French Block Apartments, Montpelier

It’s hard to pass through Montpelier without also passing by the French Block Apartments. Located on the historic downtown Main Street, the French Block facade is an integral part to the character of the downtown. Anecdotally, Vermont Senator Patrick Leahy remembers passing by the French Block on his paper route as a young boy. But despite its central location, the French Block building was unoccupied for nearly four decades – until 2017, when Housing Vermont and Downstreet Housing & Community Development purchased the property and began a major renovation.

The French Block apartments today boast 18 mixed market-rate and affordable units in the heart of downtown Montpelier, where the apartments occupy the top two floors of the French Block building.

At the ribbon-cutting reception in January 2019, hundreds of community members stopped by to tour the new apartments and celebrate the work Housing Vermont and Downstreet have done. Some of the visitors even came in hopes of becoming future tenants, touring units and envisioning how they’d decorate the dwelling.

The project cost $6.1 million to complete, half of which came from the Vermont Housing and Finance Agency (VHFA) through federal housing credits and zero-interest loans. Funding also came from Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Vermont Community Development Program, NeighborWorks, and the Montpelier Housing Trust Fund.

This post is part of our “Members at Work” feature. If your organization does work you would like to see on “Members at Work,” email Kenda Tucker and kenda.vahc@gmail.com.

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