Housing Vermont: Building possibilities.


HV Applies for Additional New Markets Tax Credits

Housing Vermont has submitted an application to the Treasury Department for $62 million in New Markets Tax Credits.  If successful, it would add to previous NMTC awards totaling $140 million.

“Vermont Rural Ventures (VRV), our NMTC affiliate, has closed 16 projects producing $128.3 million in affordable capital to support $219.5 million in total development costs,” said HV President Nancy Owens. “It is too early to know how many applications Treasury will receive, but competition will be intense for this popular federal program,” she noted.

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HV Closes Green Mountain Housing Equity Fund 8

Eight financial institutions have committed a total of $14.1 million to Housing Vermont’s multi-investor housing equity fund.

“Despite the strong headwinds generated by the uncertainty of federal tax reform, we were able to close Green Mountain Housing Equity Fund 8 and have already begun to make equity commitments to new affordable housing developments.” said HV President Nancy Owens.

The first seven multi-investor funds raised $149.5 million which has helped to finance 59 properties with 1,690 apartments throughout the state.

The financial institutions which invest in the Green Mountain Housing Equity Fund receive a 10-year stream of federal tax credits though the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program and one-time tax credits through the federal historic rehabilitation program.

Housing Vermont Awards Scholarships to Residents

Four residents of Housing Vermont-affiliated properties will receive a total of $10,000 in scholarships to continue their education.  One-year scholarships of $2,500 each were awarded to:

Chandra Groves, Burlington
Paige Palmer, Morrisville
Autumn Wheeler, Barre
Taylor Morrow, Essex Jct.

“Our work focuses on creating possibilities for Vermonters through developing affordable housing and financing economic development,” said Housing Vermont President Nancy Owens.  “We appreciate that education also expands opportunities and are excited to be able to help these residents continue their education.”

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VRV Finances Chroma Technology Expansion

Vermont Rural Ventures, Housing Vermont’s New Markets Tax Credit affiliate, has invested $4. 5 million in equity to finance the $22.2 million expansion of Chroma Technology Corporation in Bellows Falls.

Vermont Rural Ventures’ investment was provided through the Brattleboro Development Credit Corporation, the project sponsor, which will lease facilities and equipment to Chroma Technology. This new capital allows Chroma to expand its manufacturing facilities and acquire new equipment to better utilize space.

Chroma Technology, an employee-owned company, manufactures interference filters for the ultra-violet, visible and near-infrared portions of the spectrum.

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Brattleboro Celebrates Opening of Red Clover Commons

Four years of planning and 16 months of construction culminated in the May 25 open house celebration at Red Clover Commons, a 55-unit apartment building which will provide replacement housing for residents of Melrose Terrace and others.

Melrose Terrace, constructed by the Brattleboro Housing Authority in 1965, is adjacent to the Whetstone Brook and much of the property is in the floodway and flood plain.   The entire site was flooded by Tropical Storm Irene in August 2011 and 60 of the 80 apartments were damaged.  Those units have been repaired and re-occupied, but it was clear to the Housing Authority that the senior and disabled residents needed to be relocated to a safer site.

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Ribbon-cutting Celebration Marks Re-opening of COTS Building

On April 3, Congressman Peter Welch, Governor Phil Scott and Mayor Miro Weinberger joined Housing and COTS to mark the re-opening of the COTS building at 95 North Avenue following extensive renovations.

COTS and Housing Vermont partnered on the capital project to rebuild a permanent home for the COTS Daystation, the nonprofit’s daytime center for homeless adults to connect with services; create 14 affordable apartments; and renovate COTS’ program spaces for its homelessness prevention initiative (the COTS Housing Resource Center), and family and adult services, making them fully accessible and more energy efficient. COTS will annually serve more than 2,600 people facing homelessness from its new facility.

“This project is not about a building but about what happens within it,” said Rita Markley, COTS Executive Director. “We are bringing together in one location every level of care for our most vulnerable neighbors: affordable housing, the largest homeless prevention initiative in Vermont and our Daystation which offers a safe warm refuge for those with no place left to turn. “

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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


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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