VHCB Awards $10.45 Million in State and Federal Funding for Affordable Housing Around the State

At a meeting on January 26, the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board Awarded $4.6 million in state funds and $5.82 million in federal funds to purchase, construct, and rehabilitate housing in Putney, Monkton, St. Albans, Essex, Williston, St. Johnsbury, and Bennington and to plan for housing development in West Brattleboro.

“These awards will advance the development of new rental housing for our workforce as well as for low-income and homeless households, seniors and citizens with disabilities, while also maintaining long-term affordability with necessary repairs and maintenance to properties,” said Gus Seelig, VHCB Executive Director. “In Essex and Bennington, two developments will provide much needed housing with support services for individuals and parents in recovery to help those transitioning from treatment programs to stable housing.”

Monkton – The Addison County Community Trust (ACCT) will make infrastructure improvements at the 9-lot Vaughn Mobile Home Park with an award of $288,870 in VHCB funding, replacing an aging water system. ACCT recently replaced the septic system at the property, which is among nine mobile home parks they own providing housing for 340 families. This past year ACCT consolidated, restructured, and reduced overall debt on their portfolio of mobile home parks to sustain affordability and plan for maintenance needs.

St. Albans – The Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) will purchase the Vista Apartments, developed as 15 condominiums by the owner of the Cadillac Motel. Working in collaboration with the Franklin County Continuum of Care, 10 apartments will be leased to people experiencing homelessness. Five apartments will be for used for transitional housing by Spectrum Youth & Family Services and the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO). There are currently 95 households with 146 people living in hotels and shelters in Franklin County. VHCB awarded $3.6 million in federal ARPA funding for the purchase.

Alice Holway Drive architect rendering
In the village of Putney, the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust and Evernorth will develop 25 new homes on Alice Holway Drive.

Putney – In two new, energy efficient buildings with a shared community room, Windham & Windsor Housing Trust and Evernorth will develop 25 one- and two-bedroom apartments on Alice Holway Drive in the Village of Putney, using $2,065,222 in VHCB funding. Five of the homes will have rental assistance and serve very low-income residents. Five apartments will be designated for housing homeless or at-risk households. The site is adjacent to a community garden and within walking distance of shopping and services.

Essex – The Champlain Housing Trust is developing housing for men and women in recovery from Substance Use Disorder at Fort Ethan Allen. VHCB awarded $1,671,455 for rehabilitation and energy efficiency measures in three buildings, each with 4 apartments, to serve individuals and families with children. Supportive services will be provided by Vermont Foundation for Recovery.

Zephyr Place, Williston
72 homes will be created by the Champlain Housing Trust in a former hotel in Williston

Williston – A hotel purchased by Champlain Housing Trust is being converted to provide 38 homes with support services for Vermont­ers experiencing homelessness and an on-site project manager, and 33 perma­nent apartments for low- and moderate-income families. VHCB awarded $8,593,495 in VHCB funding and $6,184,940 in federal ARPA funding for acquisition and rehabilitation of TownPlace Suites.

Bennington – With $822,964 in federal American Rescue Plan funding awarded by VHCB, Shires Housing will purchase and renovate a property to create two split-level units with a total of nine bedrooms for men in recovery from substance use disorder. Turning Point Center will manage referrals and programming for the residents, providing substance-free, peer-led, service-integrated housing for men seeking a bridge from treatment facilities to permanent housing solutions.

West Brattleboro – With federal Coronavirus Relief Funding awarded by VHCB in 2020, the Windham and Windsor Housing Trust purchased a motel on a 17-acre site and quickly converted it to emergency housing for households experiencing homelessness with support services provided by Groundworks. With a new, $50,000 VHCB award, WWHT will evaluate their current program delivery services, commission an engineering study, and develop a master plan to guide development of mixed-income housing and homeownership opportunities on the site over the coming years, working with the Town, the Windham Regional Commission, and neighbors in West Brattleboro.

St. Johnsbury – RuralEdge will purchase and rehabilitate two vacant, downtown apartment buildings on Cherry Street and Railroad Street to create permanent supportive housing for seven households experiencing homelessness, using $1.4 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act funding. A building at 138 Cherry Street that experienced recent fire damage but remains structurally sound will be reconfigured to create five apartments. It is located adjacent to the Cherry Street Hotel, currently under construction by RuralEdge. Located one half-mile away at 759 Railroad Street, adjacent to another RuralEdge building, the second site will be reconfigured to create one 3-bedroom apartment and an accessible studio apartment. In collaboration with NEKCA, RuralEdge will provide supportive services that residents will be able to access at the onsite office to be located at the Cherry Street Hotel.