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VHFA News

Posted by: admin on October 18, 2005 - 10:19am

BURLINGTON, VT  Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) Multifamily Development Underwriter Liza Vedder Plantilla has joined the Affordable Housing Working Group of the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED for Homes committee. LEED for Homes is a voluntary rating system that promotes the transformation of the mainstream home building industry towards more sustainable practices. The Initiative for Affordable Housing, funded by a grant from The Home Depot Foundation, is a component of LEED for Homes that addresses differences between affordable housing and marketrate housing. The working group serves as the committee’s primary resource for the implementation of the Initiative for Affordable Housing. The U.S. Green Building Council is a Washington, D.C.-based group of building professionals working to promote buildings that are environmentally responsible, profitable and healthy places to live and work. Plantilla analyzes prospective multifamily housing and single-family development loans being considered for VHFA financing. She’s responsible for underwriting of Housing Credit applications and assists VHFA’s Director of Development with the administration of the Housing Credit program. This spring, she joined the Board of Directors of the Vermont Green Building Network. The Burlington nonprofit organization strives to increase Vermont’s participation in green building and promotes environmental, financial, community and health benefits of green design, construction, and building operation practices. The Vermont Legislature established VHFA in 1974 to finance and promote affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Since its inception, the Agency has helped almost 25,000 households with affordable mortgages and nearly 7,000 families into affordable rental units.

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Posted by: admin on October 3, 2005 - 11:10am

BURLINGTON, VT  The National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA) honored Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) with two awards during its 2005 Annual Awards for Program Excellence luncheon. VHFA’s Vermont Housing Data Web site (www.housingdata.org) was a winner in the “Management Innovation, Technological Innovation” category. The “Art House” children’s poster exhibit, created by Agency staff for the Vermont Housing Awareness Campaign (www.housingawareness.org), took the award in the “Communications, Innovative Media” category. “VHFA is proud to be recognized by its peers across the country as an innovator in promoting affordable housing through the Vermont Housing Data Web site and the ‘Art House’ poster project,” said VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. “These awards stand as testaments to the creativity, energy and dedication of the VHFA staff.” VHFA Communications Coordinator Craig Bailey and Policy and Planning Coordinator Maura Collins developed the Vermont Housing Data site along with William Sawyer and Cathleen Gent from the University of Vermont’s Center for Rural Studies in Burlington, with support and guidance from the state’s housing community. The site was developed entirely in-house and is the largest single source for Vermont-related market rate and affordable housing information. It features a searchable database of more than 120 pieces of data for every town, village, county and the state. The site contains approximately a quarter-million statistics including historical figures that stretch back decades. Vermont Housing Data is also home to the Directory of Affordable Rental Housing (DoARH), a searchable database of all subsidized housing in the state, including bedroom size, tenant population, unit restrictions, funding source and vacancies. VHFA Public Affairs Manager John Fairbanks coordinated the “Art House” exhibit under the auspices of the Housing Awareness Campaign, working with the state’s NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Centers, Chittenden Bank, the Committee on Temporary Shelter, Very Special Arts, and other partners. Bailey provided production support. The project began last summer, when the Campaign held several events around the state asking children to paint representations of what home means to them. From dozens of entries, 25 works have been selected to tour the state as a testament to the significant role “home” plays in the lives of Vermont's children. The exhibit has shown in more than a dozen locations, including the Russell Senate Building in Washington, D.C. Carpenter accepted the awards Monday, Sept. 26, at NCSHA’s 35th Annual Conference held at the Sheraton Boston Hotel. More than 1,100 housing professionals and affiliate members from across the country attended the event. NCSHA is a non-profit organization created more than 30 years ago by the nation’s state housing finance agencies to coordinate and leverage their federal advocacy efforts for affordable housing. The Council has more than 400 member organizations. The Vermont Legislature established VHFA in 1974 to finance and promote affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Since its inception, the Agency has helped almost 25,000 households with affordable mortgages and nearly 7,000 families into affordable rental units.

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Posted by: admin on October 3, 2005 - 4:56am

BURLINGTON, VT  Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) Executive Director Sarah Carpenter announced today the hiring of Leslie Black-Plumeau as Research Analyst. Black-Plumeau provides research support for administration of VHFA programs and development of new housing initiatives. She also designs reports to facilitate the exchange of housing data and research information among VHFA staff members, management, Board of Commissioners, and other housing organizations. Black-Plumeau was Research Analyst at VHFA from 1998 to 2001. In the two years prior to returning to the Agency, she owned and operated Black-Plumeau Consulting, a public policy research and analysis firm in South Burlington. During that time, she worked on a statewide housing needs assessment for the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Affairs and other housing agencies, and conducted analyses related to the state’s welfare program. Before starting her consulting business, she worked for a year as Planning and Evaluation Chief for the Vermont Department for Prevention, Assistance, Transition and Health Access (PATH), now called the Department for Children and Families. Black-Plumeau is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She holds a master’s degree from the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy at the State University of New York at Albany. The Vermont Legislature established VHFA on April 11, 1974, to finance and promote affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Since its inception, the Agency has helped almost 25,000 households with affordable mortgages and nearly 7,000 families into affordable rental units.

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Posted by: admin on July 18, 2005 - 5:42am

BURLINGTON, VT  Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) Executive Director Sarah Carpenter announced today the hiring of Tina Franzen of Essex Junction as Accounting Clerk. Franzen joined VHFA in March as an intern handling accounts payable in the Agency’s finance department. She previously worked at Harrington’s of Vermont in Richmond and the United States Postal Service in Essex Junction. Franzen is a graduate of Essex Junction Educational Center and is attending Community College of Vermont in Burlington. The Vermont Legislature established VHFA on April 11, 1974, to finance and promote affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Since its inception, the Agency has helped almost 25,000 households with affordable mortgages and nearly 7,000 families into affordable rental units.

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Posted by: admin on July 8, 2005 - 5:08am

BURLINGTON—Vermont Housing Finance Agency Public Affairs Manager John Fairbanks is attending the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government this month. Fairbanks, who joined VHFA in 2001, was one of 20 applicants nation-wide who is attending the Program as a Fannie Mae Foundation Fellow. The Fannie Mae Foundation awards fellowships to the Program in recognition of the Fellows’ “commitment to and accomplishments in the field of affordable housing.” The Program is “an intensive three-week course designed to enhance leadership skills, develop new management techniques, and cultivate relationships among public sector colleagues.” The curriculum covers policy analysis, strategic management, political management and negotiation and includes workshops run by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard. The Kennedy School selects program participants representing public sector management in housing, health, public safety, budget, administration and public works. In 1996, the Fannie Mae Foundation and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University established the Fannie Mae Foundation Fellowship Program to enhance the management and decision-making skills of senior public and nonprofit officials dedicated to improving affordable housing opportunities in communities across the country. Each year, the Fannie Mae Foundation sponsors up to 35 fellowships, and since the program’s inception, nearly 250 state and local officials have participated. This year’s selection process was particularly competitive because there was an increased number of high-level applicants, with nearly 100 applicants for the available fellowships.

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