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VHFA News

Posted by: admin on September 29, 2006 - 7:58am

BURLINGTON— Vermont Housing Finance Agency is pleased to announce its top mortgage loan originators for fiscal year 2006: Michelle Shambo, Chittenden Bank, Middlebury, Addison County; Wendy Chenaille, Bank of Bennington, Bennington, Bennington County; Susan Laferriere, Union Bank, St. Johnsbury, Caledonia and Essex counties; Jeanne Boucher, New England Federal Credit Union, South Burlington, Chittenden and Grand Isle counties; Carol McKinney, New England Federal Credit Union, St. Albans, Franklin County; Wanda Allaire, Universal Mortgage Corp., Morrisville, Lamoille County; Wanda French, Universal Mortgage Corp., Barre, Orange County; Hope Colburn, Community National Bank, Barton, Orleans County; Laurie Laliberte, Chittenden Bank, Rutland, Rutland County; Lee Youngman, Community National Bank, Montpelier, Washington County; Cathy Eakins, Chittenden Bank, Brattleboro, Windham County; and Kathy Sarnes, Connecticut River Bank, Springfield, Windsor County. "We rely on loan originators at VHFA participating lenders to act as our mortgage sales force," explained VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. "We're pleased to have originators like these on our team." The Agency's top five lending institutions for 2006 are: New England Federal Credit Union, first; Chittenden Bank, second; Universal Mortgage Corp., third; Community National Bank, fourth; and Union Bank, fifth. VHFA has 33 participating lending institutions around the state that help homebuyers qualify for VHFA mortgage loans. VHFA has several home mortgage loan programs, all of which have income and purchase-price limits. A list of participating lenders and information about VHFA's programs and interest rates can be found on the Agency's Web site: www.vhfa.org. VHFA was created by the Vermont Legislature 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 Vermont households with affordable mortgages and financed the development of nearly 7,000 affordable rental units.

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Posted by: admin on September 28, 2006 - 10:16am

BURLINGTON—Sarah Carpenter, Executive Director of Vermont Housing Finance Agency, has been re-elected to the Board of Directors of the National Council of State Housing Agencies (NCSHA). “I look forward to continuing to serve on NCSHA’s board for a second term,” Carpenter says. “The past two years have afforded me the chance to work with professionals involved in many aspects of housing from across the county. The challenges Vermont faces in growing its inventory of affordable housing is shared by many states. Yet this issue rarely gets the attention it deserves on the federal level. NCSHA’s work is vital in continuing to promote the cause of affordable housing throughout the country.” Carpenter joined the NCSHA Board in 2004. Her re-election was announced during the association’s annual conference in San Francisco, Calif., in late-September. A native of Burlington, Vt., Carpenter joined VHFA as Executive Director in 1998. From 1983- 1998, she served as the Executive Director of Cathedral Square Corp. Under Carpenter's direction, Cathedral Square grew to be a nationally recognized leader in combining affordable housing and community services. Prior to her tenure at Cathedral Square, Carpenter held several positions with the Champlain Valley Agency on Aging. Carpenter holds a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science in social work from the University of Vermont, graduating cum laude. She has been the recipient of several awards, including the Vermont YWCA Susan B. Anthony Award, the National Organization on Disability Outstanding Contribution Award, and a NeighborWorks® America Government Service Award this August. Carpenter has served on numerous voluntary boards. These include current appointments to the Community Development Advisory Board of the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston; the Boards of the Vermont Community Development Program, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Trust Fund, and Fletcher Allen Healthcare. Her previous memberships including the national board of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging; AAHSA Assurances Limited, a captive liability insurance company; Housing Vermont, Vermont's non-profit statewide equity fund; the Vermont Alzheimer's Association; the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS); and a number of other local charitable organizations. NCSHA is a non-profit organization serving as a trade and advocacy group for housing finance agencies nation-wide. More information about NCSHA is available on the Council’s Web site, www.ncsha.org. VHFA was created by the Vermont Legislature in 1974 to finance and promote the development of affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Since it’s inception, VHFA has helped more than 25,000 households with affordable mortgages and financed the creation of nearly 7,000 affordable rental units. More information about VHFA and its programs is available on the Agency Web site, www.vhfa.org.

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Posted by: admin on August 24, 2006 - 3:17am

BURLINGTON—Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) Executive Director Sarah Carpenter received an Honorable Mention in the 2006 NeighborWorks® Government Service Awards. Carpenter received the honor at a ceremony held at the NeighborWorks® Training Institute in Washington, D.C., on Aug. 14. Vermont State Senator and South Burlington City Council Chairman Jim Condos also received an Honorable Mention at the event. “I’m flattered by the mention and proud of VHFA’s accomplishments,” Carpenter says. “In recent years, I’ve been fortunate enough to be part of exciting new mortgage innovations like our Cash Assistance rate option, helping borrowers with downpayment and closing costs; significant policy initiatives, including creating and increasing the Vermont Affordable Housing Tax Credit; and award-winning outreach and education projects such as the Vermont Housing Awareness Campaign and Vermont Housing Data Web site.” The NeighborWorks® Government Service Awards recognize public officials and other leaders who’ve made significant contributions to improving the lives of the people in their communities and/or expanding the supply of affordable housing for low- and moderate-income families. It’s given to one individual at each level: local, state and federal. “Sarah Carpenter has shown an unwavering dedication to, and support for, public policies that advance community revitalization goals,” said Ken Wade, CEO of NeighborWorks® America. “With so many Americans struggling to afford housing, the commitment demonstrated by Sarah at the state government level is ever more important. Her leadership has helped transform Vermont, and we are proud to honor Sarah for her invaluable service to affordable housing.” Carpenter has been a prominent and effective advocate for affordable housing in Vermont for more than 20 years. Under her tenure, VHFA has become known for its creativity and effectiveness in its programs; for its leadership in housing policy and advocacy; and for its many contributions to improving the state’s housing delivery system, including its support for Vermont’s NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Centers. Carpenter, a native of Burlington, Vt., was appointed VHFA Executive Director in December 1998. From 1983 to 1998, she served as Executive Director of Cathedral Square Corp. in Burlington. She received a Masters of Public Administration from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science in social work from the University of Vermont, graduating cum laude. NeighborWorks® is a national nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to provide financial support, technical assistance, and training for community-based revitalization efforts. Vermont’s network of six NeighborWorks® HomeOwnership Centers provides homebuyer education, credit and budget counseling, financial assistance for homebuyers and more. Learn more at www.getahome.org. VHFA was created by the Vermont Legislature in 1974 to finance and promote affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Since its inception, the Agency has helped more than 25,000 Vermont households with affordable mortgages and financed the development of almost 7,000 affordable rental units. Learn more at www.vhfa.org.

