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Don’t Miss Housing and Conservation Day at the State House This Wednesday

Posted February 24, 2014

A final reminder, this Wednesday, February 26 is Housing and Conservation Legislative Day.  We need you in Montpelier on Wednesday. 

You, your board members, project beneficiaries and key local supporters can most effectively deliver the message that VHCB funding is critical to your organization and the communities it serves.  You can best tell the story about how VHCB has had a profound and positive effect on the lives of Vermonters from all walks of life and from all over the state.  Even though Governor Shumlin’s recommendation for VHCB funding is strong, hard work is needed to hold onto that as the budget makes its way through the Legislature.

The Vermont Housing and Conservation Coalition Have an Exciting Day Planned.  Governor Shumlin, Lt. Governor Scott, House Speaker Smith, and Senate President John Campbell are confirmed to meet us for the Welcome Session in Room 11 on the first floor.  The schedule is tight and will start at 8:45 AM SHARP, so please get there on time! There are numerous committee meetings for you to sit in on, and there’s the ever popular ice cream social at 2:00 PM, courtesy of Ben and Jerry’s.  VHCC are also again featuring a sampling of local foods from VHCB-supported local businesses and farm operations in the cafeteria from 7:30 – 9:00.

Check out the revised schedule – Meeting times for all committees are currently confirmed  (click here for revised schedule).  However, things could still change on or before this Wednesday.    

How to Contact Your Representatives & Senators  Before Wednesday, you can call the Sergeant-at-Arms desk at 1-800-322-5616 and leave a message for the legislators from your service area.  Let them know that you’ll be at the State House Wednesday and want to meet with them.

Complete contact info is here:  If you can’t get an appointment in advance, let them know when you’ll be at the State House.  If you can’t find them when you arrive, you can send a note via a legislative page.  Be sure to note where you are in the State House.

Talking Points and other information cam be found online at here.  There will be hard copies of everything for you on Wednesday as well.

Sign in and pick up an info packet when you arrive.  Stop by the Card Room (second floor, on the way into the cafeteria) to pick up your packet.  It will include the talking points, a legislative directory, map of the State House, and more.  Packets will also be available during the welcome session in Room 11 (the large meeting room off the main hallway on the first floor).  Click here for a map of the State House.

We are really looking forward to a great day on Wednesday and we hope to see you there, even if you can only make part of the day!


On Wednesday join Champlain Housing Trust and many others from all over Vermont in asking legislators to support the Governor’s request of $15.3 million for VHCB.


Tune-in Tonight for the Annual Homelessness Marathon, Live from Brattleboro

Posted February 19, 2014

A reminder, tonight at 7 pm on Brattleboro Community TV (Channel 8) and on WVEW 107.7 LPFM, tune in to see/hear the 16th Annual Homelessness Marathon – broadcast right from Brattleboro, Vermont.

Live video of the broadcast will also be carried by Free Speech Television (FSTV), starting at 8:00 pm. FSTV can be found on channel 9415 on Dish Network and channel 348 on DirecTV, and online at

The broadcast is a chance to “bring the voices of homeless people into America’s homes.” Organizers will broadcast live from the First Baptist Church – home to the Brattleboro Overflow Winter Shelter.

“The point of the broadcast is to shed light on the stories of our neighbors experiencing homelessness here in our community – and to share that understanding with a broader audience,” said Josh Davis, Executive Director of Morningside Shelter – the area’s only year-round homeless shelter.

“We live in a community where homelessness is less evident, but meanwhile service providers in Windham County struggle to find ways to meet the demand for all those who are without stable housing.” Davis added, “We’re glad that this broadcast will put our community’s collective struggle in the national spotlight.”

The Marathon starts at 7 pm and will run for six hours until 1:00 am.  Learn more here.


Upcoming Manufactured Homes Open House Events in Hardwick and Wilder


There are a number of upcoming opportunities to come see an Open House of manufactured  homes built to the highest level of quality, durability and energy efficiency.  These homes are designed to fit in a mobile home park or on your own land.

