The Vermont Statewide Housing Conference rang in with a bang on Thursday, November 18. The conference had its highest attendance ever at almost 500 people. This was due in large part to the keynote speaker, HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. Introduced via video conference hook-up by Senator Bernie Sanders from DC, Donovan gave an impressive and exciting speech about the future of HUD, highlighted efforts to focus on rural initiatives and praised Vermont advocates for their “miraculous combination of skill, talent and dedication.” [More …]
Tags: Congressmen Welch, Governor-Elect Peter Shumlin, House Speaker Shap Smith, HUD Secretary Shaun, Joe Belden, Maura Collins, NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Centers of Vermont, Sarah Carpenter, Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Lehy, Sheila Crowley, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Vermont Housing Finance Agency, Vermont Statewide Housing Conference
Source: Brattleboro Reformer, November 25, by Chris Garofolo
BRATTLEBORO — “Vermont’s congressional team is pushing for Capitol Hill lawmakers to fully fund the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program this week. [More …]
Tags: low income home energy assistance program, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Patrick Leahy
Source: vermontbiz.com, November 23
“Governor Jim Douglas today announced nearly $600,000 to help repair the fire-damaged building that houses Montpelier’s senior center, as well as to help develop 14 senior apartments on the site. That was one of several Vermont Community Development Program grants announced, which also included funds for two affordable housing groups to merge their operations. [More …]
Tags: Affordable Housing, Capitol City Housing Foundation Inc., Governor Jim Douglas, Montpelier Mayor Mary Hooper, Montpelier Senior Activity Center, Vermont Community Development Program
Source: Addison Independent, November 22, by John Flowers
“MIDDLEBURY — “Challenges for Change” has largely been portrayed as an effort by the Douglas administration and the 2010 Legislature to save $38 million in state spending by making government programs more lean and efficient. [More …]
Tags: Addison County Housing Coalition, Challenges for Change, Counseling Service of Addison County, the Hill House
Source: Burlington FreePress, November 21, by Nancy Remsen.
“When Brenda Barsalou saw her aunt’s monthly fuel payments jump by $50 a month this fall, she persuaded her 86-year-old relative to seek financial assistance for the first time.
The application was daunting enough at 18 pages, Barsalou said, but not nearly as frustrating as what followed. She spent hours on hold trying to make a required contact for her aunt with a state interviewer. She couldn’t get through before the deadline for the interview passed.
Barsalou and her aunt — and many other Vermonters — got snagged in the bumpy rollout of a modernization initiative at the Department for Children and Families that at its worst saddled some clients with estimated telephone wait times of hundreds of minutes.
Using electronic technology and centralized management, the department’s $3 million modernization project is intended to improve service to Vermonters who are seeking financial assistance with food, fuel and health care. It would eliminate the need for many trips to regional offices by allowing automated telephone inquiries, telephone interviews and Internet applications.
For a host of reasons — glitches in software, delays in system development, shrunken staffing and an avalanche of applications — this modernization effort so far has created almost as many problems as it has solved…”
Full Story: State gives Vermonters seeking aid waiting times exceeding 1,000 minutes.
PDF of Story: State gives Vermonters seeking aid waiting times exceeding 1,000 minutes.
Tags: department for children and families, General Assistance, Vermont
Source: Burlington Free Press, November 19, by Joel Banner Baird.
Source: EMILY McMANAMY, Free Press Jennifer O'Neil, 62, of Burlington has seen all sides of the city's low-income housing dilemma.
“Jennifer O’Neil, 62, is not an economist, nor is she an expert in urban housing trends. But the Burlington resident has first-hand experience that might give economists pause: She’s lived for years below the poverty line, has had troubles with landlords suspicious of her economic status — and has been sought out by landlords who appreciated her prompt rent checks. [More …]
Tags: City of Burlington, Vermont Housing Finance Agency
Source: Burlington FreePress, November 18, by Dan D’Ambrosio.
“Shaun Donovan, Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, told an audience of several hundred people at the Hilton Burlington Thursday morning that Vermont is lucky to have advocates with a “miraculous combination of skill, talent and dedication” that make the state a leader in affordable housing. [More …]
Tags: HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Vermont Statewide Conference
We would like apologize for our last blog post that said there was a change in date to the Fair Housing and Sustainable Planning Conference. This conference is STILL scheduled for this Friday, November 19.
The actual correction was intended for the VHFA and CEDO presentation to City Council, which will be on November, 22.