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USDA Rural Development and Windham & Windsor Housing Trust Highlight Energy Efficient Modular Homes for Homeownership Month

Posted June 22, 2016

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Windham & Windsor Housing Trust (WWHT) celebrated National Homeownership Month at Putney resident Dennis Miller’s new home at Locust Hill Mobile Home Park Tuesday. Miller is the first homeowner to purchase an energy efficient modular home through USDA Rural Development’s Energy Efficient Manufactured Home Pilot Program.

“Manufactured homes have long offered an affordable housing option for many Vermonters, however older manufactured homes often have high maintenance and operational costs,” said Ted Brady, USDA Rural Development Vermont and New Hampshire State Director. “The energy cost savings of new manufactured and modular homes, combined with USDA’s long-term, low-rate, no-down-payment mortgages, offer existing and potential manufactured housing park residents new financing opportunities.”

Miller, a Putney resident employed by the Putney School, purchased a Vermont-made Net Zero Energy Capable VERMOD and placed it in the Locust Hill Mobile Home Park owned by Windham & Windsor Housing Trust. Miller’s purchase, coordinated by Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, was completed with financial support from Champlain Housing Trust, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Efficiency Vermont and USDA Rural Development.

USDA Rural Development’s Energy Efficient Manufactured Home Pilot Program allows low income homebuyers to purchase a high-performance modular or manufactured home in a manufactured home park using a 30 to 33-year mortgage at 3 percent. Very low income homebuyers may be eligible for an interest subsidy down to 1 percent. Brady noted that park tenants seeking a mortgage to purchase a new home and site it on a leased manufactured park lot traditionally face short-term, high-interest mortgages.

Two models of high-performance homes have been approved for purchase through the pilot program, the Better Homes AHEAD Manufactured Home and the VERMOD modular home. Homeowners in Rural Development-approved parks are eligible for participation in the program. More information on Rural Development’s Energy Efficient Manufactured Home Pilot Program can be found on the Rural Development website or by contacting Jill Chapman at (802) 828-6022 or by email at

Rural Development and Windham & Windsor Housing Trust celebrated Miller’s new home and Homeownership Month during a service project in the Locust Hill Mobile Home Park. Park residents and community members joined staff in cleaning the park and in planting a community garden.


Putney Considers Affordable Housing on Newman Hall Lot

Posted February 16, 2016

The Brattleboro Reformer reports on the proposal of new affordable housing in Putney developed by Windham & Windsor Housing Trust:

The Affordable Housing Committee met Feb. 1 to discuss a proposed affordable housing project for the Newman Hall lot.

The housing project is located between Depot Street and Putney Landing Road, south of Curtis’ All American Barbecue. The project would include a mix of family and smaller apartments for a total of 18 units with a combination of townhouses and accessible flats. The site plan was first presented at the Dec. 15 meeting, which showed three structures in a U-shaped arrangement around a south-facing courtyard. The Feb. 1 meeting was attended by Connie Snow, Executive Director of Windham & Windsor Housing Trust and Bob Stevens of Stevens and Associates, who is the project civil engineer.

“We’re really excited about what seems to be an opportunity to meet the needs of affordable housing in Putney” said Snow during a January interview.

The project is nearing the end of the preliminary design phase, and is considered “feasible,” and a project information sheet was provided at the Feb. 1 meeting. Snow referenced a market study for the project by Doug Kennedy Advisors, which is focused on providing research, analyses and strategies to their clients’ real estate issues.

The study indicates that the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment with utilities in Putney is $940 per month. The rent with utilities for the proposed project is $525 to $600 per month for subsidized housing. A market rate unit would also be included with a rent and utilities at $697 per month. The proposed project rent for a two bedroom apartment would be $875 and for a three bedroom, $900. According to the study, the current average Putney rent for a two bedroom is $1,020 and $1,570 for a three bedroom.

WWHT develops affordable apartments throughout Windham and Windsor counties, and provides property management services and supportive services that seek to ensure long-term resident stability. WWHT recently completed the $2.4 million renovation of the Planz House, 27 Depot Road, into affordable apartments.

To continue reading the article, click here.