Initial project management, research and funding for these events are supported by Efficiency Vermont, Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, the High Meadows Fund, and the Vermont Community Foundation.  Find the full list of funding partners here.

The upcoming Open Houses and events:

February 21, 22 and March 1,
10 a.m.– 2 p.m.
Evergreen Manor Mobile Home Park, Hardwick

Directions: Just south of Hardwick on Route 14
(South Main St.), turn onto Mackville Road, take
the first left onto Evergreen Manor Drive
and look for signs.

March 14 and 15,
10 a.m.– 2 p.m.
Vermod High Performance Homes, Wilder
Manufacturing facility and demonstration home
Directions: 2677 Route 5, Wilder. From I-91 northbound, take Exit 12 (Wilder exit). Take a right at the end of the ramp (take a left if exiting from I-91 southbound) and proceed to the end of Bugbee Road.  Take a left onto Route 5 North, drive 2 miles. After you pass under the highway, the plant entrance is the second right after Kacey Drive.

Friday, March 14,
at 11 a.m. and again at 1 p.m.,
Wilder (see directions above)
(2) 1-hour seminars for building professionals and interested buyers on high performance building techniques.

Download and share a flyer for these events here.


Registration Open for National Health Care for the Homeless Council’s Annual Conference


Registration is now open for the 2014 National Health Care for the Homeless Conference & Policy Symposium, which will take place from May 28-30 in New Orleans, Louisiana.

The  gathering is for everyone interested in or currently working to improve the lives of people experiencing homelessness and will feature more than 80 workshops and 150 presenters.

Over the course of three days, participants will be able to access dozens of accredited workshops, professional networking opportunities, engaging presentations, rejuvenating social encounters, and inspiring plenary sessions with federal officials and leaders in the HCH field.

A full day of intensive pre-conference activities is also planned for May 27 which will offer in-depth examinations of transgender health, engaging homeless youth, social determinants of health, and medical respite care.

The annual National Health Care for the Homeless Conference is organized by HCH professionals for HCH professionals, including clinicians, support staff, administrators, board members, and consumers of HCH services. It is also of value to others who provide health care and support services to homeless people as well as government officials and advocates.

A limited number of Consumer Conference Subsidies to support consumer participation are being offered (consumers must be members of HCH grantees’ Board of Directors, or members of Consumer Advisory Boards of HCH grantees, or employees of HCH grantees).  Deadline to submit an application for a subsidy is February 28.

Find out more about the Conference and Symposium and register online here.


60 Minutes Report on Housing the Chronically Homeless


Last week CBS News and 60 Minutes aired a story on the possible benefits of finding permanent homes for the most vulnerable homeless individuals who once might have been viewed as unreachable.  The story focused on a movement known as the 100,000 Homes Campaign, a campaign targeted to house the most at-risk, chronically homeless.

Read the full transcript of the report or watch online:


RuralEdge’s Rural Reality Campaign to Spotlight Homelessness in the Northeast Kingdom

Posted February 18, 2014

RuralEdge is partnering with Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital, Northeast Kingdom Youth Services, Lyndon State College, and Q Burke to bring the issue of rural homelessness to light. During the first week of March there will be a series of events to raise funds to prevent homelessness and, more importantly, to raise awareness about homelessness in the Northeast Kingdom.

Did you know…

• Homelessness is not as apparent in rural areas as it is in urban settings?
• Homelessness is a critical issue in the Northeast Kingdom?
• Many of our neighbors deal with homelessness every single day?

These facts and many more often go ignored because it’s different out here!  Isolation and rural life make it harder for individuals to have access to the resources they need in order to survive. Do you want to do something to help raise awareness on the issue of homelessness in the NEK?

