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Supportive Housing Surveys Now Available for Vermont Landlords and Tenants

Posted October 31, 2013

The Supportive Housing Workgroup of the Vermont Council on Homelessness has created two surveys designed to obtain information to better understand and assess the issues and challenges that may arise both for clients/tenants and for housing providers:

In December of 2012, the Vermont Council on Homelessness approved Vermont’s Plan to End Homelessness. In keeping with the 3rd of three strategies listed as critical to address in 2013, the Supportive Housing workgroup of the VCH created the following surveys. These surveys directly respond to the charge to: “Expand the capacity of programs to provide voluntary supportive services once households move into permanent housing.”

Please read the full introduction to the housing surveys.  Your participation in these voluntary surveys will assist in giving folks a better understanding of the barriers to stable housing experienced by tenants and landlords in Vermont.

Each survey should take no more than five to ten minutes to complete. Feel free to share the surveys with local housing partners and tenant groups in Vermont. To make sure your responses are included, please complete the appropriate survey no later than November 14.

If you are a housing provider, please take the survey linked here.

If you are a client/tenant , please take the survey linked here.

 



December 6: New England Housing Network Annual Conference

Posted October 29, 2013

On Friday, December 6, 2013 join the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition in Framingham, Massachusetts at the Sheraton Hotel for the New England Housing Network Annual Conference.  The conference will offer folks in affordable housing and community development organizations all across New England the chance to share ideas and best practices.  In particular many of the conference workshops and speakers will focus on how the economic crisis is impacting housing and support services throughout our region and how to best continue our support for programs and operations with diminishing funding sources available.  Register online now.

The full agenda for the one-day conference has now been released and it is packed.  Review the agenda here.

The registration deadline is Wednesday, November 27, 2013.  The conference fee is $85.00.  We encourage you to register online.  You can also send your registration in by mail, please see and print the last page of this document.

A little more about the conference:

Join housing advocates, developers, housing authorities, government officials, tenants, lenders, service providers, attorneys, and many others involved in the creation, management, and preservation of affordable housing from all six New England states for a one-day conference dealing with issues critical to our region. Conference participants will learn the latest information from national and local experts, share information on affordable housing and community development initiatives in each of our states, and learn how the current economic crisis will impact our efforts.

Our day will include plenary sessions featuring national advocacy organizations and the housing finance agency directors from all six states; a choice of two specialized workshops; and an opportunity to engage in a “structured networking” session with people working in similar positions from other states.

To reserve a hotel room for Thursday, December 5 at a group rate of $119.00, please call 1.508.879.7200 before November 22, 2013.

VAHC is proud to be one of the lead agencies for this conference.  We hope you have the opportunity to attend.  For more information please contact Citizens’ Housing and Planning Association at 617.742.0820.

See also: Save the Date: New England Housing Network Annual Conference on December 6th in Framingham

 



Champlain Housing Trust Converting Motel into Emergency Housing

Posted

EconoLodge

Yesterday Champlain Housing Trust finalized a deal to purchase the Econo Lodge in Shelburne and convert the facility to short-term emergency housing. Burlington Free Press has the details:

The Econo Lodge in Shelburne will soon become a new sort of short-term housing that officials are touting as a way to help clients regain their footing.

The Champlain Housing Trust is buying the motel on Shelburne Road in a deal finalized Monday, said Michael Monte, chief operating and financial officer for the trust. The facility has ceased operating as a motel and could begin operating as Harbor Place by this weekend.

“It’s like a motel but very different,” Monte said. “This is really something in the middle between having nothing and having something,” Monte said.

The plan is to provide up to 59 rooms for people in need of temporary housing, but to also provide them with caseworkers who will set them on a required course to find a job or child care, or cure other problems that led to their homelessness, said David Yavacone, commissioner of the state Department for Children & Families…

Champlain Housing Trust is paying $1.85 million for the property that includes 4.89 acres, Monte said. The money includes $1.675 million borrowed through the Vermont Community Loan Fund and $175,000 financing from the seller, Keshav LLC, Monte said…

Champlain Housing Trust will run Harbor Place, providing an on-site manager and staff, but has agreements to work with several area agencies, including HowardCenter, Fletcher Allen Health Care, Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity and others, to connect clients with help, Monte said.

More from VTDigger:

Champlain Housing Trust has recruited at least 10 other entities to provide services, ranging from job counseling to housing assistance to domestic violence services or to help with financing the project…

Like the state’s motel program, stays at Harbor Place will be capped at 28 days, but unlike the current voucher system, there will be case workers on hand to help families and individuals find permanent housing, apply for jobs, or address other needs.

The state itself has signed on as a partner — DCF is reserving 30 rooms for people who qualify for vouchers through DCF’s point system.

DCF Commissioner Dave Yacovone said he’s excited about the arrangement.

“By bringing the [case] manager in, it makes it look entirely different than just putting someone up in a hotel,” he said. “That’s a really exciting opportunity to provide wraparound services to families in a transitional housing unit.”

