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Fair Market Rents Revised Up 16 Percent in Burlington Metro Area

Posted May 4, 2016

Effective May 3rd, Fair Market Rent standards in Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle have been revised. Below is a statement from the Vermont Housing Finance Agency:

Thanks to a local survey commissioned by Vermont State Housing Authority, the Fair Market Rent standards used for HUD’s Section 8 Housing Choice Vouchers in Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties will be revised upward effective today. The levels established in December 2015 by HUD were 16 percent lower than the new levels.

The survey of rents in the Burlington metro area was funded by VHFA and other partner agencies. Read more.


Mixed Use Redevelopment of Brattleboro Site Wins HUD Design Award

Posted June 23, 2015

The Canal & Main Apartments/Brattleboro Food Cooperative development was one of two projects to receive the 2015 HUD Secretary’s Housing and Community Design Award for excellence in affordable housing design.

HUD and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) selected Step Up on 5th in Santa Monica, California; and Brattleboro’s Canal & Main development as national affordable housing models.

“Affordable housing represents a gateway to greater opportunity. These two projects are a powerful reminder that bold vision and innovative design can shape communities of promise,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “I congratulate these winners on their achievements and I’m proud to honor them for their commitment to inclusive development.”

The Brattleboro Food Co-op, Windham & Windsor Housing Trust and Housing Vermont partnered to redevelop a site in downtown Brattleboro. The scope of the project included the demolition of the obsolete Brattleboro Food Co-op building and the construction of a four-story, highly energy-efficient, green building. The attractive new building provides 33,600 square feet of retail and office space for the Co-op on the first two floors and 24 affordable apartments in the top two floors.

Gossens Bachman Architects designed the innovative building. The award recognized the “building is a model of energy efficiency, using both conventional and innovative systems, such as heating the entire building with reclaimed waste heat from the store refrigeration system. The collaborative design process was a critical factor in making the project a model for responsible building practice and smart growth.”

The site, previously contaminated by a dry cleaning facility, was cleaned up. The building was moved away from the nearby brook to protect the water from pollution and the building from flooding. Storm water runoff is treated and filtered by a green roof, permeable surfaces in the parking lot, and a 20-foot buffer strip in the new public park created along the Whetstone Brook. Recycled heat generated by the Co-op’s refrigerators heats the store and the apartments and provides hot water.

Construction materials included locally harvested and milled flooring and slate siding manufactured in Vermont. The apartments have continuous fresh air ventilation with heat recovery and the Co-op uses a solar photovoltaic system to generate electricity. These features have cut per-square-foot energy costs by approximately 50 percent, which helps keep the apartments affordable and saves 21 tons of CO2 emissions a year.


HUD to Host Discussion on Expanding Affordable Housing, April 7th

Posted April 1, 2015

HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research, Habitat for Humanity International, and Enterprise Community Partners are hosting an evidence-based discussion on the challenges and opportunities for expanding housing affordability. “The Housing Affordability Opportunity: Lowering Costs and Expanding Supply” will be held on Tuesday, April 7, 2015 from 10:00AM to 1:00PM and a live webcast will be available.

Housing affordability is a growing concern throughout the United States and around the world. This is also a global issue of growing concern. A recent study by the McKinsey Global Institute estimates that 330 million urban households around the world live in substandard housing or are financially stretched by housing costs, and that within a decade at least 1.6 billion people worldwide will struggle to obtain decent, affordable housing. Here in the U.S., for the 11.5 million extremely low-income households in 2012 there were only 3.3 million rental units affordable and available to them.

Despite these staggering statistics, there are policies and actions that can help increase the supply of affordable housing and reduce the housing affordability gap globally and here in the U.S. On April 7, join HUD’s Office of Policy Development and Research, in partnership with Habitat for Humanity International and Enterprise Community Partners, for an evidence-based discussion on the challenges and opportunities for expanding housing affordability.

This event will bring together a diverse group of stakeholders including researchers; real estate professionals and developers; financiers; planners; federal, state and local decision-makers; advocates and other practitioners to discuss the barriers that exist and steps that can be taken to address them. Register today to participate in this thought-provoking, interactive dialogue on one of the most pressing issues facing communities today.

We also invite you to participate in the event via social media by following @HUDUSERnews and @PDRevents. We’ll be tagging our updates with #housingopportunity.

