VHCB Awards $7.08 Million in State and Federal Funds for Projects in 10 Towns to Provide Affordable Housing, Expand Public Recreation Opportunities, Conserve Farmland, and Enhance Flood Resiliency

VHCB Awards $7.08 Million in State and Federal Funds for Projects in 10 Towns to Provide Affordable Housing, Expand Public Recreation Opportunities, Conserve Farmland, and Enhance Flood Resiliency

At a meeting on May 3, the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board awarded $7,084,832 to create, preserve, and rehabilitate 177 affordable homes in Lyndon, South Burlington, Rutland and Fair Haven; to help develop a pedestrian and bike trail in Newport; to conserve four farms in Addison, Orange, Grand Isle, and Washington Counties; and to support a floodplain restoration project in Guilford.

VHCB Executive Director Gus Seelig said, “VHCB is pleased to invest in these efforts that will have a positive impact in communities around the state by expanding economic opportunity, protecting work force, senior and family housing, increasing Vermont’s flood resiliency, and helping farmers to expand, diversify, reduce debt and retire.”

Lyndon – VHCB awards of $275,000 in state funding, $420,000 in Housing Revenue Bond funds and $459,000 in federal HOME Program funding will enable RuralEdge to build Olivia Place: two new, reconfigured, energy efficient buildings with 20 apartments in a $6.1 million development. Existing buildings will be demolished and six apartments will be added in the new design, along with a community room and an outdoor common area with a playground, improving accessibility and site design.

Newport – A multi-use recreation corridor and bridge connector will be developed by the Vermont Land Trust along the eastern edge of Bluffside Farm on Lake Memphremagog, linking Newport’s Prouty Beach Recreation Area with recreational paths in Quebec and Newport. The project is expected to generate considerable economic impact for the city by increasing tourism and public access along the lake. VHCB committed $199,072 in state funds appropriated specifically to promote economic development in the Northeast Kingdom. 

Fair Haven - The Housing Trust of Rutland County will use $656,120 in state funds, $595,000 in federal HOME funding, and $1,279,290 in National Housing Trust Funds to acquire and rehabilitate 10 buildings with 40 homes with rental assistance at Appletree Apartments in an $8.6 million project budget. Rehabilitation work will include energy efficiency, electrical, mechanical, and accessibility upgrades, new windows, kitchens, baths and flooring, and site work to improve drainage.

Rutland – A development owned by the Housing Trust of Rutland County on Hopkins Street with 12 apartments will be rehabilitated using $227,000 in state funds and $875,350 in federal National Housing Trust Funds, along with USDA Rural Development funding, and other sources. The $2.6 million project budget will include energy efficiency, interior rehabilitation, site work, and a new heating system to serve two buildings.

South Burlington – The Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) will acquire Dorset Commons, a 105-unit apartment complex located near the middle and high schools, using $860,000 in state funds awarded by VHCB and a bank loan from TD Bank for the $13.3 million acquisition. Ownership and management by CHT will help to stabilize rents and preserve the affordability of 105 apartments with lower than average rents. 

Guilford – Using $90,000 in VHCB funding, a 16-acre parcel along the Green River will be acquired and conserved by the Vermont River Conservancy, protecting public access to three swimming holes, agricultural land, and creating a riparian buffer along the river. A 6.5-acre portion of the parcel was identified as a priority flood protection zone in a watershed assessment following Tropical Storm Irene.

Statewide – VHCB committed $531,000 in State funds and $575,000 in federal funds from the Natural Resources Conservation Service to the Vermont Land Trust for the conservation of 558 acres on four farms. The farm operations to be supported by the proceeds from the sale of conservation easements range from dairy, to cropland, beef cattle, and grain production. Easements will provide water quality protections with riparian buffers along streams and ecological protection zones for sensitive natural communities. Conservation allows three of the four farms to be transferred to new operators. The Vermont Land Trust will undertake further fundraising to complete the budgets for each project.


Now celebrating its 30th anniversary, the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board has supported the creation, preservation and rehabilitation of 12,600 affordable homes, the conservation of more than 430,000 acres of agricultural land, natural areas, forestland, and recreational land, and the restoration of 68 historic public buildings. More information at www.vhcb.org