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Elm Place Grand Opening Celebration – Milton, VT, Monday, June 5

Posted May 31, 2017

Join Cathedral Square on Monday June 5th, 2017 to celebrate the grand opening of Elm Place at 60 Bombardier Rd. in Milton! The day will begin with a building tour for guests at 11am, followed by a complimentary lunch and ribbon cutting, with remarks by residents and Governor Phil Scott.

Please RSVP to Deborah Bouton if you plan on attending.


FHLB AHP Application Webinars

Posted May 30, 2017

The Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston has approximately $16.5 million available as grants and interest-rate subsidy to support the production and preservation of affordable housing initiatives.

The AHP application round opens on July 17. The round closes on September 6.

For those interested in applying for AHP funding this year, the trainings offer valuable information to help developers and sponsors with their funding applications.

For lenders, FHLB Boston also has webinars focused on member financial institutions’ role in the AHP. For more information on the AHP, visit the FHLB Boston’s website and attend a training.

Here are the registration links:

Vermont: June 21

Members’ Only Webinars: August 24

AHP Application webinars: May 30 and June 27

AHP Webinar for Rental Applications: July 19

AHP Webinar for Homeownership Applications: August 2


Congressional Delegation Announces $1.4 Million in Affordable Housing Grants


Last Wednesday, the Vermont Congressional Delegation announced over $1.4 million in new grants towards supporting access to affordable housing. These funds will be awarded by Neighborworks America, and come after the federal appropriations bill that was passed on May 4.

In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said: “Vermont, like the rest of the country, faces an extreme shortage of affordable housing. These investments will help Vermont’s NeighborWorks affiliates invest where our communities need it most, in homes for seniors, working parents, and first time homebuyers looking to realize the American Dream. We have traveled throughout the state and heard for years the significant impact that our NeighborWorks partners have on families. These funds ensure that NeighborWorks has the tools it needs to continue helping hardworking Vermonters, and we pledge to work to protect these funds for the next fiscal year.”

Downstreet Housing and Community Development in Barre got $ 237,000. Champlain Housing Trust’s share was $495,333, while $179,667 went to RuralEdge in Lyndonville and Windham & Windsor Housing Trust got $295,667. The joint statement also notes that the Trump administration’s proposed budget for 2018 eliminates these funds.

Read more from VTDigger.


Congressman Welch Pushes for Additional Homelessness Funds

Posted May 9, 2017

Congressman Peter Welch visited the Good Samaritan Haven in Barre on Monday to promote a new bill called the PATH Fairness Act, which focuses on providing more funding to combat homelessness in rural areas.

The bill proposes an increase from $300,000 annually to $750,00 per year to fund five homeless shelters across the state. Congressman Welch has bipartisan support for the bill with a Republican co-sponsor.

Read the full story from


Brattleboro’s Bradley House Celebrates Expansion and Renovation

Posted May 8, 2017

On May 1, Cathedral Square celebrated a ribbon-cutting to mark the renovation and expansion of Brattelboro’s Bradley House, a residential care facility. VHFA supported this renovation and expansion with a $3.1 million construction loan. With this construction, the house will serve 35 people, up from the 28 it could previously serve by adding new wing to create space for additional beds.

Cathedral Square provided development services and traditional funding was contributed by USDA Rural Development, Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Vermont Community Development Program, Commons Energy, Efficiency Vermont, 3E Thermal, The Town of Brattleboro, and private fundraising. Brattleboro Savings and Loan has provided longstanding banking and financial services to Holton Home Inc. and were also key to helping achieve this objective. Find the full article here.

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A Letter to the Editor: Respect Our Home


On December 21, 2016, Seven Days published an article in regards to the leadership shakeup at Burlington Housing Authority which used demeaning language to refer to Decker Towers, home to more than 160 low-income Burlingtonians. Specifically, the article recalled the homes as “looming, drab Decker Towers on St. Paul Street.” Residents on the Decker Towers Tenants Organization Steering Committee felt a need to respond to this characterization of their imperfect yet thriving home and community, and organized a letter writing effort to reshape the narrative surrounding Vermont’s largest building.


With an effort aided by VAHC Resident Organizer Corrine Yonce, residents composed a letter to the editor at Seven Days. In it, residents said it was comments like these that perpetuate a stigma regarding the issues of illness, disabilities and low incomes. The residents reply that, in fact, many of them did have careers, and many are still employed and working.


The residents added that the Towers is a place where people can truly come together and build each other up. At Decker Towers, residents state that their “lives are evolving as we work to overcome substantial adversities and try to avoid further social divide.” This is a place for healing, for coming together, and for growing together.


Residents are upset that their home was portrayed in a negative, gloomy light. In reality, many residents feel their home in the Towers is just the opposite- it is a place for support and safety.


This letter shows the Burlington community that residents, as a matter of fact, have a say too. Residents have an important voice, something which should always be remembered.

Read the residents’ letter here.



Rutland’s Proposal for Shelter Moves Forward


In Rutland, the Homeless Prevention Center’s proposal seeking out state funds for a local family homeless shelter was signed by Mayor David Allaire at a recent meeting. Final approval is scheduled to take place on the night of Monday May 8, as the full Board of Aldermen’s Community and Economic Development Committee meet to consider final approval. This shelter would be located in the former Red Cross building, off Strongs Avenue and near the entrance to Howe Center, and could serve up to 10 families at one time.

The shelter would provide individuals with their own sleeping spaces, with shared kitchen, living spaces, and bathrooms. Currently, homeless families receive state vouchers and are put up in hotels.Deborah Hall, executive director of the Homeless Prevention Center, stated that at least part of the shelter should be up and operating by September. Read more here.

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Chittenden County Sees Drop in Homelessness

Posted May 2, 2017

The Point in Time Count is an annual census of the homeless population conducted on a single night in January. It aims to measure the number of folks who are literally homeless on that night – in emergency shelters, camping, in transitional housing, or on motel vouchers – in order to measure progress made from year to year towards eradicating homelessness. Over the past three years, Chittenden County has now seen a 45 percent reduction in the number of folks who are literally homeless, and a 56 percent reduction in the number of chronically homeless Burlingtonians. Despite this year’s 12 percent decline, there were still more than 300 people in Chittenden County alone who were without a home on the night of January 24th.

“Whether they have an address or not, these are our neighbors,” said Chittenden County Homeless Alliance Co-Chair Erin Ahearn of the Community Health Center of Burlington. The Chittenden County Homeless Alliance is comprised of a wide coalition of organizations, from the Chamber of Commerce to UVM Medical Center to shelter providers and mental health agencies, who have each made a commitment to eradicating homelessness in Chittenden County.

When asked if it is realistic to expect that we should be able to completely eradicate homelessness, Champlain Housing Trust’s Margaret Bozik, the CCHA’s other Co-Chair, stated, “The goal is to get as close to zero as possible, and then make any incidence of homelessness as brief as possible by getting those people the services that they need.”

Mayor Miro Weinberger hailed the numbers as a testament to the commitment of the broad spectrum of organizations working in collaboration towards this common goal. He cited the recent change to a “Housing First” approach where people are first and foremost found a home to be in, and then matched with wrap-around services to meet their other needs subsequently. Mayor Weinberger specifically cited the Winter Warming Shelter as an important step towards serving those who fall into homelessness, and stated that the City is looking for funds to make the shelter available year-round. He concluded his remarks by underscoring the importance of additional funds to support low-income housing construction, pointing to the $35 million bond currently under consideration by legislators in Montpelier.

Read the CCHA’s press release here.

Read VTDigger’s coverage of the press conference here.