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Registration for the VHCB Fall Conference on 10/6 in Burlington Now Open

Posted September 4, 2015

Registration for the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board‘s Fall Conference is now open. Read below for more information on the event and how to register:

On October 6, 2015, we’ll convene at the Hilton Burlington for a conference, Envisioning Vermont 2025: Challenges for the Next Decade. Our keynote speaker, Nancy Stangle, is a co-founder and emerita director of one of the original housing and conservation land trusts in the nation, the Athens Land Trust in Georgia. We have planned a full schedule of field trips, workshops, discussions and speakers that should offer something of interest to each of you.

Please visit the conference website to see what’s on tap. Registration is open and you must register by Friday, September 25.

Please pass this on to other people that may want to attend. (If you were forwarded this message from someone and would like to be added to our email list for the conference, you may email laurie@vhcb.org)

You can email with any questions or call 828-3250.

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Save the Date: VHCB Fall Conference, October 6th in Burlington

Posted July 9, 2015

The Vermont Housing & Conservation Board is excited to announce their fall conference, ‘Envisioning Vermont 2025’ which will take place on Tuesday, October 6th at the Hilton Hotel in Burlington.

Vermonters want thriving communities, affordable housing options, good jobs and a healthy environment — ideals that align with our collective organizational missions. Our goals for this conference include fostering cross-disciplinary, visionary thinking among attendees and honoring and supporting emerging leaders.

We are planning a mixture of workshops, discussions, field trips and speakers to provide fresh perspectives and inspiration around themes that cross the boundaries between housing and conservation such as energy, climate action and food access.

A special focus of the conference will encourage networking and programming for emerging leaders and mid-career professionals. Please submit the names of co-workers or colleagues you think would benefit. Here is a link to a simple nomination form. Nominations are due by July 20.

We look forward to convening in October for meaningful conversations. In the meantime, PLEASE SAVE THE DATE: OCTOBER 6. Conference details to follow this summer.

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VHCB Awards $5.2 Million to to Create and Rehabilitate Affordable Housing and Conserve Farmland, Recreational Access and Forestland

Posted July 2, 2015

The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) announced grants totaling $5,215,623 to develop and rehabilitate 216 affordable homes, to protect 377 acres of agricultural land on three farms, to conserve 340 acres of forest land in the towns of Pownal, Shrewsbury and Mendon, and to provide permanent public access to a swimming hole in Johnson.

The VHCB board made the funding commitments at a meeting in Burlington on Friday, June 12. Housing developments and rehabilitation projects were funded in the towns of Bennington, Springfield, Fair Haven, Waltham and South Burlington. Farmland conservation projects were funded in the towns of Ferrisburgh, Morgan, Cornwall and Bridport. The Board set aside $967,500 for single family homeownership, for homes built by Habitat for Humanity and Vocational Education Programs, and for feasibility funds that are used by applicants to pay for options, surveys, engineering and environmental studies, appraisals, market analysis, and other pre-development costs. The Agency of Natural Resources will use $20,000 in VHCB funds to assist with long range management planning on conserved properties. The Agency of Agriculture, Food & Markets will use $50,000 in VHCB funding to administer a mitigation program under Act 250 for development on farmland.

Beacon Place, So. Burlington – The Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) will use a $500,000 VHCB award to enter a 15-year lease with the owner of the Ho Hum Motel and convert the property into a manager’s apartment and 19 units of permanent supported housing for chronically homeless individuals with health issues. The development is a partnership between CHT, the Burlington Housing Authority, and the Safe Harbor Clinic of the Community Health Center. The lease payments will be credited towards CHT’s purchase of the property in year 15, when CHT will either undertake substantial rehabilitation or demolish the existing structure and build a new building on the site.

Evergreen Heights, Springfield – With $700,000 in VHCB funding, Housing Vermont and the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust will purchase and undertake energy efficiency improvements to a 44-unit multi-family rental development with project based rental assistance. The developers will convert the heat from electric to either biomass or electric-powered air source heat pumps.

Gevry Mobile Home Park, Waltham – The Addison County Community Trust will use $350,000 in VHCB funds and $440,000 in federal HOME funds awarded by VHCB to purchase the Gevry Mobile Home Park, which has been vacant for more than five years. The deteriorating mobile homes will be removed from the site, contamination will be remediated and the water and waste systems and roads will be upgraded. The park will be converted to a 14-unit rental development with the installation of seven energy efficient modular duplex homes.

