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Federal public housing program tightens competition for financing

Posted June 21, 2013

“The Melrose Terrace public housing development was full long before FEMA maps placed it squarely in a special flood hazard area. Its 80 or more elderly and disabled residents were accustomed to evacuations long before and long after President Bill Clinton issued a presidential order that no critical population shall be housed in a flood zone using federal money…

Since 1937, housing agencies…traditionally have relied on the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for the vast majority of their public housing funding. But a new test program would lead them to the world of private equity…”

Link to Full Article 

View PDF of Full VTDigger Article




Training Opportunity: Davis-Bacon Boot Camp

Posted January 4, 2013

Reposted from the Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development.

The Davis-Bacon Act and Labor Compliance Principles “Boot Camp” training has been developed for people who have Davis-Bacon responsibilities under the CDBG, Disaster Recovery and HOME Programs. This workshop combines a Basic Training morning session that assumes the learner has little or no formal experience with an afternoon Labor Standards “201” training program which is more “hands-on” with plenty of word problems and exercises to keep people interested in the subject matter. In preparation, you will want to bring a calculator with you.

The training will be presented by Bill Pickett, HUD’s Regional Labor Relations Officer from the Boston HUD office.

Topics on the workshop agenda include: HUD Labor Relations Streamlining, Local Agency Responsibilities, the Davis-Bacon Act and Federal Labor Standards, Applicability Issues under the Davis-Bacon Act, Agency Compliance Monitoring, Certified Payroll Reviews, Reporting Requirements.

When: Tuesday, February 12, 2013
9:00 AM to 9:15 AM   (Introduction)
9:15 AM to 3:30 PM    (Workshop)

Where: St Leo’s Hall
109 South Main Street
Waterbury, VT 05676

Registration deadline is February 5, 2013.

CLICK HERE to register for the workshop. 

If you have any questions about the workshop, please contact Ray Marzbani at 828-5226 or via email at




RFP for Mobile Home Plan

Posted December 4, 2012

The Vermont Department of Economic, Housing and Community Development is seeking a consultant to assist it in long-range planning for the viability and disaster resilience of mobile home ownership and parks.  The department is requesting proposals from qualified consultants to research some elements of and draft the plan in collaboration with other organizations and interested stakeholders.  Proposals must be submitted by December 14, 2012.  The scope of work to be performed and the information that must be adhered to are described in the Bid Proposal.

Link to Bid Proposal

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Hurricane Sandy: Vermont gears up for late-season monster storm

Posted October 29, 2012

By HOWARD WEISS-TISMAN / Reformer Staff, Reposted from the Brattleboro Reformer, October 27, 2012.

“Brattleboro Housing Authority Executive Director Chris Hart said the organization is still cleaning up from Tropical Storm Irene.

BHA’s Melrose Terrace suffered extensive damage during last year’s historic storm and the housing authority is waiting on the grants to install storm gates and elevate the water heaters off the floors of the most vulnerable apartments.

But instead of continuing the work at Melrose, Hart spent Friday securing loose items, removing picnic tables and toys from the yards and comforting weary tenants who could be facing another evacuation as Hurricane Sandy barrels its way toward New England…”

Link to Full Brattleboro Reformer Article 

Full PDF of article


BHA going through FEMA process

Posted September 20, 2012

By: Howard Weiss-Tisman, Reformer Staff, Brattleboro Reformer, September 1, 2012. Reposted from the Brattleboro Reformer.


“BRATTLEBORO — The flood waters have receded, the decision has been made to move the residents out of Melrose Terrace and the process has begun to find a new location for the approximately 80 residents who now call the West Brattleboro public housing complex, “home.”

But the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, is still trying to decide if it will pay for repairs at Melrose that were a result of last year’s flooding caused by Tropical Storm Irene.

FEMA is collecting public input on its proposed mitigation plan at Melrose Terrace, and will accept comments until Sept. 12 as the slow process toward federal funding creeps forward…”

Link to Full Article

PDF of Full Article


After Irene: Weston Trailer Park makes a comeback — thanks to the help of volunteers, FEMA

Posted August 29, 2012

By: Taylor Dobbs,

August 28, 2012

There’s a fresh look to the Weston Trailer Park. The newly pressed gravel bases for the shiny new mobile homes – some of them still uninhabited – match the bright new wood of the porches. The porches don’t show the tell-tale signs of Vermont weather: the moss that gathers around the base of support posts, the faded gray tone that comes from intense summer sun, winter freezes, and heavy rains.

A year ago, the Weston Trailer Park was home to many families. Trailers of varying vintages lined the short dirt road in Berlin, their porches well-worn. Perhaps some of the families living in the park had heard of Irene, a tropical storm brewing down south. Most of them didn’t expect their neighborhood, the 83-lot trailer park, would be virtually wiped off the map.