Plantz House Celebration & Open House in Putney, August 13th

Posted August 10, 2015

The Windham & Windsor Housing Trust will be holding an open house and celebration for the renovation of the historic Plantz House in Putney on Thursday, August 13th from 4:30pm to 6:30pm. For more information about this project, view the article from The Commons below:

Following nine months of construction and several years of effort, the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust (WWHT) will celebrate the renovation of the historic Planz House in Putney, located at 27 Old Depot Road, with an open house and community celebration on Thursday, Aug, 13 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

The historic building, located in the heart of Putney Village, will house 11 individuals and families in energy-efficient, freshly-renovated affordable apartments.

The building at 27 Old Depot Road was built circa 1900 by Dr. Laura Plantz, the first female medical practitioner in Vermont. The distinctive 2½-story building — with its original 2-story rear ell, or back house, and attached former barn, slate roofing, twin chimneys and an unusual slate-sided cupola — was modified around 1950 when the building belonged to Windham College.

The college added a 2-story portico to the front and the building was used as a dormitory, infirmary, and classrooms, with a dining hall, lounge, and bookstore in the attached barn. Before the occupancy of Windham College, Norman Mailer lived in the property, and it is believed that he wrote his second novel, Barbary Shore, while living there.

The purchase of the Planz House by Windham & Windsor Housing Trust evolved from the work and recommendations of the Putney Affordable Housing Committee, which specifically called out this large village property as one having great potential for affordable housing.

WWHT purchased the property in June, 2014, and began renovations in the fall of the same year.

The $2.4 million renovation was funded through equity from the sale of Low Income Housing and Historic Tax Credits, as well as funding from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Vermont Community Development Program, Vermont Housing Finance Agency, NeighborWorks America, Efficiency Vermont, and the Vermont Fuel Efficiency Partnerships.

Equity was secured through Housing Vermont’s Green Mountain Equity Fund, and People’s United Bank provided the construction financing.

The architect for the project is NBF Architect, and civil engineering has been provided by Stevens and Associates Engineers. DEW/MacMillin is the general contractor.

For the link to the original article, click here.



Mixed Use Redevelopment of Brattleboro Site Wins HUD Design Award

Posted June 23, 2015

The Canal & Main Apartments/Brattleboro Food Cooperative development was one of two projects to receive the 2015 HUD Secretary’s Housing and Community Design Award for excellence in affordable housing design.

HUD and the American Institute of Architects (AIA) selected Step Up on 5th in Santa Monica, California; and Brattleboro’s Canal & Main development as national affordable housing models.

“Affordable housing represents a gateway to greater opportunity. These two projects are a powerful reminder that bold vision and innovative design can shape communities of promise,” said HUD Secretary Julián Castro. “I congratulate these winners on their achievements and I’m proud to honor them for their commitment to inclusive development.”

The Brattleboro Food Co-op, Windham & Windsor Housing Trust and Housing Vermont partnered to redevelop a site in downtown Brattleboro. The scope of the project included the demolition of the obsolete Brattleboro Food Co-op building and the construction of a four-story, highly energy-efficient, green building. The attractive new building provides 33,600 square feet of retail and office space for the Co-op on the first two floors and 24 affordable apartments in the top two floors.

Gossens Bachman Architects designed the innovative building. The award recognized the “building is a model of energy efficiency, using both conventional and innovative systems, such as heating the entire building with reclaimed waste heat from the store refrigeration system. The collaborative design process was a critical factor in making the project a model for responsible building practice and smart growth.”

The site, previously contaminated by a dry cleaning facility, was cleaned up. The building was moved away from the nearby brook to protect the water from pollution and the building from flooding. Storm water runoff is treated and filtered by a green roof, permeable surfaces in the parking lot, and a 20-foot buffer strip in the new public park created along the Whetstone Brook. Recycled heat generated by the Co-op’s refrigerators heats the store and the apartments and provides hot water.

Construction materials included locally harvested and milled flooring and slate siding manufactured in Vermont. The apartments have continuous fresh air ventilation with heat recovery and the Co-op uses a solar photovoltaic system to generate electricity. These features have cut per-square-foot energy costs by approximately 50 percent, which helps keep the apartments affordable and saves 21 tons of CO2 emissions a year.