For more information, an agenda, and to register to participate in person or through live webcast go to


Proposed FY 2016 HUD Budget Stakeholder Briefing Invitation

Posted January 28, 2015


Please join Secretary Julián Castro at a stakeholder briefing on
the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Proposed FY 2016 Budget
Monday, February 2, 2015
4:00 – 5:00 pm EST (please adjust for your local time)
U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
Brooke-Mondale Auditorium
451 7th St SW
Washington, DC 20410
To attend in person, please RSVP HERE before 12:00pm EST, Monday, February 2, 2015.
*For security purposes, RSVPs must be received prior to the deadline
For those unable to attend, please view the briefing via webcast HERE.
*Note the webcast link will not be active until minutes prior to the start of the event.
This briefing is for stakeholders and not for press purposes.
For additional information, contact Yvonne Hsu ( or 202-402-2316)


HUD FY 2014 Continuum of Care Program Competition – Funding Announcement

Posted January 26, 2015

Today HUD announced the grants awarded through the FY 2014 Continuum of Care Program Competition. To view the full grant listing for Vermont click here.

Below is the announcement from HUD. To view the original announcement email online click here.

FY 2014 Continuum of Care Program Competition – Funding Announcement

Earlier today, Secretary Castro announced $1.8 billion in grants to support nearly 8,400 local homeless housing and service programs across the U.S., Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Continuum of Care (CoC) grants awarded today support the Administration’s efforts to end homelessness by providing critically needed housing and support services to individuals and families experiencing homelessness across the country. View a complete list of all the state and local homeless projects awarded funding.

In addition to renewing effective projects already in operation and projects created through local strategic resource allocation, today’s announcement includes funding for 25 new projects that will provide permanent supportive housing to individuals and families experiencing chronic homelessness in areas with especially high need. These new projects were awarded as part of a special competition designed to help the Department make progress toward its goal of ending chronic homelessness.

Details about Funds Announced Today for CoCs and Applicants
As stated in the FY 2014 CoC Program Funding Notice, HUD is issuing this single funding announcement that includes conditional funding for those projects that passed the eligibility and threshold criteria: renewal projects, new permanent supportive housing and rapid re-housing projects that were created through reallocation, new permanent supportive housing projects created through the Permanent Supportive Housing Bonus, CoC planning, and UFA Costs.

Adjustments to Funding
The conditional award amounts included for renewal projects may be different than the request that was submitted in the project application. The McKinney-Vento Act, as amended by the HEARTH Act, requires HUD to make certain adjustments to funding prior to award. These adjustments were made after the tiers were established and are as follows:

  1. Funds awarded for rental assistance were adjusted by applying the Fair Market Rent (FMR) in effect at the time of application submission (including decreases). View the FY 2015 Fair Market Rent Limits.
  2. Funds awarded for operating and leasing in permanent housing projects were increased based on the average increase in FMR amounts within a CoC’s geographic area, weighted for population density. Because operating and leasing costs do not decrease relative to rent amounts for specific units, adjustments were not made to these costs if the FMRs decreased in the geographic area.
  3. In addition to these required adjustments, projects were reviewed to ensure that they were consistent with the approved Grants Inventory Worksheet and CoC Program interim rule.

If you have additional questions or require more specific information, please submit a question to the e-snaps HUD Exchange Ask A Question or contact your local HUD CPD field office.


Fair Housing Project Initiates a Campaign to Build Inclusive Communities in Vermont

Posted October 22, 2014

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) recently awarded the Fair Housing Project of the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) $125,000 to help further their aim to build more inclusive communities in Vermont. From the press release:

The FHP will begin work with partner organizations to conduct public discussions, and use multiple means to reach ordinary citizens as well as public policy makers with a hearts and minds campaign that emphasizes the positive advantages to communities of encouraging affordable mixed income housing in locations that are conducive to sound economic development. The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has announced the award of $125,000 to the Fair Housing Project (FHP) of CVOEO funding for a project to further fair housing by helping create more inclusive communities.

Ted Wimpey, Director of the Fair Housing Project says that, “Local businesses need workers and customers, aging populations, people with disabilities, people on fixed incomes and all working people need more affordable homes located closer to work, medical facilities and other services and shopping where transportation will not cost an arm and a leg. It is a win-win proposition for all communities. We hope to be on the forefront of helping promote ways that communities can achieve this.”

