Sanders announces $3 million in federal funds for Vermont housing

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Sanders announces $3 million in federal funds for Vermont housing

Fri, 06/16/2017 - 8:13am -- tim

Vermont Business Magazine US Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) announced Thursday that Vermont will receive $3 million from the National Housing Trust Fund. The funds will be used to build, preserve, and rehabilitate affordable rental housing. Sanders helped lead a 15-year effort to pass and fund the National Housing Trust Fund. Last year, the first year of the new program, Vermont was also awarded $3 million to help provide housing for extremely low-income families.

“Increasing the availability of affordable housing in Vermont has consistently been one of my top priorities,” Sanders said. “After more than 15 years of fighting for the National Housing Trust Fund, I am very pleased to see all 50 states receive funds to provide housing for people who are most in need. I am pleased that, once again, Vermont will receive $3 million from the National Housing Trust Fund.”

According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition, more than 8.1 million low-income households spend more than half of their income on rent and utilities.

“Affordable housing is essential. When you spend half of your money on rent, that leaves very little for other necessities such as food and medicine,” Sanders said.

Sanders first introduced legislation to create the National Housing Trust Fund in 2001, based on the success of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Trust Fund.  The National Housing Trust Fund is administered by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is funded through a small percentage of profits made by government-sponsored agencies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Gus Seelig, executive director of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, praised Sanders for his “steadfast commitment and leadership” in Congress to create the National Housing Trust Fund.

“The National Housing Trust Fund focuses on the most at risk and lowest income of our citizens. These households have the most difficulty finding homes they can afford,” Seelig said.

This first year’s allocation, Seelig said, will support seven developments with more than 140 apartments in Burlington, Brattleboro, Randolph, Rutland, Poultney, and Marshfield. This program will ensure both the completion of all of those developments and provides assurance that 22 extremely low-income families will have homes in those neighborhoods. VBM vermontbiz.com

Source: BURLINGTON, Vt., June 15, 2017 – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders