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Joint VAHC & VCEH Meeting, VAHC Annual Meeting & VCEH Monthly Meeting – Wednesday, Sept 13, Randolph, VT

Posted August 31, 2017

 

The Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition’s annual joint meeting with the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness (VCEH), our own Annual Meeting, and the VCEH’s monthly meeting will be held on Wednesday, September 13 from 9:30 – 2:00 at Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church, 43 Hebard Hill Road, Randolph, VT.

The agenda is still being finalized, but Governor Phil Scott and House Speaker Mitzi Johnson are confirmed to meet with us! We also look forward to a DC report from congressional staff and await confirmation from other invited legislative leaders.

The joint meeting will conclude with a networking lunch, followed by the VAHC Annual Meeting and the VCEH monthly meeting, meeting simultaneously at the church.  Here is the overall agenda for the day:

  9:30 – 12:00       VAHC & VCEH Joint Meeting
12:00 – 12:45       Networking Lunch
12:45 – 2:00         VAHC Annual Meeting & VCEH Monthly Meeting

We’ll send out the full, detailed agenda, location and background materials as soon as they are finalized.

Hope to see you on the 13th!

 



Erhard Mahnke: Cambrian Rise will ease housing shortage

Posted August 21, 2017

Safe, stable and affordable housing is essential for a community to thrive economically, socially and culturally. Vermont continues to struggle with housing affordability, and unfortunately the state’s largest city of Burlington is no exception. A Burlington resident needs to earn over $26 an hour to afford the fair market rent for a two-bedroom apartment – that’s more than $5 per hour above the national average. This is troubling and we hear about the ramifications from families and seniors who can’t find places to live, from young people who are choosing to leave the state for more affordable areas, from agencies serving the homeless, and from our employers who struggle to find qualified employees due to the high cost of housing.

There are several components to addressing the issue of affordable housing, and one of the most critical is the need for capital investment to build new housing and to renovate existing properties. While many additional homes have been built over the past several years, many more are needed to accommodate the growth of 2,375 new households projected for Chittenden County by 2020. Current production is being absorbed into the market quickly, and the long-term vacancy rate for rentals still hovers between 1 and 2 percent, putting supply and demand out of whack. Not surprisingly, according to Census data over half of Chittenden County renters are “cost-burdened,” meaning they pay too much of their income for housing, leaving them without enough for other basic necessities.

In terms of affordable housing, last month the Champlain Housing Trust had just five vacancies among their 2,000 plus apartments, and only one vacancy in Chittenden County. Cathedral Square Corp. had over 800 seniors and people with special needs on its waiting list looking to move into affordable housing. Furthermore, the effective vacancy rate for subsidized rentals in Chittenden County was literally zero percent for all bedroom sizes. These shocking numbers help explain why the Burlington Housing Authority typically measures their waiting list in years rather than weeks or even months.

These numbers are astonishing, but the good news is that there are clear steps we can take to address the cost of housing. No one project will be the panacea for Burlington’s affordable housing crisis, but developments like the proposed Cambrian Rise project in Burlington’s North End can significantly improve housing options for residents and relieve the pressure on a strained system. As proposed, Cambrian Rise will be a 739-apartment mixed-income housing neighborhood with an impressive number of affordable homes. The neighborhood will offer Burlington residents housing options for all income levels.

Under Burlington’s inclusionary zoning ordinance, the development will include 128 affordable rentals for families and seniors with household incomes of less than 65 percent of the Chittenden County median income. In English that translates into housing that is affordable for a one-person household making $37,500, or $53,600 for a family of four. However, with federal, state and local dollars available to Champlain Housing Trust and Cathedral Square, which are partnering to help create Cambrian Rise, many apartments will be even more affordable. Furthermore, another 60 homes will be affordable to homebuyers earning below 75 to 80 percent of median income, or below at most $46,150 for a single individual and $65,900 for a family of four. In all, the development will offer 188 permanently affordable homes to low-income Vermonters. In addition, Cambrian Rise will offer “workforce housing” for sale and rent targeted to more moderate income people up to 120 percent of the median income. Our working families, our seniors and people with disabilities, and our employers desperately need these new homes.

Cambrian Rise not only offers a diverse neighborhood, it is also a model for sustainable development. The project features alternative transportation options, energy efficiency, a state-of-the art stormwater system to protect the lake, and a conserved 12-acre public park – giving us continuous public access to Lake Champlain from Perkins Pier to North Beach. Convenient access to the bike path, car share opportunities, and a heated bus terminal for year-round use will ease the financial burden for residents of the neighborhood. This mixed-use development is a model for the future, where diverse residents of all income levels, abilities and ages can live, work and play in one neighborhood.