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Posted by: admin on August 17, 2006 - 5:28am

BURLINGTON—Executive Director Sarah Carpenter announced that Tom Connors of Underhill Center has joined VHFA as Chief Financial Officer. VHFA Senior Financial Analyst Scott Baker of Essex Junction has been promoted to Investment Manager. Connors was Vice President of Finance and Operations at Trak Sports USA Inc. in Burlington. He was responsible for the financial and operations activities of that $20 million ski and snowboard manufacturer and distributor since January 2005. Before that, Connors spent 11 years as Director of Revenue Accounting at IDX Systems Corp., now GE Healthcare, in South Burlington. His resume also includes finance positions at Information Resources Inc. and Wang Laboratories, both in Massachusetts. For five years, Connors has served on the board of ReCycle North, a Burlington nonprofit organization working for waste reduction, job-skills training and poverty relief. He currently serves as the organization’s Treasurer. “Tom’s an accomplished financial professional with a solid track record,” says Carpenter. “We’re excited to welcome him to the Agency.” Baker has been with VHFA nearly two decades. He joined the Agency in 1988 as Investment Officer, and for the past six years has served as Senior Financial Analyst. “Scott’s promotion is a reflection of his expertise with bond-related activities and the management of the Agency’s investment portfolio, as well as his ongoing commitment to the Agency for the past 18 years,” according to Carpenter. VHFA was created by the Vermont Legislature in 1974 to finance and promote affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Since its inception, the Agency has helped more than 25,000 Vermont households with affordable mortgages and financed the development of almost 7,000 affordable rental units.

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Posted by: admin on August 7, 2006 - 4:14am

BURLINGTON—Governor Jim Douglas joined with Vermont Housing Finance Agency today to announce VHFA’s new $10 million mortgage loan initiative to help consumers find affordable homeownership, and the Agency also rolled out two new insurance products being provided to VHFA borrowers by the Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corporation (MGIC). The announcements were made at a press conference attended by the Governor, VHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter and MGIC Account Manager Jon Korpela. A detailed description of the new programs is attached. “Vermonters are still facing very high housing costs, despite evidence the housing market may not be as super-heated as in recent years,” Douglas said. “The concern over housing affordability on the part of consumers, employers and the housing industry remains high, which is why we still need the kind of creative and effective thinking that goes into programs like the ones we’re announcing today.” Carpenter said the Agency’s new mortgage program — a 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage with a 4.75% interest rate — will be offered to qualified borrowers purchasing new homes in developments that have been approved by the Agency. Approved housing developments will be located in areas designated by communities for housing growth. “This is another way of helping people realize their dream of affordable homeownership,” Carpenter said. “We’ll be working with Vermont’s NeighborWorks® Homeownership Centers to find potential customers and provide homebuying education. We feel this program also helps encourage the development of affordable housing in areas where Vermont communities have decided they want housing built.” Korpela said MGIC has worked with VHFA to offer two new insurance programs that should give VHFA borrowers new peace of mind. The first is a job-loss protection benefit, offered at no cost to VHFA borrowers. That product would provide a limited measure of protection against involuntary unemployment. It would pay up to $2,000 per month for up to six months if the involuntary unemployment occurs during the first two years of the loan. The second product is low-cost mortgage insurance to qualified borrowers that carries a premium that is approximately 25 percent below conventional programs. "MGIC understands the important role that homeownership plays in the American dream, Korpela said. “MGIC has been helping make the dream of homeownership a reality for nearly 50 years, and we are pleased to partner with VHFA to bring affordable home loan options to the people of Vermont. “Through these programs, qualifying VHFA borrowers can save as much as $100 per month on their mortgage payments,” Korpela said. “And Job Loss Protection helps safeguard borrowers against losing their homes if they become involuntarily unemployed or disabled." Carpenter said the new insurance products are another way VHFA works with its partners to offer more and better options for consumers. “Our Agency and our partners are focused on providing the best service we can to consumers,” she said. “Any time we can offer a new product or service like this, consumers win.” Vermont Housing Finance Agency was created by the Vermont Legislature in 1974 to finance and promote affordable housing opportunities for low- and moderate-income Vermonters. Since its inception, VHFA has helped more than 25,000 Vermont households with affordable mortgages and has financed development of almost 7,000 affordable rental units. More information about VHFA and its programs is available at www.vhfa.org.

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