Adams House & Carriage Barn, Fair Haven – With $104,142 in VHCB funding and a $337,000 federal HOME award, the Housing Trust of Rutland County (HTRC) will recapitalize a 13-unit senior housing development on the green in the center of Fair Haven. HTRC purchased and renovated the historic marble mansion and accompanying carriage barn in 1995. The funding will be used to upgrade the heating and electrical systems, perform site work and exterior repairs to the porch and columns.

Applegate Biomass Energy Rehab, Bennington – Housing Vermont and Shires Housing will receive $550,315 in VHCB funding and $499,316 in federal HOME funds towards energy efficiency upgrades at this 104-apartment family housing development on the outskirts of Bennington. In 1997 Housing Vermont and Applegate Housing Inc. (the residents association), purchased the property, demolished a portion of it, and undertook a significant amount of site work and building improvements. On average, Applegate uses 50,000 gallons of heating oil annually. Energy efficiency upgrades will include insulation, window replacement and conversion of the heating system from oil to wood biomass, which is expected to significantly reduce heating costs.

Safford Commons, Woodstock – A $35,000 award to Housing Vermont and the Twin Pines Housing Trust will be used to cover a portion of the costs incurred during delays due to permit appeals over a 7-year period. The developers broke ground in October 2014 and construction is expected to be complete this fall.

Farmland Conservation – VHCB funding commitments of $242,500 were matched with $240,000 in federal funds from the Natural Resources Conservation Service to conserve 377 acres of farmland in Ferrisburgh, Bridport and Cornwall, and Morgan. Conservation will facilitate transfer of each farm to new owners, either to the next generation or to long-time lessors of the farmland.

Jim Jeffords State Forest, Mendon and Shrewsbury – The Trust for Public Lands and the Vermont Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation will use $150,000 in VHCB funding to purchase 109 acres of forestland and conserve a 206-acre donation contiguous to 971 acres they are acquiring with a previous $367,200 VHCB grant, adjacent to Coolidge State Forest. The resulting 1,346-acre block of conserved forest land, to be named the Jim Jeffords State Forest, will be owned and managed by the Department of Forests, Parks and Recreation and will connect Aitken State Forest to Coolidge State Forest. Together, the acquisitions will secure a conserved wildlife corridor connecting the northern and southern sections of the Green Mountain National Forest and protect almost a mile of headwaters of the Mendon Brook and 1.2 miles of tributaries.

Beard Swimming Hole, Johnson – A popular swimming hole along the Gihon River used by generations of Johnson residents will be acquired and protected by the Vermont River Conservancy with a VHCB grant of $60,000 and $42,500 in federal funding. Nearly two acres of conserved land will be conveyed to the Town of Johnson for continued use as a swimming hole, public beach, fishing assess and natural area. Riparian buffer protections will be added along the river frontage which is upstream of the village business district, helping to mitigate flooding events. The property includes an open field with mature trees along the river frontage.

Quarry Hill Preserve, Pownal – The Nature Conservancy will purchase 25 acres for addition to their existing Quarry Hill Natural Area, an 80-acre nature preserve with especially diverse ecology, including 43 rare, threatened and endangered plant species. A VHCB grant of $39,850 will be matched with $24,675 from The Nature Conservancy. A half-acre parcel along the road frontage will be conveyed to the Bennington County Habitat for Humanity as an affordable house lot. Permanent public access for hunting and non-motorized recreational use will be secured to existing trails and the acquisition will improve access to the larger nature preserve.

 



VHCB Awards $2.06 Million to Develop and Rehabilitate 236 Affordable Homes in Milton, Brattleboro, Colchester, Randolph and Bennington

Posted April 2, 2015

On Friday, March 13, the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board committed $2.06 million in VHCB funds and $2,007,000 in federal HOME Program funds for the development of 85 new homes in Brattleboro and Milton and to preserve affordability and rehabilitate 151 homes in Colchester, Brattleboro, Randolph and Bennington.