Yacovone also estimates the new arrangement will save the state roughly $250,000 a year. That’s because the Trust, a nonprofit operation, is confident Harbor Place will cost less — it’s charging the state $38 per night. Yacovone said the department normally pays $62 a night for motel rooms in Chittenden County.

In the News: Burlington Free Press (PDF); VTDigger (PDF); Vermont Public Radio

 



ICYMI: Green Street Transitional Housing Officially Opens Doors

Posted

Earlier this month friends of the John Graham Shelter in Vergennes celebrated the opening of the Green Street Transitional Housing complex.  The Addison County Independent ran a story on how the new transitional apartments are assisting people move from homelessness to permanent housing:

Owned and operated by the John W. Graham Emergency Shelter, the Green Street Transitional Housing complex officially opened its doors on [October 10] during an event attended by Gov. Peter Shumlin and other state and local officials.

The building includes three apartments containing two, three and five bedrooms, respectively, all to be rented to low-income families looking to make the transition from homelessness to a permanent place to live.

“This is such a beautiful home, and it will be home to many people,” said Graham Shelter Executive Director Elizabeth Ready, who with shelter assistant director Paige Ackerson was doing painting and other final spruce-up work on 74 Green St. in anticipation of the governor’s arrival.

The apartment building was previously owned by Gary Boynton. Boynton put the property on the market and shelter officials — with a lot of help from the National Bank of Middlebury and the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board — assembled a financing package to purchase and renovate the two-story structure.

The shelter paid $227,000 for the house and spent another $165,000 on renovations, which included adding insulation, a state-of-the art furnace and a hot-water heater; installing new plumbing; and making the structure compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Qualifying tenants cannot earn more than 30 percent of the median household income for Addison County, which translates to a maximum of $21,200 annually for a family of four. And Ready noted that some new state programs assisting homeless Vermonters will ensure that building tenants will pay only modest rents.

Those programs include the “Vermont Rental Subsidy” and an expanded Graham Shelter Program that allocates state resources to transitional housing, instead of primarily hotel vouchers. Rents include heat and utilities, and area churches have helped assemble furnishings for the apartments.

“This year, the governor has been very proactive in working with us,” Ready said.

And she and her colleagues are hoping the administration and Vermont General Assembly will do even more during the upcoming legislative session. Specifically, Ready wants to see the state double the Vermont Rental Subsidy from $500,000 to $1 million, in order to double the number of families housed through that offering, and to increase funding to the Emergency Shelter Program by $400,000.

Meanwhile, two of the three apartments at 47 Green St. are occupied. Ready said the vacant five-bedroom apartment could accommodate a large family or perhaps two single moms and their respective children.

Ready and Ackerson anticipate 47 Green St. — just like the shelter — will soon be full. With the federal shutdown and many salaries not keeping pace with market rents, young families in particular are having a tough time finding affordable places to stay.

 

Read the full article online or in PDF format.

 



Job Opening at Champlain Housing Trust

Posted October 28, 2013

We just learned of yet another exciting employment opportunity, this time at Champlain Housing Trust.  Check out the job description below:

Join Champlain Housing Trust’s homeownership team as a counselor and help people fulfill one of their most important needs – housing.

You will provide the education and tools to help people build credit, rent an apartment, or purchase a home. You will also assist people in preventing delinquency and foreclosure. We’re looking for a team player with outstanding interpersonal and teaching skills who supports CHT’s mission of permanent and affordable housing. You must be well-organized, a creative problem-solver, and willing to travel to trainings and workshops. Counseling and public speaking experience, as well as knowledge of housing, mortgage lending, personal finance, and community resources a plus.  Full-time position, with some nights and weekends required.

CHT is a socially responsible employer offering competitive salary and benefit package. Submit cover letter and resume by November 18th to Human Resources, Champlain Housing Trust, 88 King Street, Burlington, VT 05401 or hr@champlainhousingtrust.org.  No phone calls.

Equal Opportunity Employer – CHT is committed to a diverse workplace and encourages women, persons with disabilities, Section 3 residents, and people from diverse racial, ethnic and cultural backgrounds to apply.

Read about this job at CHT’s website here.  Please feel free to share this posting with any folks you think would be interested.

 



Emergency Board Allocates $2.1 Million More for LIHEAP

Posted

On Thursday Governor Peter Shumlin and the Legislature’s Emergency Board, which consists of the heads of the Legislature’s money committees, approved an additional $2.1 million for the Low Income Heating Assistance Program (LIHEAP).  Burlington Free Press has more:

The governor and the four legislative leaders who together make up the Emergency Board voted to increase the amount of state funding for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program because the federal funding has shrunk.

“While everyone understands that Vermont, like other states, cannot make up for all of the federal cutbacks coming our way, keeping our needy neighbors from freezing in their homes in the winter has to be a priority,” Shumlin said.

With the state’s extra funding, the average benefit provided to eligible households would provide the same purchasing power as last year, although the average benefit will be smaller. The benefits will cover about 32 percent of beneficiaries’ winter fuel costs.

