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.
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