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FINAL REMINDER: VAHC/VCEH annual meetings TOMORROW – 9:30am, Randolph

Posted September 12, 2017

Dear Coalition Members and Friends,

This is a final reminder for TOMORROW’S Annual Joint Meeting of the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition and the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness, our networking lunch, and concurrent VAHC Annual Meeting and VCEH monthly meeting:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
9:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Our Lady of the Angels Catholic Church
43 Hebard Hill Rd, Randolph, VT

Here is a link to the Final Agenda for all three meetings.

All our special guests are CONFIRMED:

  • Governor Phil Scott
  • House Speaker Mitzi Johnson
  • Senate President Pro Tem Tim Ashe
  • Representatives from all three of Vermont’s congressional offices

I hope you or someone from your organization can attend this important annual get-together!! 

DIRECTIONS:

  • Take I-89 to Exit 4 and head toward Randolph
    (right off south bound exit ramp, left off north bound ramp)
  • Follow Route 66 for about a half mile to Hebard Hill Road on your right
  • Our Lady of the Angels is on the corner on the right

Please note, we will *not* be offering our usual call-in option for this meeting.

Hope to see you tomorrow in Randolph!

 

 



REMINDER: VAHC/VCEH annual meetings – 9/13 Randolph – VIP guests confirmed

Posted September 7, 2017

Dear Coalition Members and Friends,

This is a quick reminder for next Wednesday’s Annual Joint Meeting of the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition and the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness.  After lunch, the VAHC Annual Meeting and the VCEH monthly meeting will be held concurrently at the same location:

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
9:30 AM – 2:00 PM
Our Lady of the Angels Church
43 Hebard Hill Rd, Randolph, VT
(Directions below)

I hope you or someone from your organization can attend!!  We have some very special guests and exciting agenda items confirmed:

  • Governor Phil Scott (confirmed for 11:15)
  • Senate President Pro Tempore Tim Ashe (confirmed for 10:10)
  • House Speaker Mitzi Johnson (confirmed for 9:40)
  • Representatives from our congressional offices will provide the latest updates from DC
  • Networking Lunch (at 12 noon, $5 donation requested)
  • VAHC Annual Meeting (12:45 – 2:00) & VCEH Monthly Meeting (12:45 – 2:00)

A detailed agenda for the meetings and background materials will go out as soon as they are finalized.

VAHC STEERING COMMITTEE & OFFICER ELECTIONS
The Coalition by-laws allow for up to nine people to serve on the Steering Committee.  We are fortunate to have six current members willing to continue serving.  As a result, there are up to three potential vacancies on the Steering Committee.  We are fortunate to have Anna Herman from the Champlain Housing Trust willing to serve.  That leaves another two potential seats open.  Steering Committee members are reaching out to other potential candidates and may have additional nominees by next Wednesday.  The by-laws also permit nominations from the floor and call for direct election of officers by the membership.

Until further interested candidates emerge, the Steering Committee recommends that members elect the following slate:

  • Ted Wimpey, Chair & Director, CVOEO Fair Housing Project
  • Sara Kobylenski, Treasurer & Executive Director, Upper Valley Haven
  • Cindy Reid, Secretary & Director of Development, Cathedral Square Corporation
  • Ray Brewster, At Large Member & Independent Consultant
  • Alison Friedkin, At Large Member & Director of Real Estate Development, Downstreet Housing & Community Development
  • Patricia Tedesco, At Large Member & Home Access Program Coordinator, Vermont Center for Independent Living
  • Anna Herman, At Large Member & Community Relations Specialist, Champlain Housing Trust

Click here for current and proposed Steering Committee bios.

DIRECTIONS TO OUR LADY OF THE ANGELS CATHOLIC CHURCH:

  • Take I-89 to Exit 4 and head toward Randolph
    (right off south bound exit ramp, left off north bound ramp)
  • Follow Route 66 for about a half mile to Hebard Hill Road on your right
  • Our Lady of the Angels is on the corner on the right

We will *not* be offering our usual call-in option for this meeting.

Hope to see you next Wednesday!

Erhard Mahnke
————————
VT Affordable Housing Coalition
802-660-9484 (wk) | 802-233-2902 (cell)
erhardm@VTAffordableHousing.org
www.vtaffordablehousing.org

 



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!

