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Bright Street Co-op wins National Community Development Association Award

The Bright Street Co-op, developed by the Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) and Housing Vermont with strong support from the City of Burlington, will receive the 2017 Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award from the National Community Development Association.  The award, which recognizes exemplary use of the federal Community Development Block Grant program, will be presented at NCDA’s Winter Conference on February 17 in Washington, D.C.

“The Bright Street Co-op showcases what can be accomplished with innovation and cooperation,” said CEDO Director Noelle MacKay. “Listening to community needs, utilizing public funding strategically, and working together, Champlain Housing Trust, Housing Vermont, the City, and our many partners were able to clean up a brownfield site, and replace a shuttered business with new homes and new neighbors. The CEDO staff is proud to have been able to support this exciting neighborhood project and grateful to our federal delegation for their support.” Continue reading

HV and COTS to Test Eviction Prevention Strategies

Tenancy agreement and key with symbolic house keyringA key strategy to reducing homelessness in Vermont is to prevent evictions from affordable housing.  A $20,000 grant from the Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) to Housing Vermont and COTS will help develop and evaluate replicable eviction prevention strategies.

“Housing Vermont as a housing developer and COTS as a homeless service organization bring complementary skills and resources to this cross agency approach to preventing evictions,” said Housing Vermont President Nancy Owens.  “We will use early detection and intervention, housing retention coaching, referrals to community-based programs, and technical assistance for local housing providers to create new connections among organizations serving lower income Vermonters.”

 

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HV Honors Eileen Peltier & Sharyn Brush at Annual Meeting

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Eileen Peltier, (Downstreet Housing) and Nancy Owens

Housing Vermont recognized a housing professional and volunteer for their accomplishments and elected a new Board member and a slate of officers at its September 8 annual meeting.

HV President Nancy Owens presented Eileen Peltier, Executive Director of Downstreet Housing & Community Development, with the Michael Richardson Award.  Nancy highlighted Eileen’s leadership in helping communities respond to Tropical Storm Irene and in maintaining vibrant downtowns.  Noting that they both rose from senior staff positions to chief executive at about the same time and that both led their organizations through office moves, Nancy thanked Eileen for her support and counsel.

The Miles Jensen Award, which recognizes the outstanding contributions of volunteers, was presented to Sharyn Brush for her service to Bennington’s Applegate Apartments.  In presenting the award, Eric Schmitt, Vice President for Asset Management described how Sharyn had connected the residents’ association to the community for the benefit of all.

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Treasury Department Awards HV $2 Million Grant

The U. S. Treasury Department awarded Housing Vermont a $2 million grant for the development of affordable housing in low income areas of the state.  The award was one of 32 made to organizations from across the country under the Capital Magnet Fund from a pool of $91.5 million.

“It’s critical that we increase the resources that we can draw upon to create affordable housing,” said Housing Vermont President Nancy Owens.  “This grant, which builds upon our success as a statewide community development and affordable housing organization, is a significant step in that effort.”

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HV & CHT Celebrate Hinesburg’s First Affordable Family Housing

crowd-smallScores of interested onlookers joined two local nonprofit housing organizations on the first day of fall to mark the completion of 23 new apartments in the center of Hinesburg’s village. Green Street Apartments were developed and built by Snyder Homes and purchased by Champlain Housing Trust and Housing Vermont to add to the stock of affordable housing in the region.

“The Green Street Apartments are a welcome addition to Hinesburg. The development is an example of what can be achieved when individuals, organizations, and government work together towards common goals,” said Trevor Lashua, Hinesburg Town Manager.

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HUD Secretary Castro Holds Housing Roundtable, Cuts Bright Street Co-op Ribbon

Nancy_speaking_Leahy_Castro_smallerfileUnderscoring Vermont’s success in leveraging federal resources and partnerships to improve access to affordable housing in Vermont’s rural communities, Senator Patrick Leahy Thursday hosted a public roundtable discussion with community leaders and Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro in Burlington on September 1. Immediately after the discussion, the Senator and HUD Secretary participated in the opening of a new 40-unit affordable housing cooperative in Burlington’s Old North End.

In his opening remarks at the forum, Secretary Castro announced that Vermont would be one of the first states in the nation to receive funding from the National Housing Trust Fund.  Vermont will collect $3 million in the first year of the program.

“Every person deserves a safe, stable place to call home.  HUD’s Housing Trust Fund allocation will give severely low-income families in Vermont more affordable housing options that provide better access to good jobs and quality education,’ said Secretary Castro.  “HUD is proud to partner with Senator Leahy and the state of Vermont today to help build more inclusive communities of opportunity for tomorrow.” Continue reading

Wall Street Apartments Maintenance Worker Recognized by USDA RD

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RD State Director Ted Brady, Bill Simoneau and Paul Stewart (Stewart Property Mgmt)

Property managers and maintenance staff are the public faces of our housing partnerships.  They are the ones who work most closely with residents and are critical to a successful development.

August 23 was a typical work day for Bill Simoneau, a maintenance technician for Stewart Property Management, who was called to Springfield’s Wall Street Apartments.  “Typical” that is until representatives from USDA Rural Development surprised Bill with the announcement that he had been named RD’s Vermont Maintenance Person of the Year.

RD State Director Ted Brady noted that “Be it working to ensure that the apartments are free of lead, or by connecting tenants to local supportive services in times of need, Mr. Simoneau’s commitment to his work is highly deserving of recognition.”

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Senator Leahy Welcomes Residents and Downstreet Staff To Their New Homes

for websiteThe August 4 grand opening of Downstreet Apartments not only marked the availability of 27 new affordable apartments, but also a new home for Downstreet Housing & Community Development.

Senator Patrick Leahy and Barre City Mayor Thom Lauzon joined Downstreet’s Eileen Peltier and Kathy Beyer, Housing Vermont, in thanking funders, community supporters and others for making this downtown redevelopment project a success.

Downstreet and Housing Vermont partnered to redevelop two parcels on Summer Street to construct a 4-story building with office space for Downstreet on the first floor and 27 affordable apartments on the top three floors.  This infill redevelopment project demolished three structures to create room for the new 25,600 square foot building, outside common space, and green space.  Downstreet Apartments, which qualifies for the national Silver Green Building standards, relies on an efficient wood pellet boiler to provide heat and hot water.

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Building Homes Together Coalition Launched

BHT LogoDozens of Chittenden County leaders in the fields of housing, business, local and state government, and social services announced this morning a new campaign to increase the production of housing and setting a target of 3,500 new homes created in the next five years.

The new coalition, called Building Homes Together, was formed by the Champlain Housing Trust, Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission and Housing Vermont and released an initial list of nearly 100 community leaders supporting the effort.
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Ribbon Cutting Celebration in Hartford

IMG_0884The Twin Pines Housing Trust had much to celebrate during the organization’s June 7 annual meeting in White River Junction.  TPHT, which develops and owns affordable housing in the Upper Valley, recessed their annual meeting so that the members and guests could take a short walk over to 459 South Main Street to cut a ribbon marking the completion of renovations to the first of five properties that make up the Hartford Scattered Sites Housing redevelopment project.

“Demolishing the dilapidated building which formerly sat on this site created a welcome opportunity to create a fresh design that will better serve the residents and the neighborhood,” said Housing Vermont’s Nancy Owens.  “Cutting the ribbon on this handsome building today reminds us of the positive impact that the completion of this project will have on the community.”

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