Wimpey says that he is pleased to have some important partners in the project. One partner in the project, Sarah Carpenter, Executive Director of Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA), expressed her enthusiasm for the project: “VHFA is very pleased that the Fair Housing Project’s Inclusive and Vibrant Communities Vermont project has been fully funded by HUD. VHFA offers financing and promotes affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters, and provides housing research and policy support. VHFA has had positive experience working with the Fair Housing Project and as a partner in this campaign we will be specifically assisting with the on-line component of the campaign. It is critical that both the general public and policy makers around the state learn more about the affordable housing needs in their communities.”

The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) is another partner organization which is eager to work with the FHP on this project. Gus Seelig, Executive Director, of VHCB says, “We are excited about this inclusive and vibrant communities project and we are looking forward to working with CVOEO Fair Housing Project. As an independent agency with the dual goals of creating affordable housing for Vermonters and conserving and protecting Vermont’s country side we consider fair and affordable housing and inclusive, economically healthy communities vital to our organizational mission and to the interests of all people living in Vermont.”

Wimpey says that the project will start up as soon as a contract is signed with HUD, “This will be a wonderful positive way to win hearts and minds for fair housing and affordable and inclusive communities that are also economically vibrant. We are thrilled.”

For more information contact Ted Wimpey by email at or phone at 802-660-3456 ext. 106.


HUD Orders Rhode Island Housing To Repay $1.1 Million In Grants To Safe Haven Homeless Facility

Posted October 14, 2014

The Providence Journal recently reported that Rhode Island Housing has been ordered to repay $1.1 million in federal grants because it has failed to document how those funds were spent at a Pawtucket homeless facility. From the article:

The regional office of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development came down hard on Rhode Island Housing Tuesday and ordered that the agency pay back more than $1.1 million for failing to provide financial controls at Safe Haven, a homeless facility in Pawtucket that shut down this summer.

The Urban League of Rhode Island ran Safe Haven, but Rhode Island Housing was responsible for dispersing funds from the federal Continuum of Care program to the nonprofit facility.

HUD decided to seek the reimbursement of $1,157,573 after Rhode Island Housing “was unable to provide HUD with documentation and assurances that it had established such fiscal control and accounting procedures as may be necessary to assure the proper disbursal of, and accounting for grant funds …” wrote Robert D. Shumeyko, HUD’s regional director. “It is our conclusion that RIH is out of compliance with the terms of conditions set forth in the Grant Agreements governing these projects.”

The time period ran from Oct. 1, 2010, through Sept. 30, 2013.

Rhode Island Housing is barred from using federal funds to reimburse HUD, and the money must be repaid by Nov. 3, unless the housing agency can produce “verifiable evidence” to support the funds drawn from the federal grants.

To read the full report click here.


Four New HUD CoC Projects Awarded in Vermont

Posted June 23, 2014

Important news, last Thursday HUD announced a second round of grants totaling $140 million to nearly 900 local homeless assistance programs across the country.  Check out the grants received in Vermont:

VT Balance of State CoC

  • VSHA RRH1 FY13  $87,366  [former RCHC/HPC SSO & Morningside SSO projects]: new CoC Rapid Rehousing project for Families in Rutland County and Brattleboro (Windham County) in the form of temporary rental assistance (up to 16 months) with most services provided through a match from non-HUD funds.
  • VSHA S+C Rutland FY13  $117,741 [5% sequestration reallocated]:  new CoC Shelter Plus Care project to be operated by Pathways to Housing VT in Rutland County; to serve 14 individuals experiencing chronic homelessness; grant only funds rental assistance.

Chittenden CoC

  • Branches PSH  $56,673  [5% sequestration reallocated]:  CoC Permanent Supportive Housing project to serve the chronically homeless in Chittenden County.
  • Planning Project  $11,761  [renewal]:  CoC planning funds awarded to City of Burlington-CEDO as CoC collaborative applicant.

