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Live at 5:25: Burlington Housing Authority Residents Participate in the Art Hop

Posted August 8, 2017

Last week, VAHC Resident Organizer Corrine Yonce spoke with David Foss and local Artist Kylie Dally about ongoing activities at several Burlington Housing Authority properties.  Kylie is working with BHA residents to incorporate artwork into BHA residences to make the living spaces more stimulating. David, a member of Decker Towers’ Resident Advisory Board and of the Decker Towers Tenants Association Steering Committee, has worked with Corrine to find new ways to connect Decker Towers to the larger Burlington community in order to fight the stigma that so many Decker residents face. Check out this episode of Live at 5:25 here.

You can watch this program on Channel 17/ Town Meeting Television, on Comcast Cable and Burlington Telecom at the following times:

Wednesday August  2, 5:25 PM
Thursday August  3, 7:00 PM
Monday August 14, 3:00 PM
Monday August 21, 3:00 PM
Monday August 28, 3:00 PM

 



VT Tenants Housing Education Supervisor

Posted July 28, 2017

The Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity’s (CVOEO) VT Tenants Program (VTI) seeks an experienced, energetic, and committed individual with a high degree of initiative to join our team as the Housing Education Supervisor.

The Housing Education Supervisor is responsible for managing the ongoing operation of the Tenant Hotline; provides education and outreach services to VT landlords and tenants; will be the lead educator responsible teaching basic rights and responsibilities to tenants and landlords in workshop settings; responsible for utilizing, updating, providing oversight and support of our tenant training materials; monitor and report on the effectiveness of hotline services and give input to the Program Director on potential improvements; and provide direct service to clients as needed.

Successful applicants will have a Bachelor’s degree in education, business or human services plus 2-4 years related experience – paralegal training desired; general knowledge of V.S.A 9, 12, and 18 or a minimum of 2 years’ experience working with tenants, landlords and housing statutes related issues; and the ability to communicate with, supervise, and empower employees to be effective in their roles – Supervisory experience preferred. Strong preference given to applicants fluent in a native language shared by our refugee/immigrant community. To learn more about this position, please visit www.cvoeo.org

This is a 20 hour/week position with health insurance and excellent benefits.  To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to: VTSuper17@cvoeo.org    Review of applications begins immediately and will continue until suitable candidates are found. Please view our job description: Housing Education Supervisor

 



Austine School Campus to be Home to New Housing Complex

Posted July 27, 2017

Brattleboro Housing Partnerships has announced a new proposal for a two-story apartment complex on the site of the former Austine School for the Deaf. The project aims to create more units for individuals displaced from Melrose Terrace by Hurricane Irene in 2011. BHP estimates that the project will cost between three and four million dollars.

The new site is very close to BHP’s Red Clover Commons, which are the central focus point for on-site services. The new development would relocate the last residents still remaining at Melrose Terrace, which they hope to demolish given its flood-prone location.

Read more from the Brattleboro Reformer.

 



Former Lamplighter Inn to Cater to Chronically Homeless

Posted

The Lamplighter’s 24 motel rooms will have become 22 “micro-apartments,” each measuring 350 square feet complete with kitchens and bathrooms. The new community center will include offices, a laundry and a meeting room, among other facilities.

Windham & Windsor Housing Trust is managing the project while partnering with The Groundworks Collaborative and Health Care & Rehabilitation Services of Vermont to provide on-site services. The Groundworks Collaborative will offer on-site case management that will include job search assistance, budgeting, finding a primary care doctor, or connecting residents with mental health professionals.

The Permanent Supportive Housing Project will be a first for Brattleboro, bringing the nationally successful model to southeast Vermont.

Read more from VTDigger.

 



Rutland Turns Public Housing into Community Asset

Posted

Forest Park, with 75 apartments, was one of Rutland’s largest public housing projects. It was built in 1971 and looked it. Recently though, the project has turned from eyesore to asset after undergoing a $22 million. Previously only accessible via an access road, developers chose to move a city street in order to make it more accessible.

