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Myths & Realities of Homelessness Panel Discussion in Brattleboro, November 6th

Posted October 29, 2015

On Friday, November 6th Groundworks Collaborative will be hosting a panel discussion on the Myths & Realities of Homelessness at the First Baptist Church of Brattleboro. The discussion begins at 6:00pm and doors open at 5:00pm for networking.

For more information, click here.

VoicesLive MythsRealitiesHomelessness2


Job Opportunities with the Vermont State Housing Authority


Join the Vermont State Housing Authority Property & Asset Management team as a Site Specialist helping individuals & families with their housing needs. The Site Specialist is responsible for all duties related to intake services such as application processing & verifications; perform annual & interim recertifications, handle correspondence; process daily work & monthly reports. Must be organized, reliable & able to multi-task in a fast-paced environment, independently or as part of a team. Position is office based in Montpelier & includes extensive telephone & public contact work. Visit our web site at Cover letter & resume to HR, VSHA, One Prospect Street, Montpelier, VT 05602-3556. VSHA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Make a difference by helping Vermont individuals & families with their housing needs. Join the professional team at the Vermont State Housing Authority, a statewide affordable housing provider. Position open for an organized, reliable individual to perform a variety of administrative & technical support to the overall day-to-day program division operations. Position is office based in Montpelier & involves telephone communication & public contact work. Must be able to multi-task & work in a fast-paced environment, independently or as part of a team. For position details, requirements & qualifications, visit Cover letter & resume to: HR, VSHA, 1 Prospect St., Montpelier, VT 05602-3556. VSHA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.



Vote for Champlain Housing Trust in the Renewal Awards

Posted October 26, 2015

Champlain Housing Trust has been selected as a finalist for the Renewal Awards, a project of Atlantic Media and Allstate, which recognize innovative solutions to the challenges communities face across the country. As part of the selection process, online voting will take place between today and November 2. Six $10,000 awardees will be announced at National Summit on Local Innovation in Des Moines, Iowa in January 2016. If CHT wins the award it will provide them with the opportunity to share information about their affordable homeownership program on a national level and help boost their work locally. Please vote for CHT at, and spread the word amongst your staff, board and members. It would be great recognition for Vermont!



Video: Vermont Housing & Conservation Board Fall Conference: ‘Envisioning Vermont 2025’

Posted October 22, 2015

If you missed this month’s Vermont Housing & Conservation Board Conference, ‘Envisioning Vermont 2025,′ you can view the opening of the event which includes a keynote speech from Nancy Stangle, Emerita Director and co-founder, Athens Land Trust, Georgia and the plenary session ‘Building Equity and Resilience in Vermont Communities’ in the embedded video below or at


Burlington City Council Passes Housing Action Plan


Last week the Burlington City Council approved a Housing Action Plan to address the city’s housing crisis. To view the final draft of the plan as well as public comments made on previous drafts, click here. to read more about the plan view the WAMC report below as listen to the audio here:

The Burlington City Council has unanimously approved a Housing Action Plan that includes 22 initiatives to create new housing and reduce costs in Vermont’s largest city.

The Housing Action plan adopted by the city council on Tuesday had been drafted over 16 months. In 2014, a study commissioned by the city found that 58 percent of city residents rent and spend an average of 44 percent of their income on housing. It also found the city lagging in production of new housing particularly for low and moderate income sectors. Following the release of the Downtown Housing Strategy Report city officials engaged the public and business sectors to create the Housing Action Plan.

City councilor Sharon Foley Bushor, a Ward 1 Independent, says the plan is a necessary step and a good start for the city. “The plan brings to the forefront housing as a priority for the community, which has been established for years and years, but it also identifies 22 specific points that need focus and attention in order to address the needs of everyone in the community. So it not only targets and looks at low and moderate income people but it also looks at establishing a good mix of housing in our community so there’ll be some market rate housing.. It looks to establish really housing for a diverse community. So it’s a go to plan.”

Central District Progressive Jane Knodell is president of the city council. She says input from residents, developers and advocates was gathered to create a strong consensus document. “I think it is absolutely crucial that we start to build housing in the city of Burlington. And this plan lays out some strategies that will hopefully help break through whatever it is that’s really blocking significant investment in housing in Burlington.”

The 22 proposals include prioritizing affordable housing, expanding the Housing Trust Fund, reducing regulatory barriers, exploring transportation options and parking, building code reform, reviewing college housing, and creating new approaches to homelessness. It also establishes targets for different household types, addresses regulations, land use and quality of life issues.