Below is HUD’s official announcement of the grants:

U.S. Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Shaun Donovan announced a second round of grants totaling $140 million to nearly 900 local homeless assistance programs across the country. Provided through HUD’s Continuum of Care Program (CoC), the funding announced today will ensure additional permanent housing and transitional housing renewal projects are able to continue operating in the coming year, providing critically needed housing and support services to those persons and families experiencing homelessness. Also included in this announcement are 436 new projects aimed to provide permanent supportive housing for persons experiencing chronic homelessness and to rapidly re-house families with children that are living on the streets or in emergency shelter.

This year, Continuums of Care were asked to make strategic and hard decisions in order to implement a required 5 percent cut as a result of sequestration. The selection criteria included in the FY2013 – FY2014 CoC Program Competition NOFA allowed HUD to fund all eligible new permanent housing projects requested in Tier 1 and Tier 2, as well as fund permanent housing and transitional housing renewal projects requested in Tier 2. Unfortunately, however, more than 300 otherwise eligible HMIS, Supportive Services Only, Planning and UFA project applications were not awarded funds in this competition.

What is promising is that in spite of the tough budgetary decisions CoCs were forced to make, most CoCs chose to reallocate funds to create new projects following best-practice models that serve those homeless persons most in need which will help communities increase progress towards achieving the goals of Opening Doors.

Learn more here.


Register Today: HUD and USICH – Core Principles of Housing First and Rapid Re-Housing Webinar


This upcoming Thursday, June, 26, at 2pm there will be a web opportunity to hear directly from HUD and USICH staff about rapid re-housing and housing first principles.

You can register online now!

This webinar focuses on the core principles of Housing First and Rapid Re-Housing and will be presented by Ann Oliva, the Acting Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs Director at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and Laura Zeilinger, the Executive Director for the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH).

Participants will learn:

  • About the Housing First approach
  • About Rapid Re-housing as a housing model
  • How to implement a Housing First and/or Rapid Re-Housing model

Who Should Attend?

The webinar is relevant to anyone who is or will be implementing a Housing First and/or Rapid Re-Housing model.

This webinar is limited to 1,500 participants and registration for this training closes 24 hours before the webinar begins.

Training Point of Contact:

To find out more information about upcoming trainings and access materials from previously held trainings, go to OneCPD Training and Events.

Register for the Housing First and Rapid Re-Housing Webinar

To register, please visit HUD and USICH: Core Principles of Housing First and Rapid Re-Housing Webinar.

If you do not have a OneCPD Learn account:

  • Select Create an Account
  • Enter your information on Steps 1 and 2 of the registration page.
  • Select Register
  • You will be brought directly to the course detail page in OneCPD Learn and an email containing your username will be sent to you. Keep this for future use.
  • Select the checkbox next to the class name and location and then select Enroll in this Class

If you already have a OneCPD Learn account:

  • Enter your Username and Password; select Log in
  • If prompted to fill out additional information, please do so, and selectUpdate
  • You will be brought directly to the course detail page in OneCPD Learn
  • Select the checkbox next to the class name and location and then select Enroll in this Class

If you are unsure if you have a OneCPD Learn account:

  • Go to the OneCPD Login page, and enter your email address into the field: Forget Username or Password?
  • If a username for that email address already exists, you will receive an email with a temporary password that you can use to follow the steps above. If not, you’ll receive an error message


HUD announces new housing regulations

Posted July 24, 2013

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) published the proposed Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AAFF) rule last week. According to the National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) , the proposed rule would:

  • Replacing the current Analysis of Impediments (AI) (for which no format or standards exist), with a standardized Assessment of Fair Housing (AFH).
  • Provision of comprehensive, nationally uniform data by HUD.
  • Incorporating language in the Consolidated Plan and PHA Plan regulations that directly ties those plans’ priority setting, commitment of resources, and specific activities into the AFH.
  • Requiring the AFH to be submitted to HUD for review and approval (AIs are not submitted to or reviewed by HUD) well in advance of preparing a Consolidated Plan or PHA Plan so that the AFH informs the priorities, strategies, and future activities covered by those plans.

Link to NLIHC’s Full AFFH Summary

Link to Full HUD AFFH Rule Proposal

HUD announces the final regulation for the HOME Investments Partnership Program, which is designed to create affordable housing for low-income households. According to the regulation, “this final rule amends the HOME regulations to address many of the operational challenges facing participating jurisdictions, particularly challenges related to recent housing market conditions and the alignment of federal housing programs.”

Link to Full HUD HOME Regulation 


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