 



VAHC & VCEH meetings – Sept 20, Old Labor Hall, Barre – Sue Minter & Phil Scott confirmed

Posted September 13, 2016

Dear Coalition Members and Friends,

This is a quick reminder for next Tuesday’s Annual Joint Meeting of the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition and the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness.  After lunch, the VAHC Annual Meeting and the VCEH monthly meeting will be held concurrently at the same location:

Tuesday, September 20, 2016
9:30 AM – 2:30 PM
Old Labor Hall
46 Granite St, Barre, VT
(Directions below)

We hope you or someone from your organization can attend!!  We have some very special guests and exciting agenda items confirmed:

  • Sue Minter, Democratic Party nominee for governor (at 9:45)
  • Lt. Governor Phil Scott, Republican Party nominee for governor (at 10:30)
  • Kate Ash (Sen. Leahy), Katarina Lisaius (Sen. Sanders) & Kevin Veller (Congr. Welch) will provide the latest updates from DC
  • Jen Hollar (VHCB) & Angus Chaney (AHS) will give an overview and update on the important “Roadmap to End Homelessness” initiative
  • Networking Lunch (at 12 noon, $5 donation requested)
  • VAHC Annual Meeting (1:00 – 2:00) & VCEH Monthly Meeting (1:00 – 2:30)

Here is a detailed meeting agenda.  Background materials will go out early next week.

We will meet with both major gubernatorial candidates separately to hear their thoughts on state policy and funding for affordable housing and homelessness and respond to questions from coalition members.  We are providing both candidates with a set of questions to help them frame their remarks and prepare them for likely questions during Q & A.

VAHC STEERING COMMITTEE & OFFICER ELECTIONS
At the VAHC annual meeting, members will be electing a Steering Committee and officers for the 2016/17 year.  We are fortunate to have six current members willing to continue serving.  Vice Chair Chris Donnelly from the Champlain Housing Trust, who has served for seven years, will be stepping down, as will Elizabeth Bridgewater from the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust.   We thank both for their valuable service to the Coalition.

The Coalition by-laws allow for up to nine people to serve on the Steering Committee.  As a result, there are up to three potential vacancies on the Steering Committee.  We are fortunate to have Alison Friedkin from Downstreet Housing & Community Development willing to join.  That leaves another two potential seats open.  Anyone who is interested should contact Chris at chris.donnelly@champlainhousingtrust.org, or Coalition Chair Ted Wimpey at twimpey@cvoeo.org.  The by-laws also permit nominations from the floor and call for direct election of officers by the membership.  Unless further interested candidates emerge, the Steering Committee recommends that members elect the following slate:

  • Ted Wimpey, Chair & Director, CVOEO Fair Housing Project
  • Sara Kobylenski, Treasurer & Executive Director, Upper Valley Haven
  • Cindy Reid, Secretary & Director of Development, Cathedral Square Corporation
  • Ray Brewster, At Large Member & Independent Consultant
  • Alison Friedkin, At Large Member & Director of Real Estate Development, Downstreet Housing & Community Development
  • Loralee Morrow, At Large Member & Regional Planner, Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission
  • Tyler Sweeten, At Large Member & Peer Advocate Counselor Coordinator, VT Center for Independent Living

Click here for current Steering Committee bios and contact info.

DIRECTIONS TO OLD LABOR HALL:  From I-89 North or South:

  • Take Exit 7 onto Rte. 62 and follow the signs into Barre.
  • At the 5th light (junction with Rte. 302), take a right onto Main Street.
  • Turn right onto Granite Street (beside Peoples United Bank).
  • The Old Labor Hall will be on your left after you cross the railroad tracks.

PARKING
The parking lot of the Old Labor Hall is shared with a commercial granite company that requires transportation and shipping access during business hours.  Parking is restricted for weekday use to areas closest to the OLH. Renters who block access may be asked to move.  Street and metered parking is available in areas around the Hall.

We will *not* be offering a call-in option for this meeting, but will resume that at the regular monthly VAHC meeting on October 12 in Montpelier.

Hope to see you next Tuesday!

 



Help Us Welcome HUD Secretary Julián Castro to Vermont

Posted August 25, 2016

SAVE THE DATE – Thursday, September 1, 1:30pm, Burlington

Please join Senator Patrick Leahy, our two other congressional offices, Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger, and the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition in welcoming Julián Castro, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to Vermont.

Senator Leahy is hosting a policy roundtable, entitled “The State of Housing in Vermont,” next Thursday, September 1st from 1:30 pm – 2:45 pm at the Contois Auditorium in Burlington City Hall.

Senator Leahy, Secretary Castro and partners from Vermont’s affordable housing and homelessness network will highlight a few of the state’s many successes, as well as the challenges we face, in providing affordable housing and supportive services to Vermonters of all income levels and abilities, including our lowest income, most vulnerable citizens.