The redevelopment has come in stages, with 33 units completed in 2011 and 23 in 2015, while construction of the final 22 units began only this month. Rents vary from about $100 a month up to about $800 a month. All the units are full, and there’s currently a six-to-nine-month waiting list.

In the final phase of the project, developers have reserved six units for families who have experiences homelessness, acknowledging Rutland’s problems with addressing homelessness. The complex is overseen by the Rutland Housing Authority.

Read more from VPR.

 



Cambrian Rise Project Moves Forward

Posted

Eric Farrell’s residential project that would bring nearly 750 new units of housing to the North End is moving forward. While Farrell has yet to purchase the balance of Burlington College property that was sold to People’s United Bank recently at auction, one of the residential buildings, Liberty House, has already begun leasing. Rents range from $925 to $1,900, though some of the units are as small as 280 square feet.

Champlain Housing Trust and the senior-housing developer Cathedral Square would each construct one of the development’s 12 buildings, providing 146 units of affordable housing.

In the end, the city council unanimously supported the plan to build on 21.6 acres. The project would have 739 units: 240 condos, 353 rentals and the 146 affordable units. The plan includes an additional 42-room hotel.

Read more from Seven Days.

 



New Bel Aire Apartments Open, Property Addresses Chronic Homelessness

Posted July 26, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                                                    July 26, 2017

See Also Attached FAQ Sheet

Contact: Chris Donnelly, chris@champlainhousingtrust.org, (802) 310-0623

                 Michael Carrese, Michael.Carrese@uvmhealth.org, (802) 847-0368

Burlington, Vermont – The Champlain Housing Trust, UVM Medical Center, community leaders and other partners came together today to celebrate the opening of the Bel Aire Apartments in Burlington’s South End. The former motel has been converted to eight apartments that will become home to 12-15 people.

The new apartments, owned by the Champlain Housing Trust (CHT), will house people who have experienced chronic homelessness or who are living in unsafe conditions that would inhibit their ability to recover from a medical condition. Case management and social work from the Community Health Centers of Burlington will provide services to residents. This is the latest step in a coordinated campaign to end homelessness in Chittenden County, one that has contributed to a nearly 50% reduction in the past three years, according the annual Point in Time count.

CHT’s purchase and renovation of the property was made possible by a grant from the UVM Medical Center. The UVM Medical Center is also providing funding for case management and operations. Earlier collaborations in Vermont – and similar programs around the country – demonstrate health savings that outweigh the cost of the housing while helping people become healthier.

“If a patient is discharged from the hospital without a safe and reliable place to store medication or simply to sleep, it can be difficult to avoid a trip back to the Emergency Room,” said Eileen Whalen, President and Chief Operating Officer at the UVM Medical Center. “By helping the patients we serve who are experiencing homelessness or at risk of becoming homeless, we help them focus on getting better and save health care dollars.”

“Four years ago, we committed to redoubling our efforts towards virtually eliminating homelessness in our region,” said Brenda Torpy, CEO of Champlain Housing Trust. “Today is another, very important step towards that goal, and we can’t thank the UVM Medical Center enough for their partnership.”

The former motor lodge with 12 rooms was a family-run business originally built in the 1950s. The location and structure of the building lent itself almost perfectly for this adaptation and next chapter in its life. The renovation was managed by 2nd Generation Builders. The property now has one efficiency, five 1-bedroom, one 2-bedroom and one 4-bedroom apartment. Five of the apartments will subsidized through a voucher made available by the Burlington Housing Authority; the remaining will be covered by the UVM Medical Center.

The apartments will come furnished and Burlington Telecom is providing discounted rates to the residents. CVOEO’s Weatherization Program provided support for the building renovation, and local businesses donated plants for window boxes.

The UVM Medical Center will fill three apartments with patients for whom continued hospital stay is not necessary, but may not have a safe place to recover. The remaining five will be people identified by community organizations as most in need, as determined by an ongoing assessment coordinated by the Chittenden County Homeless Alliance. Tenants will move in mid-August.