Link to Full Article

PDF to Full Article


COTS is ‘hobbling together the spaces’ after flooding

Posted July 16, 2012

Ryan Smith of PuroClean removes remnants of water-soaked sheetrock as clean up continues at the Committee on Temporary Shelter’s (COTS) Daystation in Burlington on Thursday. The drop-in center for the homeless was heavily damaged from flooding in the aftermath of a severe thunderstorm on July 4th. / GLENN RUSSELL/FREE PRESS

Matt Ryan, Free Press Staff Writer – July 13, 2012

While workers gut the flooded interior of the Committee on Temporary Shelter’s Daystation, members of the Burlington nonprofit are scrambling to raise funds and provide services elsewhere.
Roughly 50 to 60 clients dropped into the Daystation daily to eat lunch, get their mail and contact prospective employers and landlords. A week ago, heavy rain swamped the basement-level shelter, displacing staff and clients and causing tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

The fast storm that roared through on the Fourth of July knocked over trees, flooded one of Burlington’s busiest intersections and left some 5,000 utility customers without power.

Water rushed downhill and collected around the Committee on Temporary
Shelter facility at the corner of South Winooski Avenue and King Street. The
water level climbed more than 3 feet outside the building and poured inside.

Since then, COTS has continued to provide the Daystation’s services in the building’s second story, where caseworkers meet with clients, and where its overflow shelter on St. Paul Street is housed, said Becky Holt, COTS spokeswoman.

“We’re just kind of hobbling together the spaces,” Holt said.

The rainwater destroyed at least $45,000 worth of computers, appliances and furniture, Holt said. She said COTS had “minimal insurance” and hopes to raise $30,000 to help cover the cost. As of Thursday, the nonprofit had raised about $10,000 she said.

“We have this amazing community,” Holt said. “People are rallying and asking how they can help.”

COTS welcomes volunteers who want to prepare lunch, but has left the cleanup to the professionals, because the rainwater swept sewage into the building, Holt said.

Demolition of the Daystation continued Thursday. Workers had swept up most of the debris and cut the Sheetrock walls about three feet from the floor, exposing the wood and metal studs underneath.

The shelter will remain inhabitable for several weeks, Holt said.

 Link to Article

PDF of Full Burlington Free Press Article


Irene Recovery Event: June 8th – Gilman Housing Trust

Posted May 18, 2012

Gilman Housing Trust

As you well know, in August, 2011 Tropical Storm Irene wreaked havoc across the State.  Particularly impacted were central and southern counties as torrential rains swelled streams and rivers, overflowing banks and devastating towns, villages, and outlying areas. Hundreds of homes were lost and economic centers were hit hard. Some northern areas, being upriver, were spared the worst. Gilman Housing Trust and our sister organizations around the state have reached-out to those affected and have provided rehab funds, counsel, and referrals as needed.

On Friday, June 8, 2012 all of us will be coming together to work on reconstruction, rehab, clean-up, and beautification projects in the hard-hit Windsor/Windham counties area.  We hope that you will join us. The work will include painting and finishing replacement homes, revitalizing recreation fields, restoring bleachers and dugouts, carrying furniture into shelters, planting, landscaping, clearing debris, etc.  All levels of skills are needed. All participation is welcomed.

Please let us know if you or anyone from your group will be able to participate.  You’ll receive directions to the gathering point where assignments will be made. Come join colleagues from across our region. Help our neighbors.  Make a difference.

Please contact Peg Hale or Trisha Ingalls at Gilman Housing Trust at 802-535-3555, or toll free at 888-MY VT HOME. Email them at or  Thank you!


George Mathias, Chief Operating Officer

Gilman Housing Trust, Inc. – 48 Elm Street – P.O. Box 259 – Lyndonville, VT 05851

direct  802.535.3592 / cell  802.535.5056


Tony Pomerleau gives Shelburne mobile home park residents a future

Posted May 8, 2012

Burlington Free Press: Joel Banner Baird

The population of Shelburnewood Mobile Home Park is yet again holding its collective breath.

Burlington developer and philanthropist Tony Pomerleau says he’s breathing just fine: He aims to buy the property and grant its residents permanent ownership.“It’ll happen,” Pomerleau said Thursday, possibly within the year.

Shelburnewood residents greeted Pomerleau’s announcement last week with surprise and relief — flavored with caution.

For almost a decade, the 50 or so residents of Shelburnewood Mobile Home Park have faced alternating scenarios of eviction and reprieve.

Their aluminum homes sit on a portion of 20 acres of prime real estate. They’re
tucked behind Trinity Episcopal Church, within Shelburne’s village core; within
walking distance of school, shops and town offices.

Shelburnewood, in many ways, is a prototype for dense, “smart-growth” residential development.

But attempts to secure funding and town approval for low-to-mid-income housing at that site have been slow and painful.

“We’ve been down this road many times,” said Vicki Carleton, the president of the park’s residents’ association …

Link to Burlington Free Press Article

PDF of Full BFP Article


Pomerleau looks to buy, preserve Shelburnewood mobile home park

Posted May 7, 2012

Burlington Free Press – Joel Banner Baird

Burlington developer Tony Pomerleau said Wednesday he intends to buy

Shelburnewood mobile home park, and find ways to keep its residents living there.

The deal with the Shelburne property’s owners has not yet been finalized, but “it’s 90 percent done, and it’s going to happen,” Pomerleau told the Burlington
Free Press.

Plans to convert the mobile home park into mixed-income housing fell through in 2010 after facing stiff opposition in Shelburne’s Development Review Board.

The property lies along the village’s northeast corner. Owners Marvin and Sue Thomas, have for several years said they no longer wish to operate the park, and would like to sell, said their lawyer, Liam Murphy …

PDF of Burlington Free Press Article

Link to Burlington Free Press Article



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