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Gov. Scott Announces $525,000 Grant to Support New Housing

Posted March 21, 2017


Last Friday, Governor Phil Scott joined local, state and federal partners to announce a $525,000 community development grant to the City of South Burlington. The funds will support City Center Senior Housing – 39 units of affordable senior housing located in the City’s Tax Increment Finance District (TIF).

Private developers Chris Snyder and Kevin Braverman will join forces with Cathedral Square, a non-profit affordable housing provider, to build new senior housing on Market Street. This is the first of many proposed projects located in South Burlington’s new City Center. South Burlington voters approved the creation of a TIF District in 2012 and in 2016 approved the resulting $5 million bond issue to upgrade Market Street with sidewalks, utilities and infrastructure to support more housing and commercial development and create Dumont Park.

“This project would not be possible without the use of tax increment financing. It is a valuable development tool for communities, like South Burlington, to use in revitalizing their downtowns and village centers,” said Gov. Scott. “Tax increment financing has demonstrated benefits to supporting the type of development projects we need to make housing more affordable for all.”

The $525,000 Vermont Community Development Program grant awarded to the City of South Burlington is one of many competitive awards made from the State’s federal allocation of Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). The State awards approximately $7 million annually in competitive grants through its Department of Housing and Community Development. The CDBG grants are funded through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Vermont’s congressional delegation has been steadfast in supporting the funding that makes this program possible.

Read more on the project from VTDigger.

Watch the report on WCAX.


Home Prices Across the Country on the Rise

Posted March 17, 2017

Home prices are on the rise across the nation, and there seems no sign of them coming down any time soon. The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) House Price Index (HPI) stated that in the last quarter of 2016, home prices rose 1.5 percent. Looking back, home prices rose 6.4 percent from the fourth quarter or 2015, to the fourth quarter of 2016. From the fourth quarter of 2015 to the fourth quarter of 2016, home prices rose in 46 states and in Washington D.C. At the top of this list was Oregon, with an 11 percent average increase in home price. This was followed by Colorado with 10.6 percent, Florida at 10.4 percent, Washington at 10.2 percent, and Nevada with 8.2 percent.

fhfa hpi

With regards to metropolitan areas, in Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, FL, prices rose by 13.2 percent. On the flip-side Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ (MSAD), prices of homes were weakest, and actually declined by 1.8 percent. Further, the mountain region of the U.S. experienced the greatest rise in the fourth quarter, with 2.1 percent, while the Middle Atlantic region, was the weakest, yet prices still increased 0.9 percent.

According to FHFA Deputy Chief Economist Andrew Leventis, it seems there is no sign of any home price slowdown. He further stated that it will still take time to truly feel the effects of rising interest rates, but with housing inventories so low, which is the primary driving force of the increase in home prices, it seems there will not be a decline in prices for quite some time.

Read more here.


Coordinated Entry Requirements Webinar – March 2017


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The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) will be holding a series of webinars this month. The webinars are for Continuums of Care (CoCs) and recipients of CoC Program and Emergency Solutions Grants (ESG) Program funding. This series will educate participants about the components of the Notice Establishing Additional Requirements for Continuum of Care Centralized or Coordinated Assessment System.

Webinar Dates:

  • Tuesday, March 20, 2017 1:00–2:30 PM EDT
  • Wednesday, March 22, 2017 2:00–3:30 PM EDT
  • Thursday, March 28, 2017 1:00–2:30 PM EDT

The main point of contact is Jake LaSala who can be reached at  240-582-3624 or

Learn more here.


Fair Housing Act at Risk


The current administration has discussed dramatic changes to the Fair Housing Act. The administration is proposing the “Local Zoning Decisions Protection Act of 2017,” which would abolish the Fair Housing Act. Trump declares this newly proposed act will help turn inner cities around.

The Fair Housing Act famously helped to eliminate redlining and racial discrimination in housing, but this proposed legislation would reverse the progress that has been made with regards to zoning since it was introduced in 1968. Prior to this act, practices like redlining and blockbusting increased property values in white neighborhoods at the expense of black neighborhoods, which were left in poverty.

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However, it is only recently that this act has been more successful in achieving its goal of creating more diverse, inclusive communities and overcoming discrimination. If the administration’s policy is successful, racial blindness and discrimination would be enshrined in federal law. According to the section following the nullification provision, “[N]o federal funds may be used to design, build, maintain, utilize or provide access to a federal database of information on community racial disparities or disparities in access to affordable housing”.