Fuel aid dollars will buy more heat this winter, because fuel prices have declined, and the state has negotiated bigger discounts.

Read the full article: State adds $2.1 million to heating-aid fund (PDF).

 



Grants Manager Position Open at WHBW

Posted

Women Helping Battered Women has a job opening.  Read the brief summary of the position and share with anyone you think might be a good candidate:

WHBW provides comprehensive services to survivors of domestic abuse and has an immediate opening for a 32-hour/week ‘Grants Manager’.  Overall responsibilities include private, state and federal grant writing/reporting and program evaluation.

Qualified candidates will have a bachelors degree and have superior writing skills, advanced MS Office skills, be detail-oriented, enjoy multi-tasking, able to work under tight deadlines with grace, have strong oral, interpersonal and leadership skills, and be strongly committed to meeting the needs of survivors of domestic abuse. Highly desired skills include experience with grants, program evaluation expertise and knowledge of domestic abuse.  EOE.

Please send cover letters/resumes electronically only to: grantsmanager@whbw.org.  Please apply by end of day Monday, November 4th.

Be sure to view the full job posting over at WHBW’s website.

 



Tomorrow: Public Budget Forum with Governor’s Administration

Posted October 22, 2013

Governor Peter Shumlin’s administration has scheduled two forums where the public can discuss the Vermont state budget.  The first will be held tomorrow. The Brattleboro Reformer has more:

Gov. Peter Shumlin’s administration has scheduled two forums where the public can discuss the Vermont state budget for the fiscal year beginning next July 1.

Each fall, the governor’s administration prepares a budget to be presented to lawmakers in January. In 2012, lawmakers passed a bill calling for forums during the fall so budget writers can hear from the public.

They’ll be carried via Vermont Interactive Technologies on Oct. 23 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and on Nov. 5 from 2:50 to 4:45 p.m.

The public can participate in the first forum by going to VIT studios in Brattleboro, Johnson, Lyndonville, Middlebury, White River Junction, Williston and Montpelier.

The second will be from studios in Bennington, Brattleboro, Johnson, Lyndonville, Middlebury, Rutland, Springfield, St. Albans, White River Junction, Montpelier and Newport.

If you can’t make the Forum tomorrow, be sure to offer your input on November 5.

 



October 30: West River Valley Assisted Living Open House and Ribbon Cutting

Posted

Join Housing Vermont and Valley Cares for an Open House and Ribbon Cutting ceremony on October 30 to celebrate the completion of the expansion of the West River Valley Assisted Living facility.  The expansion adds 12 apartments as well as a new common space and other improvements.  Here are the details of the event:

West River Valley Assisted Living Open House and Ribbon Cutting

When: Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Where: 461 Grafton Road,
Townshend, VT (Route 35)

Schedule: Open House from 1:00 to 3:00pm

Remarks and Ribbon Cutting at 1:30pm

We hope you have the opportunity to celebrate with the community and tour the new facility.

 



Job Opening at Cathedral Square Corporation

Posted

Check out this new job posting from Cathedral Square Corporation.  Please share this with anyone who might be interested:

For the past 35 years, CSC has been providing housing with support services to seniors and persons with disabilities. As the State of Vermont’s largest nonprofit provider of affordable senior housing, CSC lives by its mission: to build healthy homes, caring communities and to create programs and supportive services that encourage positive aging. CSC is also committed to building new communities that are financially strong, environmentally sound, and serve as models for other housing organizations across the state and nation.

Occupancy and Compliance Manager

The Occupancy and Compliance Manager (OCM) is responsible for: ensuring compliance with all funding regulations & requirements (HUD, LIHTC, RD, HOME, etc); overseeing intake for all properties in CSC’s portfolio; acting as system administrator for our housing management software, BostonPost; coordinating all audits and reviews with all outside agencies; overseeing payment and collection activities at all properties; managing the eviction process from start to finish; administering CSC’s contracted compliance services to other agencies; processing Reasonable Accommodation/Modification requests; overseeing Fair Housing compliance activities; conducting staff trainings; and managing Occupancy & Compliance staff. The OCM also works closely with all other departments and CSC staff on policy development & implementation, maintenance services, and lease enforcement.

 Qualifications:  Must have a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent experience.  A property management and/or financial background is preferred.  Must have excellent written and oral communication skills as well as strong organizational skills.  The ability to maintain confidentiality, exercise good judgment and to work closely and cooperatively with staff to insure the smooth administration of programs is essential in this position. Experience with property management software, MS Word and Excel are required.  Knowledge of housing regulations is required.  Prior supervisory experience preferred.

 This is a full-time position located in South Burlington.  CSC offers a competitive salary, excellent benefit package and a friendly working environment.

Submit resume or application to:

CSC, Human Resources
412 Farrell Street, Suite 100
South Burlington, VT 05403

Fax to: (802) 863-6661 or email to: jobs@cathedralsquare.org
CSC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

To view all current job openings at Cathedral Square Corporation visit them online here.

 



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