This Op-Ed was posted on VTDigger.com on 8/20/17.

 



Vermont Lawmakers Unanimously Approve Rescission Plan

Posted August 18, 2017

Ever since the revenue state downgrade announced at the last Joint Fiscal Committee meeting last month, there has been concern about $12M in anticipated rescissions, which the Administration made public this week, ahead of Thursday’s Joint Fiscal Committee meeting and public hearing.

Despite these earlier concerns, it would appear that there is nothing to worry about. The administration largely was able to make up the budget shortfall prior to the rescission process.

The only reductions to AHS programs come in the area of health care: $1.6M in “Outpatient Prospective Payment reduction,” and $4.5M in “Medicaid Consensus Forecast reduction.”  There is clearly nothing that affects housing or any of the programs we rely on to combat homelessness.

Read more from VT Digger.

 



Job Posting – Westgate Housing Inc. – Community Director

Posted August 9, 2017

The Westgate Community Director serves the hopes and needs of Westgate, a 98-unit low and moderate-income community in Brattleboro, Vermont. S/he is staff to the resident-controlled Westgate Housing Inc. board. WHI is co-owner of the property.

With the residents and board, the Community Director is responsible for:

  • Developing programs and services for and by residents

  • Helping to make Westgate a vibrant community

  • Building relations and collaboration with other organizations and the Town and State

  • Overseeing the management company and property finances

  • Managing the WHI finances

  • Working closely with our partner in owning the property, Windham & Windsor Housing Trust

Qualifications

  • Experience working in a non-profit organization

  • Ability to handle a variety of concurrent tasks and projects

  • Excellent writing and speaking skills

  • Experience with people from diverse backgrounds

  • Experience in administration and financial management

  • Familiarity with Microsoft office and, ideally, Quickbooks

  • Familiarity with fundraising methods and resources

  • Bachelor’s degree or comparable experience

  • Stamina, a calm manner, and a sense of humor

Compensation: Salaried, exempt and offer will be commensurate with experience.

WHI will contribute up to $3000 a year in reimbursement towards premium payments of privately purchased health insurance or towards costs of being on a spouse’s or domestic partner’s plan.

This is a full-time position. Schedule is somewhat flexible. Applicants must be able to work several evenings a month and occasionally staff weekend events.

Hiring Process: Shortly after application deadline all applicants will be notified as to whether or not they are invited to interview. Interviews will be conducted with a hiring committee who will make a recommendation to the WHI Board. Our goal is to make a formal offer by the Board at our September 12th meeting. A criminal background check will be conducted prior to offer. References will be solicited and checked if you are invited to interview.

Please submit a cover letter and resume to contact@westgatehousing.org. Deadline – August 27th.
For a full job description go to: https://tinyurl.com/WG-CD-Job

 

 



Job Posting – Fuel & Utility Assistance Program Director, Department for Children and Families

Posted

This position, Fuel & Utility Assistance Program Director is open to all State employees and external applicants.

If you would like more information about this position, please contact Richard Donahey at (802) 241-0601 or at richard.donahey@vermont.gov.

 

The Department for Children and Families – Economic Services Division seeks a highly motivated and confident professional for the position of Fuel and Utility Assistance Program Director. This Director level position is responsible for the overall management of the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) and Vermont’s Energy Assistance Program.  Duties include the development and monitoring of grants with community organizations and State partners, as well as development of the annual benefits budget. Supervision is exercised over Classified and Temporary staff. Work is performed with latitude for independent decision-making and is under the general direction of the Senior Policy and Operations Manager.

To read the full job specification for this position, please visit the DHR Job Specifications page.

 



Job Postings – Vermont State Housing Authority

Posted

Coordinator, Housing Program Services

Make a difference by helping individuals & families with their housing needs.  Vermont State Housing Authority, a statewide affordable housing provider, has an exciting opportunity for an individual to join their dedicated team of employees. This management position is responsible for supervisory, administrative, technical & planning work involving the day-to-day intake & occupancy services for rental assistance programs (i.e., Section 8 Voucher, Family Self-Sufficiency, Homeownership; McKinney Vento Shelter Plus Care & other subsidy programs) administered by VSHA.  Bachelor’s Degree & a minimum of three-five years professional experience in administrative, social service and/or outreach work, including strong supervisory responsibilities.  Position is based in Montpelier, VT, requires office & field work.  Details, requirements & qualifications at www.vsha.org.  Cover letter & resume to:  HR, VSHA, 1 Prospect St., Montpelier, VT  05602-3556; or contact@vsha.org.  VSHA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Receptionist/Office Assistant – UPDATE: POSITION FILLED (9/14/17)