Knodell adds the plan reinforces a number of challenges the city of about 42,000 residents faces. “It either is or it is certainly perceived to be very difficult to get a permit to build in the city of Burlington. That really inhibits investment because the developers are thinking I can’t invest all this money and end up maybe not even getting a permit. Because they have to hire architects and lawyers and there’s a lot of work that goes into a project before you even start to dig into the ground. And in Burlington the perception is that it’s just too risky to put all this money in and then maybe not get the permit. And so form based code, which is a new way of zoning the downtown, is being advanced as a possible solution to that problem.”


Job Opportunity: Full and Part-Time Seasonal Shelter Staff at COTS

Posted October 19, 2015

COTS has multiple anticipated openings for part- and full-time positions at the COTS Seasonal Shelter beginning mid-October 2015 through mid-April 2016. The Seasonal Shelter is a 40 bed emergency shelter serving single adults, some who may be under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Qualified candidates must be able to work overnights and weekends.

The primary responsibilities of Seasonal Shelter Staff are to assure the safety and well-being of persons and property in the Seasonal Shelter; to sign in and orient residents to shelter life; and to enforce the applicable rules and policies. Seasonal Shelter Staff maintain a safe and supportive environment while building trusting relationships with individuals experiencing homelessness.

Bachelor’s degree in Social Work or related field, or commensurate experience working with the homeless population required. Experience working with individuals using substances preferred. Strong communication, ability to set clear limits, model positive and constructive behavior, problem solve and deescalate crises also required. Experience using Motivational Interviewing framework desired. Ability to work independently and as a positive member of a cooperative team, and a commitment to the COTS mission required.

The shelter will operate from 6pm to 7am, 7 days a week. Full- and part-time positions are contracted without benefits; the rate of pay is approximately $18 per hour.

To apply, submit your resume and cover letter to



White + Burke Vermont Development Conference, November 4th


White + Burke is excited to present the second annual Vermont Development Conference on Wednesday, November 4, at the Sheraton Burlington Hotel & Conference Center. Join over 275 development professionals for a full day of networking, seminars, and exhibits. Click here to view the full conference schedule.

Seminars will follow three important tracks:

  • Permitting
  • Finance & Project Economics
  • Design, Construction & the Environment
  • Discover new and critical information regarding legislative changes, design tools, tax credits, and more!

Who is attending:

  • Developers
  • Engineers
  • Architects
  • Attorneys
  • Contractors
  • Business owners
  • Anyone with a vested interest in commercial development and real estate in Vermont

Register today:



Updated Information on the Green Mountain Power Energy Assistance Program


Here is updated information regarding the Green Mountain Power Energy Assistance Program. These changes were approved by the Public Service Board.

  1. Rate payers got a credit on their October bill
  2. The monthly fee for the Energy Assistance Program was reduced for rate payers
  3. The Energy Assistance Program now has a “rolling arrears” forgiveness component. Applicants who are applying for the FIRST TIME and have never been enrolled in EAP can apply and be found eligible for arrears forgiveness. There is no time limit on this. This component will stay in place until the allotted funds ($450,000) are exhausted.

How do customers apply?

Online: go to and print and application
Phone: call the Utility Discount Eligibility Unit (UDEU) at 1-800-775-0516 and request an application
Person: get an application at the local Economic Services Office or through a Community Partner such as Community Action or the Area Agency on Aging

Applicants must fill out an application, sign it and send in a copy of their GMP bill. ESD will process the application, give the information to GMP who will apply the arrears and discount if eligible. The discount is monthly 25% off the first 600 KwH used.

Please contact if you have questions or need applications in your offices.


Progress on New Affordable Housing Units in Central Vermont

Posted October 15, 2015

Downstreet Housing & Community Development is making progress on a new development in Barre that will contain 27 units of affordable housing. The ground floor of the Downstreet Apartments will contain an office that will be the new home for the organization upon completion in late Spring of 2016. For more information on this view the Times Argus report here and the Downstreet website here.

Downstreet Housing & Community Development is also working with Housing Vermont on plans to redevelop units above the Aubuchon Hardware store on Montpelier’s Main Street. Upon completion the 18 one-bedroom units would be a mixture of market rate and affordable housing. For more on this story view the VPR report here.


AARP Liveable Communities Forum, November 10th in Burlington

Posted October 14, 2015

Please join AARP Vermont on November 10th 8:15am – 1:30pm at Hotel Vermont, for a substantive conversation about how we can make Vermont a more livable place for people of all ages and abilities. Creating real community change requires new models of thinking, collaboration between sectors, and new tools and adopting practices that work. Learn about the Livability Index, longevity economy and hear from national and local experts about challenges and promising practices. Lunch and Refreshments will be provided.

RSVP is required:



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