Afterwards, join Senator Leahy, Housing Vermont and the Champlain Housing Trust to celebrate the opening of Vermont’s newest 40-unit, resident controlled housing cooperative on Bright Street in Burlington’s Old North End. The ribbon cutting and open house is from 3 – 4pm.

You are invited to attend both of these events. Here are the details:

“The State of Housing in Vermont” Roundtable Discussion
1:30 – 2:45pm
Contois Auditorium, Burlington City Hall

Bright Street Housing Co-op Ribbon Cutting
3 – 4pm
Parking available in the garage under the building located approximately at 114 Archibald Street

Click here for Senator Leahy’s announcement.

For more information, contact Kate Ash in Senator Leahy’s Montpelier office at 802-229-0569.

We hope to see you next week!

 

 



Introducing Voices of Home!

Posted August 4, 2016

The Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition is very excited to announce the launch of our brand new storytelling project:
Voices of Home!

Please visit http://www.vtaffordablehousing.org/voices/ to listen to our first resident interview! Also, be sure to subscribe to our blog feed using the form in the right sidebar to stay updated on future interviews and content!

Voices of Home is a story sharing project which aims to:

  • Empower those living in affordable housing to be leaders, through listening to and sharing resident stories,
  • Break down stigmas that may be held by general public regarding those receiving or in need of housing assistance through community engagement and conversation,
  • Build community by engaging residents in a project outside their immediate living situation and supporting each other through the story-telling process,
  • Bridge conversations between residents, policy makers, and community by changing the power dynamic so residents’ voices are heard and accounted for.

Interviews will consist of adaptable questions relating to the theme of home. Interviewees will be residents living in housing with various public subsidies. The interviews will be a tool which the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition and our member organizations can use to advocate for policies benefiting affordable housing and efforts to end homelessness. Through having the interviews accessible on our blog and on radio, the stories will reach a wide audience and give insight into the stories behind statistical numbers usually associated with policy making.

We hope to expand on this project through other mediums and community outreach, including a moving art show. To learn more about the project, visit our About page here. If you are a resident of affordable housing or an organization that provides affordable housing or services to residents and are interested in participating in the project, visit our Contact page here.

To listen to our first interview click here!

 



Vermont’s Rental Housing Affordability Gap Continues to Grow

Posted June 13, 2016

BURLINGTON, VT – In order to afford a modest, two-bedroom apartment at the Fair Market Rent in Vermont, renters need to earn $21.13 an hour, or $43,947 a year. This is Vermont’s 2016 Housing Wage, revealed in the annual Out of Reach report released late last month by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization, and today by the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition.

The Housing Wage is the hourly wage a family must earn, working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, to be able to afford the rent and utilities for a safe and modest home in the private housing market (affordable means paying no more than 30% of income).  Every year, Out of Reach reports on the Housing Wage for all states, counties, and metropolitan areas in the country.

The report highlights the gap between what renters earn and what it costs to afford rent at fair market value.  With an estimated mean renter wage of $11.79 an hour, average Vermont renters are left $9.34 an hour short of what they need to earn to afford a decent place to live.  They can afford just $613 a month for rent and utilities while the average statewide Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment is $1,099.  Vermont has nearly 75,000 renter households.

oor1

“This report shows exactly how hard it is for ordinary working Vermonters, for seniors, for people with disabilities and others living on fixed incomes to afford safe, stable housing,” said Erhard Mahnke, the Affordable Housing Coalition’s Coordinator.  “Vermonters have to earn more than twice the minimum wage for something that should be considered a basic human right, leaving them with little left over for other basic needs and just a step away from homelessness.”

Even though Vermont’s minimum wage has increased annually for the last several years year, it is not enough to pay for decent housing:  2.2 full-time jobs at minimum wage – or 88 work hours a week — are needed to afford the average two-bedroom apartment.  A full-time minimum wage worker in Vermont can only afford $499 a month for rent and utilities, leaving a gap of $600.

While some might consider this is an unfair comparison because they think most minimum wage workers are high school students, this is not the reality.  According to the latest data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average age of a minimum wage worker is 35 years old, and 88% are at least 20 years old.  Half are older than 30, and about a third are at least 40.

“Our chronic housing shortage and affordability gap make it harder for low-income and vulnerable Vermonters to find and retain housing,” said Ted Wimpey, Director of the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity’s statewide Fair Housing Program and Chairperson of the Affordable Housing Coalition.  “To make true and lasting headway against this shortage and towards the goal of ending homelessness, we need significant new state and federal investments in affordable housing, coupled with rental assistance for the lowest income families, and supportive services for those with the greatest challenges.”