Be part of team of professionals helping families & individuals with their housing needs.  Statewide affordable housing provider/manager needs a receptionist/office assistant full-time in their Montpelier office.  General receptionist & administrative support duties. Individual must have excellent communication skills, be highly organized & able to multi-task & work in a fast-paced environment.  For full position details, requirements & qualifications, visit www.vsha.org.  Cover letter & resume to:  HR, VSHA, One Prospect St., Montpelier, VT  05602-3556; or contact@vsha.org.  VSHA is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

 



Headlines from the Past Week

Posted August 8, 2017

State Set To Go Over Budget To Fully Fund Homelessness Program
BY ERIN MANSFIELD

Human Services Secretary Al Gobeille said departments generally are not allowed to spend more than the Legislature budgeted, but that the administration is allowing it in this situation. Read more…

New Owner Sprucing Up Former Parish School In Burlington
BY MORGAN TRUE

Champlain Housing Trust says it plans to continue operating the onetime St. Joseph School as a community center. The trust paid $2.15 million for the building. Read more…

Bond Will Invest in Affordable Housing at Record Levels
BY ERIN MANSFIELD

The $34 million sum is the most state money the board has been able to oversee as part of a single bond since its inception in the 1980s. Read more…

New Money from State to Boost Aid for Homeless
BY STEPHEN MILLS

Homeless advocates are working to add services in central Vermont with the help of a $300,000 appropriation by the Legislature in the last session.  Read more…

Housing Accord Seals the Deal
BY STEPHEN MILLS

The long-awaited Taylor Street transit center in Montpelier got the green light with the signing of a housing option agreement amid much fanfare on Thursday. Read more…

Emergency Help for the Homeless Will Stay Fully Funded
BY NEIL P. GOSWAMI

State officials say they will be able to fully fund the state’s General Assistance Emergency Housing budget after warning community agencies in late June that only three months of funding were possible. Read more…

Tenants to Buy, Upgrade Mobile Home Park
BY GORDON DRITSCHILO

the Windy Hollow Mobile Home Cooperative is preparing to take over the similarly named mobile home park on River Street in Rutland. Read More…

 



2017 Tri-State Housing Managers Conference Registration Open

Posted

We are excited to announce the online registration for the 2017 Tri-State Housing Managers Conference is now open.  The Tri-State planning committee has been working hard to put a full line of training topics together for you and we hope that everyone will be able to attend.  Please use the following link to register for the conference.  The deadline for registration is Monday, September 25, 2017.

https://www.regonline.com/tristatemanagersassociationconference

Please note that hotel reservations need to be made separately by calling the hotel directly.  The information is also on the registration website.  Hotel reservations must be made by September 24, 2017.

Scholarships

VHMA promotes educational opportunities for its members, and does not want to turn anyone away who has difficulty affording quality training.  Therefore, every year VHMA offers scholarships to support members to attend VHMA trainings or conferences.

A VHMA member may request a scholarship for this conference.  All requests will be reviewed by the executive committee and responded to within a timely manner.  Scholarships shall be granted in the range of $50-$450.

Criteria taken into consideration during review will be:
• Active or inactive membership                                                             • Total requests received from the same organization
• Length of membership with VHMA                                                      • Size of company
• Amount of request                                                                                 • Number of requests for given event
• Total requests received for the given year                                          • VHMA financial position

Please forward your written requests for consideration to Iris Gilbert via email at irisg@ruraledge.org

Requests must be received no later than September 1, 2017

We hope to see you all at the conference!!!!

 



Live at 5:25: Burlington Housing Authority Residents Participate in the Art Hop

Posted

Last week, VAHC Resident Organizer Corrine Yonce spoke with David Foss and local Artist Kylie Dally about ongoing activities at several Burlington Housing Authority properties.  Kylie is working with BHA residents to incorporate artwork into BHA residences to make the living spaces more stimulating. David, a member of Decker Towers’ Resident Advisory Board and of the Decker Towers Tenants Association Steering Committee, has worked with Corrine to find new ways to connect Decker Towers to the larger Burlington community in order to fight the stigma that so many Decker residents face. Check out this episode of Live at 5:25 here.

You can watch this program on Channel 17/ Town Meeting Television, on Comcast Cable and Burlington Telecom at the following times:

Wednesday August  2, 5:25 PM
Thursday August  3, 7:00 PM
Monday August 14, 3:00 PM
Monday August 21, 3:00 PM
Monday August 28, 3:00 PM