senior households receive some form of financial rental help compared to 8,000 younger households, according to a report recently completed by VHFA on the distribution of rental subsidies by age group.

As the allocating agency for scarce federal and state funds for developing affordable rental housing, VHFA conducted an analysis comparing Vermont seniors’ access to subsidized rental housing to that of younger Vermonters.  The report estimates that nearly 50% of income-eligible Vermont renter households aged 55 and up are currently accessing some form of federal- or state-provided rental support, relative to 30% among younger households.  

Housing assistance is provided to low-income Vermont renters in several ways. The most common way is via an apartment with below market rate rent developed through a public program, such as the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit or HUD’s Public Housing program.

About half of the apartments already developed through these programs are restricted to seniors and the other half are available to Vermonters of any age.  VHFA conducted this study in part to assess how many additional apartments made affordable through public subsides should be available exclusively to seniors (rather than to renters of all ages). 

Housing vouchers are another type of assistance that can be used by seniors and non-seniors in a variety of types of rental housing.

The number of seniors living in Vermont is increasing each year and likely to peak in 2030.  Between now and then, approximately 3,000 low-income renter households are likely to age from the non-senior to senior population group. However, the total number of all low-income renters is not expected to increase during this time. Despite the modest increase in senior households, it is unlikely that demand for affordable apartments restricted to seniors will outweigh demand for apartments available to Vermonters of all ages.


By: Mia Watson on 8/12/2019

Executive Director Maura Collins announced that Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) has hired Dave Chien of Williston as its new Director of Information Technology (IT).

Chien comes to VHFA from Vermont Legal Aid, where he worked for the past 12 years, most recently as their Senior IT Administrator. He is a graduate of Stony Brook University and the University of Buffalo.

 “We selected Dave from a pool of over 150 applicants for this position,” Collins remarked. “Dave’s experience in nonprofit IT will be a valuable asset to the Agency as we pursue new initiatives.”

In his role as IT Director, Chien will manage all aspects of the Agency’s technology resources, including the network, websites, hardware, and software, as well as improving VHFA’s technology processes and procedures.

VHFA is a non-profit agency created in 1974 by the Vermont Legislature to finance and promote affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Since its inception, the Agency has helped approximately 29,000 Vermont households with affordable mortgages and financed the development of approximately 8,800 affordable rental apartments.

By: Mia Watson on 8/8/2019

VHFA recently began partnering with CarShare Vermont to offer its staff access to shared vehicles for business travel. This initiative will allow the Agency to reduce its carbon footprint while making travel more convenient and more affordable for its staff.

VHFA has long encouraged housing development in downtown, walkable areas, with the goal of connecting Vermont renters with jobs, schools and amenities, reducing reliance on cars and decreasing harmful emissions. However, going without a personal vehicle in Vermont can be challenging. Even if Vermonters are able to go without a car or reduce the number of cars in their household, it is often necessary to travel to rural areas that don’t have robust public transportation.

Car sharing services can help bridge these gaps. VHFA serves the entire state of Vermont, and its staff travel hundreds of miles each year to inspect rental housing for compliance, visit construction sites, attend public meetings and offer homebuyer information seminars. The Agency wanted to make it possible for its staff to do this vital work without having to rely on a personal vehicle to travel to Vermont’s far-flung cities and towns.

With the Agency’s partnership with CarShare Vermont, VHFA employees can now bike or take the bus to work in the morning, then take a car to business meetings. As part of its business membership, VHFA staff also have access to personal memberships at no additional cost. Vehicles come equipped with gas cards and free roadside assistance.

The car sharing initiative is one of several VHFA efforts to promote sustainability and employee wellness, including covering the cost of bus passes, comprehensive recycling and composting, on-site bicycle repair clinics, LED lighting and energy efficiancy updates to the building, and reducing printing and paper use.

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).