The Rural Reality Campaign will start off with a 30-hour fast which will raise funds by participants obtaining pledges from friends and family.  During the course of the week there will also be film screenings, food, and an all-night vigil in Lyndonville’s Bandstand Park.  Make sure to follow RuralEdge on Facebook for the latest updates on dates and times.

Email or call 802-473-3925 for more information.

RuralEdge Reality Campaign



Housing First Training Events Happening on March 19 in Rutland and March 20 in Burlington


Vermont Veteran Services and Pathways Vermont are hosting two Housing First training events that will take place in Rutland and Burlington.

The training, Introduction to Housing First: The Art & Science of Practice, will first take place in Rutland on Wednesday, March 19 and again in Burlington the next day on Thursday, March 20.

In this training attendees will learn about the core principles and practices of the Housing First Model from top experts in the field.  There will be detailed discussion of the five domains that consist of Housing First and how they are applied in a rural setting:

  1. Housing Choice and Structure
  2. Separation of Housing and Services
  3. Service Philosophy
  4. Service Array
  5. Program Structure

There will be ample time for group discussion and questions.  RSVP online today!



Update on Eary Bird Registration Rate for NLIHC Housing Policy Conference


An update to yesterday’s post on the National Low Income Housing Coalition‘s 2014 Housing Policy Conference & Lobby Day taking place from April 27 – 30, 2014 in Washington, D.C.

NLIHC has extended the early bird registration rates to folks in Vermont until Friday, February 28 at 5pm.  To receive that rate please do not register online, instead fill out the paper form, scan it and email it to or mail the form with check to:

727 15th Street NW 6th FL
Washington DC, 20005.

Please make sure to write “early bird rate—VT” on the form found here.


Register for NLIHC 2014 Housing Policy Conference – Early Bird Registration Still Available for Vermont

Posted February 17, 2014

The National Low Income Housing Coalition‘s 2014 Housing Policy Conference & Lobby Day will be taking place from April 27 – 30, 2014 in Washington, D.C. NLIHC has extended the early bird registration rates to folks in Vermont until Friday, February 28 at 5pm.  

Please do not register online, instead fill out the paper form, scan it and email it to or mail the form with check to NLIHC, 727 15th Street NW, Washington DC, 20005. Please write “early bird rate—VT” on the form found here

More about the conference:

In honor of NLIHC’s 40th anniversary, we will spend part of our conference looking back at low income housing. We will take a deep look at the history of housing challenges that low income Americans face, and how we came to the present day national shortage of affordable housing. Our plenaries and workshops will provide insight into the origin and significance of critical housing programs, policies, and legislation, enabling attendees to be stronger advocates today. We will also spend time moving forward with solving the housing challenges of the lowest income Americans. We are cautiously optimistic that 2014 will be a watershed year for federal housing policy with the potential that the National Housing Trust Fund will finally receive funding.

Attendees will find out how they can prepare for the implementation of the NHTF. Plenaries and workshops will also cover the future of other critical low income housing policies and issues, and will provide attendees with the tools and skill sets to advocate on a national level as well as to solve housing challenges in their own communities.

Programming at this year’s conference will include:

  • 4 Plenary Sessions with breakfast or lunch
  • 8 workshop sessions with a selection of 40 workshops
  • 40th Anniversary Evening Reception
  • Presentation of the Annual Media, State and Local Organizing, and Resident Organizing Awards
  • Annual Member meeting
  • Exhibits and Information tables: NLIHC Legislative Action Center, NLIHC Resources Center, NLIHC Membership Table, Sponsor and Partner Exhibits
  • Keynote Speakers and other special conference events
  • Pre-conference Institute
  • Lobby Day

The following workshops will also be offered:

