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Residents, Nonprofits and Funders Celebrate Renovations to Pleasant Hills

On July 24, residents, funders, community members and two nonprofit affordable housing organizations celebrated the completion of renovations of 16 apartments serving seniors in Bristol.

Pleasant Hills was constructed 40 years ago as a 16-apartment, affordable housing community serving seniors in Bristol.  Housing Vermont purchased the property in 2014 and partnered with Addison County Community Trust (ACCT) on the redevelopment to provide much needed upgrades to the decades-old property.  The $3.3 million investment in the acquisition and long term health of the buildings will translate into a safer and healthier environment for the residents, as well as attractive homes for the residents and the community for years to come.

“Pleasant Hills is located in a lovely residential neighborhood and is just blocks away from downtown Bristol” noted Kathy Beyer, Vice President of Development for Housing Vermont.  “Our work over the past year greatly increases the energy efficiency of the buildings, and accessibility for the residents, including a zero-step entrance into all apartments.”

Renovations totaling over $1.4 million include replacement of major systems; new kitchens, bathrooms and flooring; energy efficiency upgrades to the building envelope; accessibility improvements; renovations to the community and laundry rooms; and site work which increases the number of parking spaces, updates site lighting and provides an accessible triple stream waste facility.

“Pleasant Hills is a hub for the senior community in Bristol, not only for residents, but also for activities like Bone Builders and Tai Chi that provide enrichment for seniors throughout the area.  We are grateful to our funders and partners for supporting these much-needed renovations so that Pleasant Hills can continue to provide affordable homes with supportive services for many years to come,” said Elise Shanbacker, Executive Director, ACCT.

Amenities at Pleasant Hills include a newly furnished and renovated community room with a new kitchen, laundry facilities, and raised garden beds for plantings.  Pleasant Hills offers SASH—Support And Services at Home—at no cost for residents.  SASH is a care coordination and health promotion program which assists residents and Medicare eligible community members in accessing the care they need to stay healthy while living safely and comfortably at home.   The SASH model provides an on-site SASH Coordinator and a part-time Wellness Nurse who work as part of the SASH Team made up of staff from Addison County Home Health and Hospice, Age Well, Project Independence, and other agencies who may be providing care to SASH participants.

Funding of over $3.3 million was raised from numerous sources to pay for redeveloping Pleasant Hills.  Housing Vermont’s Green Mountain Housing Equity Fund 8 invested $955,500 through the federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit program. The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board awarded $400,000.  Other sources of funds include the Vermont Housing Finance Agency, which is providing a permanent loan, the New England Federal Credit Union (NEFCU) through a 0% interest loan with VHFA, the U.S. Department of HUD’s HOME program, and funds from 3E Thermal and Champlain Valley Weatherization Services. People’s United Bank provided $400,000 through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston’s Affordable Housing Program.  VHFA allocated federal tax credits.

Steve Schenker of S2 Architecture is the architect for the renovations, and ReArch Company is the construction manager.