Gus Seelig, Executive Director of VHCB, said, “A recent housing needs study commissioned by the state points to the continuing need for quality affordable housing across the state. These investments will add new homes to the market in Milton and Brattleboro and refinance, rehabilitate and secure the long term affordability of existing housing in Randolph and Colchester. Housing in historic downtown buildings in Bennington and Brattleboro will be rehabilitated with energy efficiency upgrades and a mobile home park in Randolph will be acquired and redeveloped. New construction in Brattleboro will replace housing flooded during Tropical Storm Irene. “

In Milton’s new town center, the Cathedral Square Corporation will construct 30 apartments for seniors within walking distance of town offices, a health center, grocery store, pharmacy, senior center and other businesses and services. The developers will use $550,000 in VHCB funds and $357,000 in federal HOME Program funds along with $5.6 million in requested Low-Income Housing Tax Credit equity and $680,000 from the Vermont Community Development Program to create new, energy efficient housing at the $7.5 million development. Milton Senior Housing will feature covered parking, elevators serving the 3-story building, a kitchen/dining area, living room, meeting space, offices for nurse visits and residential staff, libraries, laundry facilities, a gym, a salon and an activity room. Residents will participate in Cathedral Square’s Support and Services at Home (SASH) program that coordinates health care services for seniors in residential settings. A walking path behind the building will lead to the UVM Medical Center’s Milton Family Practice medical offices.

In a $14.9 million new construction project, Housing Vermont and the Brattleboro Housing Authority will develop 55 apartments for seniors at Red Clover Commons in Brattleboro. The new units will serve as a partial replacement for Melrose Terrace, a senior housing development in the floodplain that was damaged during Tropical Storm Irene. A VHCB award of $1.04 million and $450,000 in federal HOME funds administered by VHCB will be matched with $5.5 million in federal Community Development Block Grant Disaster Relief funds, $7.1 million in Low Income Tax Credit equity and an $800,000 bank loan. Project-based rental assistance for the 55 apartments will provide affordability to very low-income households on fixed incomes. The development will use a geothermal system for heating and air conditioning that will result in very low utility costs. Ground breaking is anticipated in early spring.

At Winchester Place in Colchester, a 166-unit, mixed-income housing development located along Route 15 between St. Michael’s College and Fort Ethan Allen, Housing Vermont and the Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) will use $1,225,000 in VHCB funding and $405,000 in federal HOME Program funding to refinance and make energy efficiency and egress and site improvements to 80 affordable apartments in the 166-unit development. The housing developers recently purchased the land under the development, which has been leased from St. Michaels College since the apartments were constructed in 1989. A new tax credit partnership will hold title to Winchester Place, ensuring long-term affordability of 80 apartments. The Committee on Temporary Shelter will lease five apartments to provide transitional housing to homeless families, allowing them to stabilize their lives, rebuild credit and secure a landlord reference. CHT plans to convert 18 of the 166 units to condominiums; 68 of the apartments are market rate rentals.

The Randolph Area Community Development Corporation plans to purchase the 16-lot Armstrong Mobile Home Park and an adjacent two-family house on 12.5 acres along Route 66 in East Randolph. A $288,000 VHCB award will assist with acquisition and with improvements to the water and electrical systems, replacement of the waste water system and road repairs. Recent increases in the lot rents threaten affordability for the low- and moderate-income park residents. Mobile homes are an important affordable housing resource, comprising 11% of the housing in Orange County and 7% of the housing in Randolph.

With $325,000 in VHCB funding and $395,000 in HOME Program funding, the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust will refinance and rehabilitate 29 multi-family apartments in five historic, downtown buildings on Clark, Canal, Cross and Green Streets in Brattleboro. Extensive energy efficient improvements will lower operating costs for the buildings over time. At the Green Street properties for example, which will be heated by a district wood pellet boiler system, 2” rigid foam panels will be applied to the exterior beneath new fiber cement clapboards.

A Bennington Historic Rehabilitation project by Shires Housing will result in reconfiguration, energy efficiency and accessibility improvements to six buildings with 26 multi-family rental apartments on Pleasant Street, School Street, Safford Street and Carrigan Lane in the downtown area. The project will utilize $316,558 in VHCB funds and $400,000 in federal HOME Program funding.

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

 



Let’s Continue to Invest in State’s Future

Posted March 6, 2015

Caitrin Maloney, executive director of the Stowe Land Trust, wrote this great opinion piece published in the Stowe Reporter on the importance of conservation and the work of the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board. While there are many mentions that are specific to Stowe, these types of conservation efforts are highly valuable statewide. Support and funding of both housing AND conservation are crucial to the future of the state of Vermont:

On Thursday, Feb. 12, I joined folks from all corners of the state for the Vermont Housing and Conservation Coalition’s “Day at the Legislature.” This event celebrated and highlighted the successes conservation and housing groups have made in the past year, and over the past three decades since conservation efforts began in force in the late 1980s.

To open the day, we heard from Gov. Shumlin, who spoke of the unexpected “agricultural renaissance” that is underway in Vermont, citing that for the first time in many decades the number of farms in Vermont is increasing. This reverses a longstanding decline that many folks considered inevitable.

The governor recognized how important this has been to Vermont’s economy: in bringing young entrepreneurs to the state, creating jobs, and resulting in a great diversity of value-added products earning world renown. We have, at the same time, protected elements of the scenic working landscape that are critical to our quality of life and our tourism economy.

The governor was clear as he assigned credit — this simply would not have been possible without conservation, the work of land trusts, support from local communities, and funding allocated through the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.

It was wonderful to hear our governor’s solid support for conservation and housing efforts in Vermont, and his call to provide continued funding for these efforts — stating that he didn’t want to “cut the umbilical cord of our future.” But we also heard throughout the day about the enormous state deficit we are facing, and how there are folks in Montpelier who see conservation funding as a “luxury item” to be quickly written off in tough budget times.

Why fund conservation when there are so many other areas of need? I have a very simple answer: The land is everything, and when the land is lost, all is lost. Skimping on conservation is a failure to invest in our children’s future, and a promise to leave them with something less, something diminished.

The land is what our communities are built upon. It sustains our ecology, our farms, our working forests, our recreation, our tourism, and ultimately our economy. Development and growth are also important parts of our communities and economy, but unchecked development with no balancing force can destroy the sustaining aspects of the land.

Stowe is particularly vulnerable — it’s a desirable place to live, and land values are high. In Stowe, farmland used to “grow houses” instead of corn or hay and could offer a much bigger monetary gain. Forests are vulnerable to incremental development, resulting in fragmented, Swiss-cheese forests that no longer offer quality habitat for our wildlife. “No Trespassing” signs inevitably pop up in this fragmented landscape, and the places where people recreate and find solitude are also lost.

This is where conservation comes in — with support from the community and state and federal funding, conservation can offer an alternative future.

It’s sometimes easy to take conservation successes for granted, and it can be hard to picture what Stowe’s landscape would look like today without land protection. Today’s Stowe features open farmland, expanses of unbroken forest, and many places open to the public for hiking, skiing, mountain biking and bird-watching. In total, Stowe Land Trust has protected more than 3,500 acres of land, with many more acres protected by the Vermont state government and other groups. It’s clear Stowe would be a very different place without conservation.

We have had great success with conservation in Stowe; however, our work in not done. While more than 650 acres of agricultural land is protected, less than 10 percent of the prime agricultural soil in Stowe has been protected, and estimates show more than 2,000 acres of working farmland are still vulnerable to development. Nearly 50 percent of the Worcester Range forest block remains unprotected. This important expanse of unbroken forest habitat provides the scenic backdrop above Stowe Hollow and features a regionally important wildlife corridor.

In 1987, the Legislature passed the Vermont Housing and Conservation Trust Fund Act, which created a fund dedicated to conservation and housing efforts, and a group to administer the fund. Appropriately, the dedicated source of these funds is property transfer tax revenues. Since its inception, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board has awarded nearly $260 million in funds, directly leveraging about $860 million from other private and public sources. This investment resulted in the creation of more than 10,500 affordable homes, conservation of 390,740 acres of land, and restoration of 56 historic community buildings for public use.

In Stowe, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board has contributed more than $2 million to 10 projects on more than 1,200 acres of land. That funding provided critical leverage to local support from the Stowe town government and private donors. It’s safe to say that the protection of Cady Hill Forest and Adams Camp — which offer huge recreational opportunism, tourism benefits, wildlife habitat and working forestland — would not have been possible without funding from the board.

At this critical juncture, let’s not falter. Though there is much success to celebrate, there is much yet to be done. Let’s continue to rally behind conservation, and back it up with the essential statewide funding necessary to get the job done.

For a link to the originally published piece in the Stowe Reporter, click here.

 



SAVE THE DATE: VHCC Legislative Day, February 12

Posted January 21, 2015

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**SAVE THE DATE**
LEGISLATIVE DAY
Thursday, February 12th
State House, Montpelier

PLEASE SET ASIDE FEBRUARY 12th as a day that you and your organization’s key supporters will spend in Montpelier talking and advocating in the Legislature on the importance of Vermont Housing and Conservation Board funding for your organization and the communities it serves.

Amid ongoing State budget challenges, Governor Shumlin continues to show strong support for VHCB. He has proposed $16.1 MILLION FOR VHCB – $12.2 million from the Property Transfer Tax, $2.8 million from the Capital Budget, and $1.1 million in interest, loan repayments and other miscellaneous revenues. This represents LEVEL FUNDING and, with another $94 million budget gap, is a positive development. Yet the need for VHCB investments in housing and conservation is far greater and easily exceeds the additional $2.9 million VHCB would receive if its statutory funding formula were followed.

