Housing Projects Advance with Vermont Housing & Conservation Board Support

Housing Projects Advance with Vermont Housing & Conservation Board Support

At its January meeting, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board approved funding support for a diverse mix of projects that address a variety of high-priority housing needs throughout the state. The funding awarded will enable new opportunities for single-family home-ownership, an increase in the state’s permanently affordable apartment stock and energy efficient mobile home rentals, access to shelter, housing and services for people experiencing homelessness, and the expansion of supportive housing for individuals facing mental health challenges.

“There is no one solution that will fix our current housing crisis,” said VHCB Executive Director Gus Seelig. “To be successful, we need to think outside the box and approach these challenges from all angles. We’re excited about the creativity and energy our partners bring to these efforts.”

The Board committed a total of $5,080,000 to Downstreet Housing & Community Development (Downstreet) to develop a mixed income community in Montpelier’s growth center. The community will include four new high-efficiency single family homes that will be permanently affordable through the organization’s shared equity program. Downstreet also plans to rehabilitate a historic building to create 24 service-supportive rental apartments. 

Other projects supported a range of housing types, and two conservation projects received funding.

Homeownership

The Board committed $775,000 to allow Addison Housing Works (AHW) to provide down-payment assistance on six new construction single-family homes that are part of a real estate development project in Middlebury. Summit Development LLC (Summit), a private developer, is in the early phases of building more than 200 housing units in Middlebury, which will include both rental and homeownership. Summit plans to set aside six of the homeownership units for shared-equity buyers, who will receive down-payment assistance through AHW in exchange for limited equity upon resale.

RuralEdge was awarded $1.2 million to build 24 new condominium units, of which 12 would have shared equity restrictions and VHCB funding, in a former Catholic school in Newport. This condominium project will be developed in conjunction with new rental units, which the Board previously funded in September of 2022, on the same parcel of land. Acquisition of the parcel and the start of construction are anticipated to occur in spring of 2024, and the homeownership units will be completed and ready for sale by the summer of 2025.

Manufactured Home Communities

The Housing Foundation, Inc. (HFI) was awarded $3.5 million to implement the third phase of a Mobile Home Infill initiative. These funds will enable the placement of 16 zero-energy ready mobile homes on existing vacant lots in seven of HFI’s mobile home communities throughout the state, with sites in Colchester, Milton, Braintree, Clarendon, Springfield, Derby, and Bennington.

Rental Housing

The Housing Trust of Rutland County (HTRC) was awarded $2.7 million to expand a previously funded historic restoration and housing project by adding two locations and 13 new apartments. The combined project now includes 35 rental units, 26 of which are newly created units. Of the 35 units, four are targeted to those experiencing homelessness and who are referred through the local system of coordinated entry; an additional four are reserved for veterans experiencing homelessness, supported by the Veteran Affairs Supportive Housing (VASH) program.

Shelter

Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) was granted $3,365,994 for the acquisition and rehabilitation of the former Champlain Inn in Burlington, which they have renamed Champlain Place. The property, which Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) operates, is a low-barrier emergency shelter that requires capital improvements in order to continue functioning. This funding will allow CHT to address many of the building’s capital needs while preserving important shelter space in Burlington.

Service Supportive Housing

Pathways Vermont (Pathways) was granted $1,141,915 in funding for the acquisition and renovation of a Burlington building to provide Soteria House programming, a therapeutic community transitional home that supports young adults experiencing mental health crises who are at risk of hospitalization. VHCB funding will allow Pathways to increase from five beds to eight beds and provide a permanent site for this programing.

Conservation

Two conservation projects were also awarded funding for the preservation of 96 acres of natural area in Westminster and the restoration of a historic building in Arlington.

SUMMARY OF AWARDS:

Addison County – VHCB committed $775,000 to Addison Housing Works to provide down-payment assistance on six new construction single-family homes that are part of a real estate development project in Middlebury.

Bennington County – $156,261 was awarded to Arlington Arts Enrichment Program for the restoration of the facade on the 1910 Watkins House in Arlington, listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Chittenden County –Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) was granted $3,365,994 for the acquisition and rehabilitation of the former Champlain Inn in Burlington, which they have renamed Champlain Place. Pathways Vermont (Pathways) was awarded $1,141,915 in funding for the acquisition and renovation of a Burlington building to provide Soteria House programming.

Orleans County – RuralEdge was awarded $1.2 million to build 24 new condominium units, of which 12 would have shared equity restrictions and VHCB funding, in a former Catholic school in Newport.

Washington County – $400,000 was granted to Downstreet Housing & Community Development (Downstreet) for the construction of four new high-efficiency single family homes in Montpelier that will be sold to households earning between 60-120% of the area median income through the organization’s shared-equity program. $4,680,000 was also awarded to Downstreet for the rehabilitation and reconfiguration of an underutilized historic building to create 24 service-supported rental apartments in Montpelier.

Rutland County – The Housing Trust of Rutland County (HTRC) was awarded $2.7 million to expand a previously funded historic restoration and housing project by adding two locations and 13 new apartments. 

Windham County – $161,000 was awarded to Windmill Hill Pinnacle Association for the conservation of 96 acres of natural area that will be added to the Windmill Ridgeline conservation block, enhancing public access and providing a buffer along a narrow section of the reserve in Arlington.

Statewide – The Housing Foundation, Inc. (HFI) was awarded $3.5 million to place 16 zero-energy ready mobile homes on existing vacant lots in seven of HFI’s mobile home communities throughout the state, with sites in Colchester, Milton, Braintree, Clarendon, Springfield, Derby, and Bennington.

Files