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Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on November 18, 2016 - 9:54am

Yesterday was pay up day for our friends at Housing Vermont who graciously served VHFA staff a delicious lunch in honor of our 2016 Way to Go Challenge Carbon Throwdown win. 

The friendly competition resulted in estimated savings of 6,475 miles of driving as 43 staff from the two agencies used alternative means of transportation during the 2-week competition in October.  

Way to go!

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on November 17, 2016 - 4:14pm

At the biennial Vermont Statewide Housing Conference on November 15, two statewide leaders were honored for their service and achievements. Representative Helen Head received the “Legislative Housing Hero” award for her years of commitment to affordable housing.  Head has served as South Burlington’s representative to the Vermont House of Representatives since 2003 and as Chair of the House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs since 2007.  She also helped lead Project Home (now HomeShare Vermont) and the Joint Urban Ministries Project (JUMP).  Head also volunteers with and on behalf of Hospice of the Champlain Valley, Dismas House and Small Potatoes. 

Polly Nichol of Montpelier received the “Innovation and Impact Housing Hero” award for 28 years of service and vision at the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.  As the first Housing Director of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Nichol helped build the capacity of the statewide network of non-profits by investing in 12,000 homes and worked with Habitat for Humanity to support more than 108 homes.  Nichol also led Vermont’s housing preservation work and initiated and developed statewide lead paint and AmeriCorps programs. 

Housing Hero awards have been granted by the Vermont Statewide Housing Conference since 2002.  Previous winners include former state Senator Susan Bartlett, Representative Martha Heath, Vermont’s Mobile Home Project and Governor Madeleine Kunin. Coordinated by Vermont Housing Finance Agency on behalf of a multi-agency planning committee, the Vermont Statewide Housing Conference draws 400-500 professionals together from across the state to collaborate and improve housing opportunities for Vermonters. 


Posted by: lori on November 16, 2016 - 10:16am

BURLINGTON-The message to the hundreds of professionals gathered at the Hilton Burlington yesterday was loud and clear: A stable life starts with stable housing.  Scholars Kathryn Edin and Luke Shaefer described the poignant interviews they had with poor families before writing their renowned book “$2.00 A Day: Living on Next to Nothing in America.” 

“When we asked what they needed most, people consistently said they wanted a home of their own and a job paying $10-$12 hour.” Without the safety of four walls, poor families live in a highly volatile “toxic alchemy” of threats and obstacles, Edin explained.

In another session, Jason Williams of the UVM Medical Center described the health care industry’s paradigm shift as hospital investments in stable housing demonstrate a pay off in terms of patient recovery.  By collaborating with Safe Harbor Health Center and Champlain Housing Trust, the Medical Center has seen dramatic, measurable benefits for formerly homeless people who move into Harbor Place and Beacon Apartments. Without options like these, homeless patients at the Medical Center must remain in inpatient care longer. The cost of developing the efficiency housing units at these two locations is proving to be far less than the cost of inpatient care or state-provided emergency motel vouchers.

In addition to highlighting best practices like the Medical Center's housing investment, the conference honored two statewide leaders for their service and achievements. Vermont Representative Helen Head received the “Legislative Housing Hero” award for her work as Chair of the House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs. Head has made improving the lives of Vermonters through affordable housing an integral part of her legislative work for over 13 years. 

Polly Nichol received the “Innovation and Impact Housing Hero” award for her decades of service and vision at the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board expanding opportunities for decent, safe and affordable housing for all Vermonters. 

Pictured: Luke Shaefer and Kathryn Edin deliver conference keynote on the country's very poor families. 

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on November 11, 2016 - 10:46am

Get your holiday shopping started in style by bidding on one of the many beautiful themed baskets in VHFA's auction to raise money for the United Way.  Bidding closes at noon on Wednesday, November 16.  

Check out our auction web page to browse the wide variety of baskets stuffed with valuable goodies and opportunities.  The highest bidder should be available to pick up his or her basket.  

Happy bidding!


Posted by: lori on November 9, 2016 - 8:40am


MONDAY-TUESDAY, NOVEMBER 14-15 AT HILTON BURLINGTON Newly-elected state leaders and nontraditional partnerships featured


BURLINGTON—Hundreds of housing professionals will convene in Burlington next week to hear from federal and state leaders about the implications of this month’s elections on housing affordability.  Vermont’s new governor has been invited to describe his or her goals and a legislative breakfast and workshop sessions will provide access to state legislators and to legislative staff and administrators from key federal offices.


The conference will kick off Monday afternoon with sessions focused on how nontraditional partnerships, such as recent innovations between health care providers and housing developers, can improve the lives of Vermonters.


Event details:

Vermont Statewide Housing Conference

Hilton Burlington

60 Battery Street

Burlington, Vermont

XLR soundboard available



Monday, November 14

12:30-4:30 PM: Registration and sessions on outcomes of creative partnerships and funding Tuesday, November 15

7:45 AM: Registration and Legislative Reception

9:00 AM: Welcome and Legislative Housing Hero award

9:30 AM: Keynote address and book signing by authors of $2 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America

10:50 AM:  “Looking towards the Future” power presentations

12:15 PM:  Lunch and Housing Hero Award

1:15 PM:  Governor-elect (invited)

1:45-5 PM:  Workshops

Detailed agenda:  http://www.vhfa.org/conference/agenda.php