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Brattleboro Housing Authority Receives Federal Funding to Help People Be More Independent

Posted July 21, 2016

The Brattleboro Reformer reports that the Brattleboro Housing Authority was one of three Vermont housing authorities to receive grants through the HUD Family Self-Sufficiency Program. These grants allow residents to receive assistance in achieving goals that lead to self-sufficiency. Below is an excerpt from the article:

A federal program is aiming to make a difference by propelling people towards a better future.

The Brattleboro Housing Authority was one of three housing authorities in Vermont to receive grants through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Family Self-Sufficiency Program. Residents in public housing and Section 8 programming are eligible to receive assistance in finding jobs or returning to school in order to reach certain goals.

“It’s really oriented around work and getting the tools necessary to get work in the field that they’re interested in,” said BHA Executive Director Christine Hart. “One of the most important parts of the program is that in public housing and Section 8, when your income goes up, your rents goes up. So there’s an unfortunate built-in disincentive to work because your rent goes up.”

Through the program, that increase in rent instead goes into an escrow account until the participant reaches their goals. Then they have access to the money.

According to Hart, the BHA has a minimum of 75 participants in the program at any given time. So far, three families have left the program and purchased homes with the money they had saved.

“Right now, we have residents that have escrow balances from a low of $9 — so somebody who just started — to $10,000,” said Hart. “And we have five current participants with balances over $1,000.”

So it’s no wonder why Hart says her organization is “very pleased to be refunded” for the fifth year in a row. The grants are awarded on an annual basis.

“I think that speaks well of our program and that should be an incentive for people to apply,” said Hart. “It can be a huge help to a family or anybody.”

To continue reading the article, click here.


Algiers Village housing dedicated

Posted July 16, 2013

By Mike Faher. Reposted from the Brattleboro Reformer, July 12, 2013.

Less than two weeks after Guilford Country Store reopened, officials gathered Wednesday to celebrate completion of a $4.5 million housing project on Guilford Center Road.

The project brought 17 new apartments to Guilford through an effort led by Windham & Windsor Housing Trust. But Connie Snow, the trust’s executive director, said there was plenty of gratitude to spread around.

‘This was a multifaceted revitalization effort,’ Snow said…”

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Vermont plan to limit welfare-to-work draws fire

Posted April 23, 2013

By Dave Gram, Associated Press. Reposted from the Brattleboro Reformer.

“MONTPELIER — For Roslyn Haldane and Jen Grey, a plan by Gov. Peter Shumlin’s administration to put new limits on a welfare-to-work program could create a nasty domino effect.

Grey could lose the $640 monthly check she receives from the state, which would force the extended Barre family to combine two households into one. Haldane would have to ask the disabled man she cares for to move, costing her the $2,400-a-month state stipend she gets for providing that care and forcing the man to find a new situation…”

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Sequester hits home with cuts to BHA

Posted April 9, 2013

“BRATTLEBORO — The Brattleboro Housing Authority is letting its Section 8 tenants know that recent federal budget cuts will likely force a decrease in the monthly housing aid they receive.

BHA sent out a letter to its tenants last week explaining that cuts to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development caused by the sequester will reduce the payment standard for all tenants to 90 percent of the fair market rent.

The amount of money each Section 8 tenant receives to help pay for rent varies depending on income, the rent payment, and other factors, and BHA Executive Director Chris Hart said the impact will vary from tenant to tenant…”

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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…”

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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…”

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Officials weigh public housing options

Posted August 20, 2012

By: Josh Stilts, Brattleboro Reformer staff writer

August 17, 2012

BRATTLEBORO — The fate of 152 local housing units dedicated to elderly and disable residents may take more than three years to decide.

On Thursday, members of the Melrose Place and Hayes Court Site Alternatives Study Redevelopment Committee met to continue the discussion about the relocation of two West Brattleboro public-housing properties in preparation of a public meeting scheduled for Aug. 30.

The committee was formed shortly after heavy rains from last year’s Tropical Storm Irene damaged 60 of the 80 units at Melrose Place and required the evacuation of Hayes Court.


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