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USDA Awards $250,000 to Four Vermont Organizations To Repair and Rehabilitate Rural Housing

Posted December 5, 2014

The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced Friday that four Vermont organizations received a total of $250,000 in Rural Development Housing Preservation Grants to help rural families repair and rehabilitate their homes. Southwestern Vermont Community Action Program, the Vermont Center for Independent Living, Northeast Employment and Training Organization, and Rural Edge each received a grant.

“Lower-income rural families often have difficulty just meeting their daily living expenses, and they don’t have enough income for housing upkeep and maintenance,” said USDA Rural Development New Hampshire and Vermont State Director Ted Brady. “This USDA program provides funding to qualified organizations that help these families make essential repairs, often to remove safety and health hazards, so the families can stay there. The program can also help lower their future housing costs through energy efficiency and weatherization improvements.”

Southwestern Vermont Community Action Program and the Vermont Center for Independent Living each received a $25,000 Housing Preservation Grant to assist 20 Vermont families make essential improvements to their homes.

Northeast Employment and Training Organization and Gilman Housing Trust/ Rural Edge Inc. each received a $100,000 Housing Preservation Grant to help a total of 45 families living in Orleans, Essex and Caledonia counties make essential repairs and energy efficient improvements to their homes. The two Northeast Kingdom organizations were able to access these funds thanks to a provision of the 2014 Farm Bill authored by U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy and supported by Vermont’s Congressional Delegation extending the Rural Economic Area Partnership (REAP) Zone. The designation provides five regions of the country, including the three Northeastern-most counties of Vermont – Caledonia, Essex and Orleans — additional grant resources through USDA Rural Development.

In a joint statement, Leahy, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders and U.S. Rep. Peter Welch said: “These are lifeline investments to improve housing and assist low-income Vermonters across the state. The Northeast Kingdom’s REAP Zone helped to make two of these grants possible and continues to show this is a program that works to build our economy and provide assistance in the NEK.”

USDA Rural Development’s Housing Preservation Grant Program provides assistance to very-low and low-income homeowners to repair and rehabilitate their homes. Assistance is also available to rental property owners to repair and rehabilitate their units providing they agree to make such units available to very-low and low-income families.

President Obama’s historic investments in rural America have made our rural communities stronger. Under his leadership, these investments in housing, community facilities, businesses and infrastructure have empowered rural America to continue leading the way – strengthening America’s economy, small towns and rural communities.

USDA, through its RD mission area, administers and manages housing, business and community infrastructure programs through a national network of state and local offices. Rural Development has an active portfolio of more than $206.2 billion in loans and loan guarantees. These programs are designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural areas. For more information on Rural Development visit the Vermont/New Hampshire Rural Development website ( or contact USDA RD at (802) 828-6000.

For more information contact Jacqueline Susmann at (603) 953-4987 or


Grants Available from VCIL’s Home Access Program

Posted April 23, 2014

The Vermont Center for Independent Living’s Home Access Program (HAP) has $5,000 grants available for housing non-profits improving physical accessibility. To apply for grant funding applicants shall:

Send letter with grant request:

  • Letter shall include
    • Name of organization
    • Amount requested
    • VHCB application (if an application has been submitted to VHCB)
    • Timeline of project, when project will be complete and when funds are needed for the project.


  • The grant may only be used for accessibility modifications.
  • Organizations may receive only one grant per fiscal year.
  • Ideally the funds would be spent by June 30th but if not, then they must at least be committed by that date.
  • Annual grant cycle: July 1st- June 30th

There is currently $15,000 funding still available for this fiscal year making it possible for three housing non-profits to apply for a $5,000 grant.

Send grant application to:
VCIL-Home Access Program
11 East State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05602

For more information contact Joyce Werntgen at


VCIL hosts celebration in honor of ADA anniversary – TONIGHT

Posted July 26, 2013

The Vermont Center for Independent Living (VCIL) is hosting a celebration tonight to honor the 23rd anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). There will be a raffle and art show featuring artists from the Brandon Training School, and a performance by Tom Sullivan, a blind entertainer, author, and inspirational speaker. A VIP reception with Sullivan will be held following the performance. American Sign Language interpreters and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART), a word-for-word speech-to-text interpreting service, will be available at the event.

When: Friday, July 26, 2013
WhereMain Street Landing Black Box Theater, Main Street, Burlington 

To reserve tickets, call VCIL at 229-0501 or 1-800-639-1522 or visit www.flynntix.orgTickets to see Tom Sullivan perform are $20, and tickets that include both the performance and the VIP reception are $50. Visit for more information.

Link to Full Burlington Free Press article for more information