We need members to TURN OUT IN FORCE to support the Governor’s request and tell lawmakers how VHCB investments will benefit Vermont communities. Voices are again being raised to say that we can eliminate VHCB’s conservation funding. We need to reaffirm our core message that conservation and affordable housing are both critical economic development investments that must remain a priority for our state.

Tentative Schedule:

7:30- 9:00 – Breakfast meetings with individual legislators (breakfast sponsored by VHCC)
9:00- 10:00 – Welcome and meeting with Governor Peter Shumlin, Lt. Governor Phil Scott, Senate President John Campbell, House Speaker Shap Smith, and other legislative leaders (all invited)
10:00- 11:00 – Joint meeting of Senate Economic Development, Housing & General Affairs and House General, Housing & Military Affairs Committees
10:15-11:15 – Meeting with House Fish, Wildlife & Water Resources Committee
11:00-12:00 – Joint meeting with Senate & House Agriculture Committees
11:00- 12:00 – Senate Natural Resources & Energy Committee
12:00-1:30 – Lunch, and throughout the day – Meetings with individual legislators
1:45- 2:30 – Meeting with Senate Institutions Committee
2:00 – 3:00 – Ice cream social
Time TBA – Senate Health & Welfare Committee, and the House Natural Resources, Human Services, and Institutions Committees

Additional meetings with legislative committees are in the process of being scheduled; a final agenda and detailed invitation with talking points will follow.

For further information, contact:
Erhard Mahnke at 233-2902 or erhardm@burlingtontelecom.net
John Shullenberger at 373-2590 or jdsdiann@together.net
Adam Necrason at 223-9988 or adam@necrasongroup.com

 



Vermod: Redesigning the Mobile Home for the 21st Century

Posted January 12, 2015

The current issue of Seven Days discusses several innovative ways that Vermont is leading the way in energy-efficiency at home. One of the projects featured is the Manufactured Housing Innovation Project which focuses on the development of new manufactured homes made by Vermod High Performance Homes. Below is an excerpt from the article:

The term “mobile home” is a serious misnomer. That they are homes is certain: Figures from the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) suggest that tens of thousands of Vermonters reside full-time in these smallish, low-cost structures. But mobile they are not. Though technically attachable to a trailer for hauling, the great majority of mobile homes remain where they were originally sited. Few Vermont mobile-home owners relocate them to, say, Arizona when the winter winds begin to blow.

Despite their permanence, mobile homes are far more vulnerable to weather fluctuations than so-called “stick-built” houses. They’re less well insulated and are typically propped up on concrete pillars rather than a true foundation. In short, mobile homes may be relatively inexpensive to purchase, but their owners can get slammed with energy costs.

Now the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board and Efficiency Vermont are collaborating to rewrite that energy equation. Embracing forward-thinking design and construction techniques, the Manufactured Housing Innovation Project (MHIP) aims to create mobile homes that are energy-efficient and reasonably affordable. A Wilder company called Vermod has the exclusive contract to build what it calls “high-performance manufactured homes for the 21st century.” Vermod’s structures are built to withstand Vermont winters and other rough weather.

Mobile homes’ vulnerability to the elements was forcefully driven home to Vermonters in 2011, when Tropical Storm Irene slammed into the state and took an outsize toll on them. According to Peter Schneider, a senior consultant with the Vermont Energy Investment Corporation/Efficiency Vermont, 15 percent of the residences that qualified for post-Irene Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) assistance were mobile homes — yet those homes constitute only about 7 percent of the state’s total housing stock. (According to CVOEO, that translates to 22,490 housing units.)

Schneider says the devastation wrought by Irene was “the catalyst” that inspired the collaboration of Efficiency Vermont, the University of Vermont, the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board and the nonprofit High Meadows Fund. The goal was to design and build a mobile home that far exceeds the standards laid down by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), which have not been updated since 1976.

Sarah Woodward, director of the mobile-home program at CVOEO, helped MHIP gather feedback from owners about what they’d like to see in the next generation of such housing. She calls MHIP “an innovative group that’s approaching this problem with a fresh mind.” CVOEO’s operating question, Woodward says, is “How can we find a safe design that’s going to be affordable for people?” The project commenced in 2012, and the first homes were built the following year.