“Congratulations to the Champlain Housing Trust and UVM Medical Center for coming together with this innovative partnership to create the Bel Aire Apartments,” Mayor Miro Weinberger added. “The City of Burlington is committed to do anything within our means to end chronic homelessness. Housing First strategies are proven to work, and we are excited that efforts like this one at the Bel Aire will make significant headway to address this issue.”

The conversion of the Bel Aire is the latest in a series of collaborative efforts with these partners and others. Harbor Place, a motel in Shelburne, has provided emergency lodging for people with no other place to turn. It has saved the state over $1 million and saved an estimated $1 million in health care costs – all while being more effective at helping people find permanent housing.

Beacon Apartments in South Burlington used to be the Ho Hum Motel. It is now home to 19 people who had been chronically homeless with medical vulnerabilities. That property opened in January, 2016.

For more information and a short video on these partnerships, please visit: www.getahome.org/housing-is-healthcare.

Read more from the Burlington Free Press.

Read more from VTDigger.

 



Here, Still: Resident Organizer Corrine Yonce has Artwork Displayed

Posted July 21, 2017

The New City Galerie in downtown Burlington held an event last night to showcase the work of three local artists. Corrine Yonce, VAHC’s Americorps VISTA Resident Organizer, had her portraits on display for the show. Some of those portraits are directly related to VAHC’s Voices of Home project. Corrine has been painting residents living in affordable housing, whose interviews we have shared on this site. She is a truly talented artist, and the residents’ stories are captured in their portraits.

In her artist’s talk, Corrine spoke of the process of being able to work not just from a photograph but from her interactions with the residents during their interviews. She talked about how their experiences informed her artistry and the ways in which their stories helped to shape the portraits. The portraits on display featured residents from Decker Towers, 3 Cathedral Square, and Northgate Apartments. The paintings were accompanied by phone numbers that are connected to clips from each of the corresponding interviews, which would not be possible without technical assistance provided by the Vermont Folklife Center. The aim of the phone numbers is to make the Voices of Home interviews accessible to the low-income residents that the project focuses on, who may not have access to a smartphone or internet.

This project is possible because of the generous support of Curtis Lumber, Dick Blick, Burlington City Arts, CVOEO’s Thriving Communities project, and HUD. We congratulate Corrine on her dedication to sharing the stories of low-income residents and on making her art accessible to the people that she serves.

 



Save the Date: Bel Aire Apartments Ribbon Cutting

Posted July 20, 2017

The Champlain Housing Trust and The University of Vermont Medical Center are pleased to announce the upcoming opening of the Bel Aire Apartments!

This former motel has been converted to eight apartments to advance our community’s work to end homelessness and improve the lives of Vermonters.

What: Ribbon cutting ceremony and tour of the new Bel Aire Apartments

When: Wednesday, July 26 at 10am

Where: 111 Shelburne Street, Burlington Please note: there is no parking on site, but Christ the King School, just to the north of the property at Locust Street, has graciously given us permission to use their lots. Please let us know if you have mobility challenges and we will assist you.

RSVP: Chris Donnelly chris@champlainhousingtrust.org (802) 861-7305

 



2 Vermont Mobile Home Parks Reel After Notice of Sale

Posted

Residents of St. George Villa in St. George and Sunset Lake Villa in Hinesburg recently received letters notifying them of the owner’s intent to sell the parks. According to state law, residents have the first chance to purchase the park for themselves and form a cooperative, or with the help of a designated nonprofit organization. Arthur Hamlin, Housing Program Coordinator at the Department of Housing & Community Development, made sure to emphasize that this was by no means a reason for residents to fear the loss of their homes.

“I know they’re really anxious when they get that sale notice, bu it is a sale notice, and not a closing notice,” Hamlin said.

The residents fear that if they are not allowed to remain in their homes, they may not be able to afford the cost of moving to a new home, or may not be able to find an empty lot at another park.

Read more about the potential sale of St George and Sunset Lake Villas from WPTZ.

 



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