VHCB invests $5.2 million in housing development projects and awards funding to conserve 654 acres across the state

At its September meetings, the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board took action to support the creation of shelters for people experiencing homelessness in the Northeast Kingdom and White River Junction, and a total investment of $5.2 million was made for housing development projects that will provide 42 rental apartments and 40 shelter beds in four Vermont communities. The Board also voted to invest $1.4 million in the conservation of 654 acres in five communities and $200,000 for historic preservation in one community.

Bennington County – VHCB awarded $2,006,614 to Hale Resources for a collaboration with the Town of Bennington to redevelop the historic Bennington High School property into market-rate and affordable apartments, along with commercial space for a childcare facility, a gym, a senior center, multi-purpose gathering spaces, and office spaces. The funding awarded by the Board will support the affordable housing component of the project, which will create 17 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

The Board also committed $732,000 to conserve a total of 363 acres in Bennington, West Rupert, and Pownal.

Caledonia County – RuralEdge and Northeast Kingdom Community Action have been working to quickly open a shelter that will provide 20 beds this winter, in a region that has over 150 households experiencing homelessness, but no shelter to support them. The shelter, which will be located on the RCT bus line and within a five-minute drive from downtown St. Johnsbury, will be owned by RuralEdge and operated by Northeast Kingdom Community Action. At their October 3rd meeting, the Supplemental Grants Committee, with the authority granted by the Board at the September 26th Board meeting, approved $742,396 for the project.

Orange County – VHCB awarded $611,000 to conserve a 189-acre farmland parcel in Newbury.

Rutland County – The Pittsford Village Farm will use a $210,000 VHCB award for the historic preservation and rehabilitation of a two-story farmhouse built in 1798 that will be converted into a childcare center, small café, community meeting space, and includes plans for two new affordable apartments. The owners plan to continue with their design development and fundraising throughout the fall with hopes of beginning construction next summer.

Windsor County – The Upper Valley Haven (UVH) was granted a $500,000 award to redevelop an existing White River Junction building into a new 20-bed year-round shelter with supplemental day use and programming space. This shelter will serve the broader Upper Valley Community in Vermont and New Hampshire.  These funds were in addition to a previous award of $1,000,000 to support shelter expansion in the Upper Valley.