Unfortunately, federal funding levels for housing, rental assistance and supportive services are far below what they were five or six years ago.  The state of Vermont suffers from chronic budget shortfalls, preventing it from making the needed investments.  Key federal programs like HOME and Community Development Block Grants have been underfunded for years.  Congress still has not seen fit to restore all the rental assistance vouchers lost through sequestration.   The State has shortchanged the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, our primary tool for increasing the state’s affordable housing portfolio, for years.  It has been unable to make the necessary increases to such key housing safety net programs as the Vermont Rental Subsidy Program, which helps close the gap between what low-income Vermonters can afford and what’s available on the market.

Additional findings from Out of Reach:

  • The national Housing Wage is $20.30 in 2016.
  • Vermont is the state with the sixth largest shortfall between the two-bedroom housing wage and the renter wage.
  • Vermont is the seventh most expensive state for rural (non-metro) areas.
  • Vermont is the 13th most expensive state in the nation for renters.
  • The Housing Wage in the greater metropolitan area of Burlington is $26.08, almost $5.00 an hour higher than the state average.
  • The one-bedroom Housing Wage is $16.58 an hour ($34,479 a year), requiring 69 work hours a week at minimum wage to afford the monthly rent of $862.
  • Someone with a disability living on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) can only afford $236 a month, leaving them $863 short for a two-bedroom, and $626 short for a one-bedroom apartment.

oor2

For additional information, visit: www.nlihc.org/oor/.

For a link to the full press release and supplemental materials, click here.

###

The Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition is a statewide membership organization dedicated to ensuring that all Vermonters have decent, safe and affordable housing, particularly the state’s low and moderate-income residents, elders, people living with homelessness, and people with disabilities. For more information on the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition, visit
www.vtaffordablehousing.org
.

The National Low Income Housing Coalition is dedicated solely to achieving socially just public policy that assures people with the lowest incomes in the United States have affordable and decent homes. For more information on the National Low Income Housing Coalition, visit www.nlihc.org

 



VAHC is Seeking to Fill TWO AmeriCorps VISTA Positions!

Posted June 8, 2016

We are currently recruiting for two AmeriCorps VISTA positions!

Communications/Outreach Coordinator: Help grow our members’ capacity to meet the needs of low-income Vermonters. For a full description and information, click here. To apply, fill out the AmeriCorps application here AND send resume and cover letter with three references to renee.vahc@gmail.com.

Resident Organizer: Help empower affordable housing residents to engage with their communities. For a full description and information, click here. To apply, fill out the AmeriCorps application here AND send resume and cover letter with three references to corrinemarie.vahc@gmail.com.

ac_logo

 



VAHC Featured in Vermont Community Foundation’s “Opportunity: 11 Critical Paths for Philanthropy in Vermont”

Posted November 25, 2015

VAHC (and affordable housing!) is featured in the Vermont Community Foundation‘s report, Opportunity: 11 Critical Paths for Philanthropy in Vermont! Read about how we’re working to expand affordable housing: http://www.vermontcf.org/uv/.

 



REMINDER: Annual Joint Meeting of VAHC & VCEH and VAHC Annual Meeting Wednesday, Sept 9th in Randolph, VT

Posted September 4, 2015

We very much hope you can attend the meetings of the two Coalitions next Wednesday.  We have an exciting agenda planned for the day, which includes numerous special guests:

  • Hal Cohen, Secretary of the Agency of Human Services
  • Representative Mitzi Johnson, Chair of the House Appropriations Committee
  • Kate Ash, Alex Craven and Kevin Veller from the Offices of Senators Leahy and Sanders and Congressman Welch
  • Gus Seelig, Executive Director of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board
  • Jen Hollar, Deputy Commissioner of the Department of Housing and Community Development

After the morning meeting, folks will have the opportunity to network over lunch, courtesy of a program participant at the Upper Valley Haven ($5 donation requested).  After lunch, the Affordable Housing Coalition will hold its Annual Meeting, including elections of Steering Committee members and officers, and the Coalition to End Homelessness will hold its monthly meeting.  We’ll send out the slate of nominees and other meeting materials early next week.

Click here for a detailed meeting agenda.

Here are directions to OUR LADY OF THE ANGELS CHURCH:  Take I-89 to Exit 4, head toward Randolph (right off south bound exit ramp, left off north bound ramp).  Follow Route 66 for about a half mile to Hebard Hill Road on your right. Our Lady of the Angels is on the corner on the right.

The meeting space does NOT have a speakerphone, so we will not be offering a call-in option this month, but will resume that at the regular monthly VAHC meeting on October 14 in Montpelier.

 



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