Leahy, Sanders, Welch Announce $1.5 M In Affordable Housing Grants For Vermont’s Local NeighborWorks Organizations

Posted March 5, 2015

Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) and Representative Peter Welch (D-Vermont) Wednesday announced $1.5 million in grants to revitalize communities and support access to affordable housing across Vermont. The announcement marks the first round of 2015 federal grants awarded by NeighborWorks America.

Leahy said: “Vermont’s NeighborWorks affiliates are on the front lines of creating jobs and stabilizing our communities by investing in affordable housing. Vermont, like the rest of the country, faces an extreme shortage of affordable housing. These investments will help our local NeighborWorks Organizations to continue to build, rehabilitate and manage affordable housing for Vermonters and provide vital housing counseling and education for renters, homebuyers and homeowners. These grants will support their excellent record of lending a hand to Vermonters in need and in helping to strengthen our communities.”

Sanders said: “It is no secret that over the past decade, incomes have not come close to keeping pace with rising housing costs. At a time when countless families are struggling to get by, and when many households are spending more and more of their limited income on housing, this grant will help provide more housing to Vermonters who need it.”

Welch said: “Every Vermonter should have the peace of mind that comes with a safe and affordable home. These funds are a welcome investment in our communities and can be put to use helping families with a wide range of challenges such as finding a rental, needed home repairs and financial counseling. I applaud NeighborWorks for their commitment to strengthening and improving neighborhoods all over Vermont.”

As the most senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee Leahy has led efforts to support for annual funding for NeighborWorks America. Last year Leahy led a group of 30 senators (link is external), which includes Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), in urging the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development Subcommittee to support funding for NeighborWorks America, which has a proven its ability to leverage federal appropriations with other investments.

NeighborWorks America is a public nonprofit established by Congress to invest in revitalizing communities and preserving affordable housing through their 245 partner organizations across the country. NeighborWorks America awarded five grants to Vermont’s affiliates, totaling $1,558,939, an increase over the $1,334,634 awarded last year:

Central Vermont Community Land Trust Inc. — $161,250
Champlain Housing Trust — $574,189
NeighborWorks of Western Vermont — $269,385
RuralEdge — $214,160
Windham & Windsor Housing Trust — $339,955

Ludy Biddle, director of NeighborWorks of Western Vermont (NWWV), said: “This grant makes it possible for us to carry out everything from our personal counseling for elderly couples threatened with foreclosure, to our home repair and efficiency program that is saving residents more than a million dollars a year in energy costs, to our neighborhood program impacting all the residents in a 10-block area near downtown Rutland. NeighborWorks America makes this all possible.”

Chris Donnelly, director of community relations for Champlain Housing Trust, said: “NeighborWorks America’s support strengthens our organization at a time when there is an increasing need for our services. This funding will also help us build new affordable apartments to address the significant shortage of housing in our region.”


Job Opening at Windham & Windsor Housing Trust

Posted April 17, 2014

Windham & Windsor Housing Trust (WWHT) is seeking a Property Manager based in their Brattleboro, VT office. The successful candidate for this full time position for properties located in the Brattleboro, Putney, Bellows Falls and Springfield area, will be responsible for all aspects of assigned properties including, tenant qualifications, lease- up, tenant relations and communication, rent collection, lease enforcement and compliance with local, state and federal programs including but not limited to LIHTC, HOME and RD515. Certification required.

Qualified candidates must have experience managing residential tax credit and RD properties, voucher and project-based Section 8, and will have experience working with complementary social agencies to assure continuing support for tenants at risk. Proficiency in MS Office Word, Excel, and Outlook, understanding of budgetary concepts and procedures, advanced ability to implement given strategic direction, advanced understanding of portfolio management, decision making process, logical sequence of activities, interdependencies between activities/tasks, deliverable prioritization and timeline.

WWHT provides affordable rental housing to low- and moderate-income households, including families and individuals, persons with disabilities or special needs, and the elderly. We offer a competitive salary and benefits. Please submit a cover letter and resume by April 21 to Human Resources, WWHT, 68 Birge Street, Brattleboro, VT 05301 or

WWHT is an Equal Opportunity Employer.