With Schneider as a guide, Seven Days took a tour of a Vermod mobile home last fall, when it was on display in the parking lot of Burlington’s Innovation Center of Vermont. Schneider eagerly pointed out the home’s many energy-efficient features. So far, he’s overseen the placement of 16 Vermod homes in towns across the state.

Schneider started his tour by calling attention to an easily overlooked but important feature: roof overhangs. Many manufacturers omit them, since they occupy precious width in an interstate lane. “But they’re almost critical to durability in our climate,” he explained; the roof extensions allow ice and snow to drip down and away from exterior walls.

Another outdoor innovation: Vermod homes are set on true foundations. Mobile homes perched on blocks expose more surface area to cold and damp. Many owners invest in skirting that covers the gap cosmetically, but it remains uninsulated.

To read the entire article click here. To learn more about the Manufactured Housing Innovation Project and Vermod Homes click here.

 



Job Opportunity: VHCB Seeking a Senior Housing Analyst/Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator

Posted November 14, 2014

The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) is seeking a well organized, self-motivated individual to join their housing staff as a Senior Housing Analyst/Training and Technical Assistance Coordinator. Responsibilities include financial underwriting and analysis of grant applications for affordable housing developments, organizing trainings and providing technical assistance to grantees, project and organizational monitoring, working on special research projects, responding to requests for information and collecting and coordinating housing data with other housing agencies.

Requirements: Attention to detail, interest in the non-profit housing delivery system, and the ability to work as part of a team, as well as strong communication skills and a commitment to the mission of VHCB.

Qualifications: Prior experience and training in housing development, financial analysis of housing projects and multi-family housing underwriting. Experience working with non-profit organizations, municipalities, housing development groups, and state agencies is important. Background in any or all of the following is desirable: architecture, construction, service supported housing, training and technical assistance, working with federal funds. The position requires some in-state travel so a valid driver’s license is also desirable.

This is a full-time position with comprehensive benefits. Please reply by December 10 with letter of interest, résumé and references to: Laurie Graves, VHCB, 58 E. State Street, Montpelier, Vt. 05602. See the job description at: www.vhcb.org/employment.html.

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Energy Efficient Housing Project Brings Pilot Home to Bennington

Posted October 6, 2014

After the loss of homes caused by Tropical Storm Irene, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board partnered with Efficiency Vermont for the Manufactured Housing Innovation Project, a pilot project focused on developing new manufactured homes for Vermont homeowners. With the help of John Broderick, the executive director of Shires Housing, Bennington resident Jeff Allard was able to receive one of these pilot homes, which was recently placed on an empty parcel of land in the Willow Mobile Home Park. Below is a portion of an article on this project from the Bennington Banner:

VHCB has asked nonprofits and mobile home owners around the state to identify purchasers like Allard, and has assisted in the installation of the Vermod modules. Allard’s new home isn’t a mobile home or trailer; It is more of a house. The pre-assembled module was built off site and trucked to Bennington, where a foundation laid for it to be adhered to.

“The whole point is to create a home that will fit on a site the size of a mobile home pad, and is very energy efficient, solidly built and intended to appreciate rather than depreciate, like a traditional mobile home does,” Broderick said.

The house is heated and cooled electrically using an air source heat pump, a “mini-split” that transfers heat from outside to inside a building, or vice versa, under the energy-saving principle of vapor compression refrigeration.

The home is also completely airtight, and was assembled with spray foam insulation and triple-glazed windows, all incorporated into the approximate value of $80,000 a home. Those that take advantage of the project also have the option of having photovoltaic solar panels installed onto or adjacent to the home, which Allard did without hesitation.

“We hope and expect that more and more, people will opt to take a really energy efficient option like this when choosing mobile homes,” Broderick said.

To read the entire article click here. To read more about the Manufactured Housing Innovation Project, including information on financing and floor plans, click here.

 



VHCB 25th Anniversary Video to Air on CCTV on Monday

Posted June 22, 2014

Tune in, call in & join the discussion, and please spread the word! On Monday, June 23, from 6:30-7:30 pm, Channel 17 (CCTV – Burlington Community Access TV) will show Vermont Housing Conservation Board‘s 25th anniversary video followed by a panel discussion. Brenda Torpy, Gil Livingston, Minner Hobbs and Jeanne Morrissey will join host Nick Carter following the 20-minute video to talk about the cumulative impact of VHCB investments, current activity and future plans.

If you can’t tune in on Monday, you can check out VHCB’s 25th anniversary video below:

 



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