Will Create and Rehabilitate 389 Homes Across the State
Vermont Business Magazine At meetings on June 23 and July 8, the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board committed $31,447,000 in state funding and $22,364,574 in federal funds to preserve, rehabilitate and create homes and to expand shelter capacity. A total of 389 homes will be created, with 221 reserved for previously homeless households and those at risk of homelessness.
Executive Director Gus Seelig said, “In response to unprecedented need and rising prices, VHCB will invest supplemental state housing funds appropriated by the Vermont legislature and federal housing and recovery funds to create and rehabilitate 288 apartments, 50 shelter beds, and 51 homeownership opportunities in communities around the state, both for households experiencing homelessness that have been living in motels during the pandemic and for moderate-income Vermonters struggling to find housing they can afford.”
“We know building more housing, including housing that supports those experiencing homelessness, is one of Vermont’s largest challenges,” said Governor Scott. “That’s why my Administration has proposed and supported the largest housing investment in Vermont history. Working with the Legislature, VHCB and housing partners across the state, we are starting to see the progress of these investments. But to truly emerge from this pandemic better than before, we must do more to address our housing shortage and I call on everyone to work together to reduce the costs, regulations, permitting and barriers that remain to build the housing we need.”
In response to homelessness related to the COVID-19 public health emergency and an underlying shortage of affordable homes, VHCB was appropriated supplemental state funding and federal funds from the American Rescue Plan Act. VHCB is accepting applications and will make additional awards to housing developments in the coming months. Information available at https://www.vhcb.org/our-programs/housing/arpa-sfr
Berlin - Fox Run Apartments – 30 new homes to be developed by Downstreet Housing & Community Development and Evernorth to be located in the proposed New Town Center adjacent to the Berlin mall. Six apartments with rental assistance will be leased to previously homeless families.
The Good Samaritan Haven, Central Vermont’s service provider for households experiencing homelessness, will acquire the Twin City Motel on the Barre-Montpelier Road, creating a 35-bed emergency shelter with administrative offices and support services. Rehabilitation to be managed by Downstreet Housing & Community Development. Expected occupancy beginning late fall; full occupancy anticipated by January 2022.
Stowe and Morrisville – 14 apartments in three buildings on Maple Street in Stowe and two apartments in a historic building on Hutchins Street in downtown Morrisville will be acquired and rehabilitated by the Lamoille Housing Partnership and Evernorth. Six homes to be leased to households experiencing or at risk of homelessness; the other apartments will be rented to low- and moderate-income households.
St. Johnsbury - RuralEdge will purchase and rehabilitate two vacant buildings, the historic jail and the jail keeper’s house, on Cherry Street, creating nine new apartments to be leased to households currently residing in hotels. An on-site office for support services will serve the Cherry Street Hotel and two other properties on Pearl Street owned by RuralEdge.
Rutland –The Housing Trust of Rutland County and Evernorth will rehabilitate 13 apartments at the historic Tuttle Block on Center Street and replace office space there with three new apartments. The three new apartments will be leased to households experiencing or at risk of homelessness. All 16 apartments will have rental subsidies.
Shelburne - At Harbor Place, the Champlain Housing Trust will convert 20 motel-style units in two buildings to create permanent apartments with support services for previously homeless individuals and households. They will also purchase and rehabilitate another motel, providing an additional 58 rooms with support services.
Williston – The Champlain Housing Trust will purchase a motel and convert it to create 38 homes for formerly homeless households with support services and an on-site project manager, and 33 permanent apartments for low- and moderate-income families
South Burlington - Two buildings at the Ho Hum Motel on Williston Road will be converted to provide 20 permanent homes for formerly homeless households. The motel was purchased by the Champlain Housing Trust last year and has been serving as an isolation facility during COVID-19 in coordination with the Agency of Human Services.
Barre – Downstreet Housing & Community Development will convert and lease the former Phoenix House to the Good Samaritan Haven, providing 15 shelter beds for homeless or at-risk individuals preparing to transition to permanent housing. Comprehensive support services will be provided by 24-hour staffing.
Colchester – The Champlain Housing Trust and Evernorth will create 60 new apartments in three vacant historic buildings at Fort Ethan Allen, an established, residential area close to services, employment, schools, shops, and parks, served by public transportation. 10th Calvary Apartments is the redevelopment of former army barracks that housed a regiment of Buffalo Soldiers in the early 1900s. Eleven apartments with supportive services will be leased to homeless households or households at risk of homelessness.
Statewide – The Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL) will make accessibility modifications to approximately 83 homes occupied by individuals with physical disabilities, adding wheelchair ramps and making bathroom modifications to allow individuals to live independently and stay in their homes.
The board set aside $1.2 million to develop programs in consultation with stakeholders to create and rehabilitate farmworker housing such as a revolving loan repair program and a housing replacement program to include energy efficient modular housing.
Moderate-income households will benefit from $3.4 million committed to provide purchase subsidies to approximately 51 homebuyers. The subsidies maintain permanent affordability for the homes, which can be resold over time to income-eligible buyers with the original subsidy intact.
In addition to supporting land conservation, historic preservation and the creation and preservation of affordable housing, VHCB also operates the Vermont Farm & Forest Viability Program, Healthy and Lead-Safe Homes, and VHCB AmeriCorps Programs. To learn more, visit vhcb.org
Source: VHCB 7.14.2021