Read more here.


Repealing the Affordable Care Act Would Affect Jobs and Health Care Access


The Affordable Care Act is in jeopardy, and if it is repealed, 29.8 millions of American would not just lose their insurance, but could suffer further consequences. Overall, nearly 1.2 million people would lose their jobs, and not just those in the health care sector.

Losing insurance also means our economy would be damaged. If this current support for for insurance were to be taken away, those who are currently insured by the Affordable Care Act, would have to devote more money to insurance and less money to other necessities like water, food, and rent.

Read more here.

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HUD Supports Transgender Access to Shelters with Shared Sleeping and Bathing Facilities


HUD is taking steps to make sure homeless transgender individuals have equal access to their programs, and are able to reside in shelters that match their identity. The rule originated in the Obama Administration, and stated that all individuals should have equal access in HUD programs, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identification, or marital status. HUD wants to build on this original rule, which they feel did not directly address the conditions for transgender people.

According to the HUD’s Office of Public Affairs, Brian Sullivan stated that the rule to be inclusive with transgender people was already final, but the HUD will seek comment until March 9. Sullivan is unsure what will happen under new HUD secretary Ben Carson, but says to stay tuned about the future of this rule.

Read more here.Image result for homeless shelters


NLIHC 2017 Housing Policy Forum April 2-4 


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In Washington, DC, a panel of experts will address what lies ahead in the new administration, the 115th Congress. The panel has invited HUD Secretary Nominee Dr. Ben Carson, low income residents, advocates, and experts, to discuss how Congressional leaders plan to address the housing needs of the lowest income households in the country. 

The forum will provide an opportunity for people to engage in the conversation about affordable housing in changing post-election environment. Together, participants of this forum will discuss developing problems, opportunities and solutions for affordable housing across our nation.

On April 2, there will be an exclusive discussion for low-income residents, especially residents living in publicly funded and/or assisted housing.

The forum will take place at the Washington Court Hotel n Washington D.C. on April 2-4. Register here.



Vermont Housing Managers Association Fair Housing Training


Vermont Housing Managers Association (VHMA) and Granite State Managers Association (GSMA) are pleased to offer a one day Fair Housing training with A. J. Johnson.

This training will include the requirements of federal and state fair housing law with a specific concentration on components of the Federal Fair Housing Act relating to on site management and maintenance of apartment communities. The training will include discussions on the rights of the disabled, reasonable accommodations/modifications and advertising and enforcement.

When: Tuesday, April 4, 2017
Where: Courtyard Marriot, 10 Morgan Drive, Lebanon, NH
Time: 8:45 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Registration will begin at 8:00 a.m.)

Registration Costs:
$175.00 per person for VHMA / GSMA members
$225.00 per person for non-members

Lunch is included in the registration fees

Registration Deadline: March 28, 2017

Please note that no refunds will be granted after March 28, 2017.

 If you should have any questions, please feel free to contact either of the Education Chairs, Heidi Setien at or Laurie Palmeira at


Millennial Homeownership Restricted by Limited Housing


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For years, newly graduated students were stuck outside the housing market, with tremendous amounts of student debt and a weak job market. However, as more and more new graduates are finding better-paying jobs, they have begun to search for houses, but end up being disappointed. A shortage in the number of homes available to first time buyers has constrained the number of millennials able to move towards homeownership. These barriers will ultimately will reduce wealth accumulation for this generation of consumers entering the market for housing.

The current housing market sees the fewest homes available for sale on record. Due to the limited stock of housing, prices have increased rapidly beyond affordability for first-time buyers, even as they have seen their incomes increase.

There are multiple factors creating this shortage of homes. First, people are not moving, because it just too expensive, and their mortgage is worth more than their house. Further, home construction levels remain low as a result of the recession, and though they’re on the uptick, are still at unhealthy levels.

Read more from the Washington Post here.


Vermont: ICE Agents Picking up People Near Shelters


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Recently on several occasions in Vermont, ICE Members have picked up people leaving or gathering near homeless shelters.

With the federal immigration policies under our new administration, Rita Markley, Executive Director on the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) shares a few resources.

  • Here is the guide from the ACLU which can be helpful for Vermont residents.
  • Here is a flyer to help one know their rights when it comes to ICE raids and arrests.
  • Here is a guide from The National Human Services Data Consortium, which takes a look at polices.

These particular documents will be useful for any organization serving undocumented immigrants or refugees.


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