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VHFA News

By: Mia Watson on 5/28/2019

Newly released data from the 2019 Point-in-Time Count showed 1,089 people experiencing homelessness in Vermont on a single evening this winter, which represents a 16 percent decrease from last year. However, the number of chronically homeless Vermonters increased substantially from 2018 to 2019, prompting concerns that existing services may be inadequate to support homeless households.

The data comes from the Point-in-Time (PIT) Count on January 23rd conducted by the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness and the Chittenden County Homeless Alliance. The annual survey attempts to count homeless individuals and families, including people in shelters, transitional housing, hotel rooms purchased using public funding or living outdoors. It does not count those at risk of homelessness or temporarily living with friends or family. Although the PIT count is the one of the best sources available, it inevitably underrepresents the total extent of homelessness in our state. In 2017, the total number of homeless individuals who received services throughout the calendar year was roughly three times the number counted in the PIT count.

There were many signs of progress in the 2019 PIT results, with a decrease from 2018 in the number of homeless children, families, veterans and households fleeing domestic violence. At the same time, the number of both chronically homeless households grew from 152 to 170 and the number of unsheltered households increased from 63 to 102. Chronic homelessness describes people who have experienced homelessness for at least a year while struggling with conditions including serious mental illness, substance use disorder, or physical disability.

Permanent supportive housing, which pairs affordable housing with case management and supportive services, is essential for addressing chronic homelessness. The number of new apartments built to provide permanent supportive housing has been increasing in Vermont over the past several years, but funding for supportive services has not kept pace. Since 2012, Vermont has missed out on approximately $1.4 million in rental assistance for homeless and at-risk households, due to the inability to match households with local service providers, many of whom lack the capacity to serve additional households.

Completely ending homelessness in our communities will require increased investment in social services to support vulnerable, high-needs households.

 

 

By: Mia Watson on 5/22/2019

Vermont’s population has grown by just 0.1 percent since 2010, with a net increase of 555 people, according to the latest Census Bureau estimates. Vermont had the 48th smallest population increase among states in the nation, both in absolute numbers and percent increase.

Some Vermont counties have experienced steady growth over the last few years and are likely to continue growing. However, the U.S. is currently experiencing its lowest rate of growth since 1937, the result of declining birth rates and an aging population. By 2035, the Census Bureau estimates that people over the age of 65 will outnumber children for the first time in U.S. history. Going forward, Vermont is likely to experience overall population decline unless it attract residents from outside the state.

Most of the states that have experienced any substantial population growth in recent years are also states that have higher levels of net domestic immigration, with more residents moving into the state than moving out. States in the Southeast and Southwest have tended to gain residents and overall population, while states in the Midwest and Northeast have tended to lose residents and to have very low rates of population increase.

However, many of the states with the highest rates of net domestic out-migration also had the highest per capita rates of international immigration. Some Northeastern states including Vermont, Rhode Island, New Jersey and Connecticut would have had negative or near-negative population growth if not for international migrants. Increasing racial diversity also helped these states, which saw losses in their non-Hispanic white populations but modest gains among minority populations.

Vermont can grow by attracting immigrants or residents of other states, and by increasing its racial diversity. This will require greater investment in services for New Americans, as well as affordable housing, childcare, and job opportunities for everyone.


By: Mia Watson on 5/15/2019

VHFA is seeking applicants for two immediate job openings: Director of Information Technology and Community Development Underwriter.

The Director of Information Technology is responsible for managing all aspects of the Agency’s Information Technology department and resources, including the network, websites, hardware, and software. VHFA is seeking a proven leader who will act as a strategic advisor to the Agency’s business units and Executive Management team, and an innovative thinker who is able to clearly communicate Agency-wide, and concurrently prioritize and manage large and small projects involving IT and/or software implementation. This position is also responsible for the design and testing of the Agency’s IT disaster recovery process, maintaining effective working relationships with Agency partners regarding technology and the identification and selection of IT vendors and consultants whose contributions would benefit VHFA’s operations.

The Community Development Underwriter is responsible for comprehensive underwriting and analysis of prospective multifamily housing and single-family developments being considered for VHFA financing, tax credits and special initiatives. The position will underwrite and analyze Housing Credit applications and administer the Federal and State Housing Credit Programs. This position administers real estate development programs in coordination with the Managing Director of Community Development and actively participates in initiating and conducting outreach to the development community and partners. This person will assist in the development of policies and procedures, will administer programs in accordance with all applicable federal regulations, VHFA statutory requirements and Community Development rules and underwriting guidelines, and will manage loan requisitions. Finally, this position is responsible for maintaining and submitting requisite reporting and tracking project performance.

Named a “Best Small Place to Work in Vermont” for the past three years in a row, VHFA offers a competitive salary and an excellent benefits package. The full description for both positions and a summary of benefits are available at www.vhfa.org/careers. Please send cover letter, resume and references to HR@vhfa.org by Friday, June 14, 2019.

VHFA is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to a diverse workplace. We highly encourage women, persons with disabilities, and people from diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds to apply.

