Vermont Housing & Conservation Board Approves Funding for 200 Units of Permanently Affordable Housing and the Protection of 1,600 Acres Statewide

Montpelier, Vt. – At its May meeting, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) approved $2,930,630 in funding for seven conservation projects that will protect 1,682 acres in five counties, and $32,843,765 to support seven housing projects in six counties around the state. 

The awards for housing developments will enable the construction of permanently affordable rental homes for individuals, families, older residents, and households experiencing homelessness, in addition to providing project capacity funds for outreach activities to expand Champlain Housing Trust’s (CHT) Homeownership Equity Program Down Payment Assistance statewide.

“Our Board is proud to commit funds to developments that improve equity and access to healthy, permanently affordable homes that benefit our communities,” said VHCB Executive Director Gus Seelig. “We are grateful for our partners’ dedication to building this much-needed housing in areas where infrastructure is readily available, limiting the impact of development on our natural areas.”

Funding for conservation projects will support the protection of important agricultural lands, open community space, a sugarbush, and forested wetlands.

“The conservation projects funded this month are representative of the many positive impacts this work has on the quality of life for Vermont residents,” said Seelig. “These investments will preserve important agricultural and natural resources, support working lands businesses, provide community access to outdoor space, protect wildlife habitats, and improve climate resilience.”

Summary of May 2024 funding awards approved by VHCB by county:

Addison County:
$5,670,000 was awarded to Summit Development for the new construction of a 35-unit apartment building in Middlebury. This project is the first phase of a multiphase mixed-income rental and homeownership development and will offer studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments targeted for residents at a mix of income levels. Six units will be set aside for individuals exiting homelessness and referred through the local coordinated entry system. In January, VHCB committed funds to Addison Housing Works to support six units of shared equity homeownership in this new neighborhood.

Caledonia County:
$3,649,756 was awarded to RuralEdge for the acquisition and moderate rehab of two existing senior housing communities, the substantial rehab of a vacant four-unit building, and a new construction addition which will demolish two units and add six new units and community space, bringing a total of ten new apartments online. The completed project will host 26 permanently affordable units, 16 of which will be for seniors and the remaining 10 for general occupancy.

Chittenden County:

$6,833,469 was awarded to CHT and Evernorth for the development of Cambrian Rental: 40 units of new construction in the Cambrian Rise neighborhood located halfway between Burlington’s North End and New North End. Upon completion, it will add 11 one-bedroom, 20 two-bedroom and nine three-bedroom units, each containing its own storage area. VHCB made two previous investments in this neighborhood totaling 146 apartments and conserved 12 acres adjacent to the site now owned by the City providing residents access to a lake front park.

Franklin County:

$5,225,000 was awarded to Cathedral Square Corporation for a new construction project in the center of Highgate Village that will be restricted to seniors. The project contains 26 one-bedroom and four two-bedroom apartments. Two units will be ADA accessible and one additional unit will be audio-visual accessible. Five of the units will be set aside for individuals experiencing homelessness.

$888,500 was awarded to the Vermont Land Trust (VLT) to conserve 295 acres of farmland in Highgate. 

$525,630 was awarded to New England Forestry Foundation to conserve 720 acres of sugarbush in Montgomery.

Grand Isle County:
$918,000 was awarded to VLT to conserve 195 acres of farmland in South Hero.

Lamoille County:
$271,000 was awarded to Trust for Public Land to conserve 356 acres of working forestland in Eden.

Orange County:
$220,500 was awarded to VLT to conserve 115 acres of farmland in Corinth.

Rutland County:
$5,849,496 was awarded to the Housing Trust of Rutland County and Evernorth to support a new 30-unit apartment building on a vacant industrial lot located in a residential neighborhood within Rutland's Neighborhood Development Area. This mixed-income development will have studio, one and two bedroom units. This project will make six units available for individuals and families experiencing homelessness and referred to the project through the local system of Coordinated Entry.

Windham County:
$107,000 was awarded to Green Commons of Vermont and VLT to conserve one acre to be used as an outdoor community space in Putney.

Windsor County:
$5,556,044 was awarded to Twin Pines Housing Trust to replacing two existing buildings constructed in the 1970s with a new 28-unit building, and rehabbing the two remaining buildings, which were originally built in the 1830s and are contributing elements of the Woodstock Village Historic District. This project will create 13 new units and preserve or replace 26 existing units, for a total unit count of 39 units.

$60,000 in project capacity funds for outreach activities to expand CHT’s Homeownership Equity Program Down Payment Assistance Program to every region across Vermont. This program provides down payment assistance to BIPOC households, enabling them to become shared equity homeowners and build equity more quickly. CHT received funding from a national philanthropist to provide this down payment assistance.