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VHFA News

Posted by: Will White on September 29, 2017 - 4:05pm
Vermont Governor Phil Scott speaks at press conference

Vermont Governor Phil Scott joined legislative and housing leaders in a press conference last week to update the public on the first year progress of the Building Homes Together campaign.

Goal

In an effort to increase the availability of affordable homes in Vermont, Champlain Housing Trust teamed up with Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission and Housing Vermont to set a goal of 3,500 new homes within 5 years, with 20% of them being permanently affordable.

Progress

Building 3,500 homes in 5 years would require building an average of 700 homes each year. Chittenden County exceeded that goal with 916 new homes last year. This is almost twice the average annual production of homes for the past 5 years. However, only 8% of homes built in 2016 meet the Campaign's threshold of being considered "affordable."

Brenda Torpy, CEO of Champlain Housing Trust, explains that the affordability target wasn’t met because there was not enough capital to fund additional development projects. This comes as no surprise in light of statewide support for the new "Housing For All" program to increase capital investment in affordable housing development.

Charlie Baker, Executive Director of Chittenden County Regional Planning Committee, noted that he personally believes 3,500 new homes in Vermont would not be enough to fully meet the county's need for housing.

Moving forward

There are still expected to be 360 new rentals built in Chittenden County by the end of this year, with 52 of them being affordable. Moreover, various nonprofit organizations have said they would like to start developing 300 more homes at the start of next year.

“[There is] a new bond, an opportunity with $35 million to build more housing and to increase the production that we’ve been able to have. We’re very excited and hope that maybe at this time next year we’ll be able to invite you back and be celebrating that we’ve closed that gap in our need to produce affordable housing and also closing the gap for more workers.” – Brenda Torpy, CEO of Champlain Housing Trust.

Posted by: Victoria Johnson on September 18, 2017 - 2:41pm

The Vermont Resident Services Coordinators (VRSC) invites you to join them on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 for a training workshop.  The workshop will be followed by the VRSC member meeting.  The training workshop and meeting will be held at the historic Royalton Academy Building in Royalton, VT.  

The training workshop will feature Mike Ohler and Faith Crocker on “The Nuts and Bolts of Housing Retention”, a subject that is of keen interest across the spectrum of the congregate housing industry.  Click here for training flyer.

 

 

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on September 11, 2017 - 3:34pm

VHFA invited bids from investors Friday for the "Housing for All" initiative passed by Vermont lawmakers earlier this year.  The proceeds from this financing will be used to create and rehabilitate an estimated 650 rental and owned homes across the state.

"We consistently hear about how widespread the lack of affordable, decent housing is in many parts of Vermont," said Governor Phil Scott. "By leveraging other funds, this investment will help create much-needed homes that are affordable for working Vermonters at the middle and lower end of the wage scale."

Funded through a small portion of Vermont's Property Transfer Tax revenue, the "Housing for All" initiative is the largest single commitment of state funds for housing development in Vermont's history.

"We are delighted to use our experience with housing finance tools and investors to help strengthen the impact of this exciting initiative," remarked VHFA's Executive Director Sarah Carpenter.

In order to reduce the cost of underwriting and public offering fees, this particular financing will only be offered directly to institutional and organizational investors, and not to individual investors. This will help maximize the amount of proceeds produced with $2.5 million annual debt service for 20 years. Bids are due October 2, 2017.  Information about future VHFA bond offerings are posted on our website.

Converting the proceeds from investors into new and rehabilitated housing will be the task of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB).  VHCB has a 30-year history in Vermont of funding and supporting permanently affordable housing created by non-profits, municipalities and other public-private partnerships. VHCB is conducting outreach meetings around the state to explain the application process and solicit project ideas.  

Note: This is a public press release and not an invitation to bid, nor is it an offer to buy or sell securities. 

Pictured:  The Roaring Branch apartments in Bennington exemplify the housing that could be created through the "Housing for All" initiative.  Provided by Vermont Housing Conservation Board. 

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on September 1, 2017 - 3:04pm

Governor Phil Scott has appointed Thomas S. Leavitt of Waterbury Center to VHFA's Board of Commissioners.

Leavitt, has been President and Chief Executive Officer of Northfield Savings Bank since 2014.  Prior to Northfield Savings Bank, Leavitt was President and CEO of MountainOne Financial in North Adams, MA and before that he was on the senior management team of Merchants Bank in Vermont for 16 years.

He serves on the Boards of Norwich University Applied Research Institutes, ECHO Leahy Center for Lake Champlain, and the Flynn Center. He is an active member of the Vermont Financial Literacy Commission.

Leavitt earned a BS from the University of New Hampshire and an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He is a native of Burlington, Vermont.

“We’re very excited to welcome Tom to the VHFA Board of Commissioners,” VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter remarked.  “His many years of experience in Vermont banking and his familiarity with our valued partners will be a great asset for VHFA’s Board.”

There are nine members of VHFA’s Board of Commissioners. They include four ex officio members and five members appointed by the Governor of Vermont, representing private and public lending, real estate, housing and community interests.

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on August 29, 2017 - 1:00pm

In each of Vermont's northernmost counties, the median price of homes sold during the first half of 2017 was more than 10% higher than a decade earlier, according to our recent analysis of VT Tax Department data on non-vacation homes. 

Home price data through June 2017 for every town and county in the state was recently added to the Vermont Housing Data website's community profiles

Chittenden County led the state with a 20% increase during the decade, bringing the median price there among all non-vacation homes to $287,000. In contrast, Windham and Bennington counties experienced price declines during the decade of 12% and 10%, respectively.

Rising prices in Chittenden and neighboring counties led the Vermont median home price up to $208,000 during the first half of 2017--a high point for the state so far.

Although some Chittenden County communities have few affordable homes on the market, tools like VHFA's $5,000 ASSIST down payment and closing cost assistance and property transfer tax break can help close the affordability gap for home buyers in many other parts of the state. 

 

 

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