  • Funding for the National Housing Trust Fund Now and In the Future: Housing Finance Reform
  • Getting Ready for the Release of National Housing Trust Fund Dollars
  • United for Homes Campaign: Building Support for Mortgage Interest Reform to Fund the NHTF
  • Affordable Care Act Protections: Implications for Housing Plus Services
  • Aligning Existing Resources with Greatest Needs
  • Beyond the Spreadsheet: Using Data Visualization for Successful Advocacy
  • Building Local Partnerships: Collaborations to Address Housing Needs
  • Capital Magnet Fund: What Low Income Housing Advocates Need to Know
  • Dealing with Disaster: Working with HUD and FEMA in the Aftermath of Natural Disaster
  • Ending Veteran Homelessness: Meeting the 2015 Goal
  • Engaging the Tenant Voter: Voterization and Emerging Trends in Voter Suppression
  • Expanding Your Organization’s Advocacy Work: Establishing a 501(c)(4)
  • Facing Budget Limitations: Strategies for Restoring and Increasing HUD Funding
  • Getting Ready for Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Final Rule
  • Housing Choice Vouchers: Restoring Sequester’s Loss and Expanding Assistance
  • Housing Models that Extremely Low Income Households Can Afford Without Section 8
  • How to Have a Successful Lobby Meeting
  • Let’s Talk Housing: Working with the Media
  • Low Income Housing Tax Credit Issues and Innovations
  • Maintaining Rights for Tenants After Foreclosure: The Campaign to Make the PTFA Permanent
  • Manufactured Housing: National Profile and Local Efforts
  • Olmstead Implementation and the Section 811 Program
  • Organizing a Tenant Association
  • Policy, Progress, and Obstacles for the Project-Based Section 8 Program
  • Private Sector Solutions to Affordable Housing
  • Reclaiming Neighborhoods through State and Local Land Use Tools
  • Securing Rural Housing Funding: Recent Challenges and Future Funding Potential
  • Still Out of Reach? Housing and the Minimum Wage Debate
  • Strategies for Local Tenant Victories
  • The Nation’s Public Housing: What Policies Will Shapes its Future
  • The Public Housing Rental Assistance Demonstration, What Now?
  • Tools for Multifamily Preservation
  • Unique Challenges of Providing Affordable Housing on Indian Lands
  • Using TANF Dollars for Housing
  • What’s New in the Final HOME Regulations?

Learn more about the conference  here.


Reminder: Disability Awareness Day on Wednesday


A reminder, this Wednesday, February 19 the Vermont Coalition for Disability Rights will be hosting the annual Disability Awareness Day at the Vermont State House.  This year’s theme is “Empower People with Disabilities: It’s Only Right(s)” and it is expected about 300 advocates and community members will gather at the State House to spread this message to lawmakers.

More from VCDR:

…The two dozen member organizations and allies of VCDR hold Disability Awareness Day every winter, bringing together disability advocates, family providers and policy-makers from across the state.

“Disability is not a legitimate basis for discrimination; it truly is a ‘natural part of the human experience.’ This has been enshrined in law, but we need to work to make it real, so that all of us enjoy the right to access all the opportunities our community offers,” said VCDR President Ed Paquin.

A highlight of this year’s event will be a keynote address at 5:15 p.m. by Chester A. Finn, special assistant in the New York State Office for People with Developmental Disabilities. He was first appointed to the National Council on Disability by President Obama in 2010. In 2008, Finn, who is blind and has a developmental disability, co-founded the Community Empowerment Programs, Inc., which provides community services and educational programming for people with disabilities…

The keynote address will be followed by a panel discussion on empowering people with disabilities. Panelists will include Tom Van Meter, Missy Boothroyd, George Nostrand and Nicole LeBlanc.

Other highlights of Disability Awareness Day will include workshops throughout the day on various topics and a press conference about employment at 11 a.m. in the Cedar Creek Room featuring Finn and Dr. Bryan Dague of the University of Vermont-Center on Disability and Community Inclusion. Dague provides training and technical assistance to supported employment programs and high school transition programs throughout the state of Vermont.

More information about the day’s events can be found here.  For more information contact Stefanie Monte at or 802-224-1820.


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