Federal Housing Dollars Heading to Southeastern Vermont

Posted December 6, 2013

Governor Peter Shumlin announced on Wednesday $1 million in federal grants will be heading to the town of Brattleboro and the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, which will be used throughout the two counties to improve housing for low income home owners.  The Brattleboro Reformer has the details:

Gov. Peter Shumlin delivered $1 million in federal grants on Wednesday…

Shumlin also awarded $271,000 to the town of Wilmington to help the housing trust rehabilitate a seven-unit Main Street apartment the trust owns.

“Our goal is to ensure that we have affordable housing in Vermont,” Shumlin said before he announced the funding at a ceremony held at Brattleboro’s Municipal Center Wednesday. “One of the things that helps to prime the pump, and helps Vermont immensely is the fact that we are getting affordable housing right.”

Shumlin said the federal money goes a long way toward leveraging additional public and private investments in the housing stock of southeastern Vermont. And he said the investments, in the long run, help reduce homelessness by helping keep low income home owners in their properties.

“It’s much cheaper and a much better investment and a much more humane approach to ensure we are doing the financial counseling and the intervention to keep people in their homes, than the dire alternative of having them removed from their home because they can’t make ends meet,” Shumlin said.

Windham & Windsor Housing Trust Executive Director Connie Snow said the $1 million grant will help the housing trust fund its Rehabilitation Loan Fund Program, which provides counseling and construction advice to low-income home owners, as well as low-interest loans and energy efficiency upgrades.

“All of these improvements help home owners remain in their homes,” Snow said. “They keep the homes in our community safe and well maintained.”

She said the housing trust has run the program for seven years and more than 200 home owners have taken advantage of the services which are funded by the U.S Housing and Urban Development Community Development Block Grant program.


Read the full article online or as a PDF.


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…”

Link to Full Brattleboro Reformer Article
View PDF of Full Brattleboro Reformer Article


NeighborWorks Alliance of Vermont Uses Technology to Build Strong Network

Posted June 5, 2013


“Burlington, VT – A grant made in the fall of 2011 following Tropical Storm Irene to strengthen and support five regional housing nonprofits working together as the NeighborWorks Alliance of Vermont is creating video conferencing capacity, the groups announced today. The $200,000 grant made by NeighborWorks America is also helping the organizations collaborate more effectively, be better able to deliver services statewide, assist in the ongoing needs of Vermonters affected by flooding and be prepared for responding to future disasters.

The announcement was made during NeighborWorks Week, an annual campaign by NeighborWorks America and its network of more than 240 local organizations mobilize tens of thousands of volunteers, businesspeople, neighbors, friends, and local and national elected and civic leaders in a week of neighborhood change and awareness.

The five housing groups – Champlain Housing Trust, RuralEdge, Central Vermont Community Land Trust, NeighborWorks of Western Vermont and Windham & Windsor Housing Trust – cover the entire state with home buyer education, financial literacy, credit counseling, home rehabilitation, disaster recovery and other programs. They are chartered members of NeighborWorks America and operate NeighborWorks HomeOwnership Centers…”

PDF of Full CHT Press Release


SAVE THE DATE: Algiers Village Housing Ribbon Cutting

Posted May 29, 2013

Save the Date for the Algiers Village Housing ribbon cutting!

Algiers Village Housing is the culmination of many years of planning on the part of Friends of Algiers, the Town of Guilford, Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, and Housing Vermont. In the course of this effort, two abandoned warehouse buildings were demolished, a brownfield site was cleaned up, and municipal water was extended from Brattleboro to Algiers.

Two new, energy efficient buildings have been constructed in the heart of Algiers village: a 15-apartment building at 91 Guilford Center Road, and a duplex at 71 Guilford Center Road.  These buildings will provide housing opportunities for local citizens for many years to come.

When: Wednesday, July 10/4:00pm – 6:00pm
Where: 91 Guilford Center Rd., Guilford, VT

*Refreshments provided by the newly opened Guilford Country Store

Click HERE to RSVP