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By: Mia Watson on 5/10/2019

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

There are vacancies in 88 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: Hawk's Meadow Apartments in Essex

 

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 2 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
Alburgh Family Housing 2 Carle Street; 4 North Main Street and 6 North Main Street Alburgh 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 3 0
Avenue Apartments 1201 North Avenue Burlington 1 0
Barre Street Apartments 39-40 Barre Street Montpelier 3 0
Bemis Block Housing 41 South Main Street Hardwick 1 1
Ben South 120-126 Benmont Avenue and 501-507 South Street Bennington 3 0
Bennington Historic 50 & 100 Carrigan Lane, 316-318 Safford Street, 233 School Street and 119-121 Pleasant Street Bennington 5 0
Benson Heights 2747 Stage Road Benson 1 1
Black River Overlook 146, 147 & 161 Rublee Lane Ludlow 3 0
Bobbin Mill Apartments 234 South Champlain Street and 235 Pine Street Burlington 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
BRHIP 62-68 North Champlain; 42, 84 North Street; 47-49 Archibald Street; 86 Oak Street; 68 Cottage Grove; 189, 191 & 193-197 Pine Street; 52 & 52 1/2 Hyde Street; 23 Front Street; 16 North Avenue; 95 Grant Street and 59 North Union Street Burlington 4 0
Briars, The 647 Bugbee Street Hartford 3 0
Bridge & Main 27 North Main Street Hartford 1 0
Bright Street Bright Street Burlington 1 0
Bristol Family Housing 2066 - 2070 Hunt Farm Road. Bristol 2 0
Bromur Apartments 2 - 8 & 1 - 21 Bromur Street Barre City 1 0
Brookside I 5 Victoria Lane St. Albans Town 5 0
Brookside Village Housing Morehouse Drive Colchester 2 0
Brookview Apartments Bugbee Road Hartford 2 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
Callahan HLP 44 Front St, 33 & 132 North St and 163, 171-173 & 177 Intervale Ave Burlington 3 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
Colonial Village 59 & 63 S Pleasant St and 94 & 128 S Main St Bradford 1 2
Columbian Avenue Apartments 194 & 196 Columbian Avenue Rutland City 2 0
Congress & Park 95 Park Street and 23 Clark Street Morristown 1 0
Cora B. Whitney 814 Gage Street Bennington 1 1
Courtyard, The 120 East Spring Street Winooski 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
ECHO Housing 211 Park Street; 75-77 North & 136 Park Street; 117 Archibald Street; 16-18 1/2 Decatur Street; 58 North Champlain Street; 257 & 259 North Winooski Avenue; 84 North Avenue and 21-23 North Champlain Street Burlington 1 0
Falcon Manor 104 Falcon Manor Williston 4 4
French Block Apartments 34 Main St Montpelier 1 0
Good Neighbors 81 Elm St Barre City 1 0
Green Mountain Seminary 201 Hollow Rd Waterbury 1 0
Hawk's Meadow Apartments 17 Carmichael Street Essex 1 0
Hawk's Nest 110 Hawks Nest St. Albans Town 1 1
Hebert Farm Apartments 21 & 23 Hebert Road Montpelier 1 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
Island Pond 19 Walnut Street, 190 Derby Street, 74 Mountain Street, 84 Elm Street Brighton 2 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 2 2
Manchester Knoll 35 - 83 Torrey Knoll Manchester 5 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 5 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
River Station Apartments 191 Barre Street Montpelier 3 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
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 1 0
West River Valley - Assisted Living 461 Grafton Road Townshend 2 0
West River Valley - Independent Living 451 Grafton Road Townshend 2 0
Wheeler Brook Apartments 19, 31 & 71 Wheeler Brook Drive Warren 2 0
By: Leslie Black-Plumeau on 5/1/2019

A recent study illustrates how new market-rate housing construction in one part of town, especially in markets with low vacancy rates, improves housing affordability for lower income residents in other parts.  This occurs because newly built homes and low-income neighborhoods are connected to each other via a complex housing ecosystem, according to economist Evan Mast’s recent study for the Upjohn Institute.  Through address matching, Mast traced the chain of moves triggered when new homes are purchased.  

This concept is similar to a game of musical chairs, noted one reviewer:

"We all know the old child’s game musical chairs, where children circle a group of chairs (where there’s one less chair than children). The kids constantly move while the music plays.  But when the music stops, everyone has to sit down. Whoever doesn’t find a seat and is left standing is removed from the game.  Tight housing markets are like that: if there aren’t enough houses (chairs) someone ends up on the outside looking in, and in markets it’s not the slowest kid, but the poorest household."

Many Vermont communities have very low vacancy rates. The rental vacancy rate in Chittenden County was 2.8 percent as of 2017, while healthy housing markets have vacancy rates closer to 5 percent. When vacancy rates are low, homebuyers and renters must compete for a limited number of homes, allowing sellers and landlords to charge higher prices. 

Low vacancy rates are driven by an insufficient housing stock relative to the area population. Vermont and most of its communities have witnessed a dramatic decrease in residential construction since 1980.  Since 2010, the state’s housing stock has increased by a mere 0.16 percent each year.   

Check out your town’s rate of home building on the Vermont Housing Data website’s community profiles.

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