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Affordable Housing Complex In Lyndonville Gets a Makeover

Posted July 18, 2016

WCAX reports on the redevelopment of Darling Inn in Lyndonville, VT:

Lyndonville’s Darling Inn officially reopened Saturday after a year long project aimed to improve the historic building.

Willie Mitchem lives at the Darling Inn in Lyndonville, an affordable apartment complex that he says stands out from places he’s lived before.

“The staff loves me. I go over there, pay my rent, and they say, ‘thank you Mr. Mitchem.’ I say, ‘You’re welcome ladies!’ I’m a flirt,” said resident Willie Mitchem.

But he says the building needed a few upgrades. On Saturday, officials and residents celebrated the reopening of the Darling Inn after a year long redevelopment project.

“It’s beautiful. My bedroom’s big. My living room’s medium. My kitchen: I love it. The cupboards are down where I can reach them. Excellent,” Mitchem said.

The Inn was originally built in the 1920s as a hotel, but it now consists of 28 affordable housing units for elderly and disabled citizens. Officials say they hoped to both improve and restore the historic building.

The total project cost more than $5 million and was funded with help from 1.3 million dollar loan from USDA Rural Development. The changes included making the building more energy efficient, and making apartments more accessible.

“Roll in showers and grab bars. Improving the kitchens, making sure that they’re very accessible, and then in terms of the heating system, we upgraded the old oil system to a wood pellet furnace,” said Trisha Ingalls, RuralEdge CEO.

To continue reading the article, click here.


Rights of Landlords and Tenants in Vermont

Posted February 18, 2015

WCAX recently featured a segment regarding tenant and landlord rights with guests Pam Favreau and Angela Zaikowski. Pam is with Vermont Tenants and Angela is with the legal firm Bennett and Zaikowski which represents landlords. View the coverage in the embedded videos below or at the link here.


WCAX Features the SASH Program

Posted January 28, 2015

WCAX recently featured the SASH program as part of its coverage. Below is an excerpt from the article:

Nancy Baker and Rebecca Sleeman live at Cathedral Square in South Burlington. Sleeman has lung problems, but she’s able to breathe a sigh of relief thanks to a program called SASH.

“Feeling of security, maybe we can stay in our homes longer and still be watched and have a place to live,” Sleeman said.

SASH stands for Support and Services at Home. It’s a program aimed to reduce costs Medicare spends on seniors. Participants say SASH helps coordinate doctor visits to their homes and they have health services available to them at all times.

“We have two nurses, two wellness nurses, who are great. They’ll come to see you at your home or they’re downstairs in the office,” Baker said.

The SASH program is one of a kind and it’s only in Vermont. It started in 2009 to provide seniors and disabled people at Cathedral Square with reliable care at home and prevent expensive trips to the hospital. But it has expanded. And the program began getting federal funding in 2011.

“We’ve gone from one SASH program in 2009 to 52 different SASH panels across the state. So, we now have roughly 4,200 people in the state of Vermont participating in SASH,” said Molly Dugan, the director of SASH.

In addition to increasing access to health care, the SASH program aims to decrease health care costs across the state. SASH is part of the Blueprint for Health Reform, Vermont’s plan for sustainable health care reform.

To read the entire article click here. You can also view the video coverage using there or in the embedded video below.


DCF unveils new emergency housing proposal

Posted July 24, 2013

Vermont housing advocates met with officials from the Department for Children and Families yesterday to discuss revising the agency’s proposal that would limit access to emergency motel vouchers.  The original plan required Vermonters who had not experienced a catastrophic event to meet 6 points on a scale of vulnerability in order to become eligible for a motel voucher.

At yesterday’s meeting, DCF unveiled their new proposal which would maintain the point system, but lower the eligibility threshold to 4 points. Additionally, the plan makes vouchers available to individuals who are 65 or older, have a child age 6 or younger, women in their third trimester of pregnancy, and individuals who have applied for or received SSI/SSDI.

Advocates at yesterday’s meeting generally felt the new proposal was more fair and inclusive, and appreciated the opportunity to collaborate and provide input. Linda Ryan, Director of the Samaritan House in St. Albans, stated, “I think we are way ahead of where we were to begin with. You’ve done a tremendous job of listening to us and adapting.”

Coverage of the story in local media:

Link to Article, 7/23/2013, 7/23/2013

Fox44/ABC22 News, 7/23/2013

Seven Days VT – Fair Game, 7/24/2013 

Seven Days VT – The Scoreboard, July 26, 2013

Rutland Herald – July 28, 2013