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Posted by: Mia Watson on 8/15/2018

Area software developers and web designers gathered Saturday to use their technical expertise to improve the availability of affordable housing in the Green Mountain State.  Thanks to Code for BTV, Burlington joined over 35 cities across the country in bringing civic-minded, tech-savvy individuals together with housing organizations to help improve the flow of information about housing to the people who need it.

Nick Floersch, Code for BTV Brigade Co-Captain, invited reps from VHFA, Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition and Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness to use the services of the civic hackers on Saturday to improve outstanding web sites and other issues. “We are continuously looking for ways to build more bridges so civic organizations can use the tech community’s expertise to serve Vermonters in need more effectively,” Floersch explained.  

After hearing about the projects each housing organization needed help with, the volunteers split into groups and got to work.  For VHFA, software developer Nowell Strite and system designer Ans Bradford quickly updated the code running the Vermont Rental Codes web site while Burlington Code Academy instructor Joshua dug into the Vermont Resident Services Coordinator web site created by VHFA over a decade ago. The 3 experts suggested ways to modernize, improve accessibility and load time to help website visitors get the information they need more easily. 

Erhard Mahnke at Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition and Rick Castillo at Vermont State Housing Authority who helps coordinate the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness also worked with teams of IT experts, product managers, QA professionals, software engineers, and Burlington Code Academy students on Saturday to improve websites and systems used by these organizations to serve low income Vermonters. On behalf of Vermont’s affordable housing organizations, thank you to Vermont’s dedicated and talented civic hackers!

Pictured: Leslie Black-Plumeau, VHFA, works with software developer Nowell Strite on the Vermont Rental Codes website at Saturday’s National Day of Civic Hacking in Burlington, Vermont.

Posted by: Mia Watson on 8/9/2018

Do you need an affordable apartment or know someone who does?  

There are vacancies in 24 different apartment complexes across the state, according to the Vermont Directory of Affordable Rental Housing. Learn more about particular units by clicking on the project name below, or by visiting the vacancy profiles on the website. 

Project Namesort descending Street Address City/Town Vacant Units Apts restricted to elderly and/or tenants with disabilities
86 Raymond Street 86 Raymond Street Lyndon 1 0
Barre Street Apartments 39 - 39 1/2,40, 47 Barre Street & 8 Monsignor Crosby   1 0
Black River Overlook 146, 147 & 161 Rublee Lane Ludlow 1 0
Bridge & Main 27 North Main Street White River Junction 5 0
Coventry Senior Housing 10 Covered Bridge Road Coventry 1 0
Cummings Street Apartments 21-25 Cummings Street Montpelier 2 0
Duggan Row House 94 - 106 Maple Street Burlington 0 0
Green Mountain Seminary 201 Hollow Rd Waterbury 1 0
Heineberg Senior Housing 72 Heineberg Road Burlington 1 0
Heritage Court 624 York Street Poultney 1 1
Highgate Apartments Highgate Drive Barre City 9 0
Hollister Hill Apartments 42 & 94 Austin Road Marshfield 6 0
Holy Cross Senior Housing 468 Church Road Colchester 1 0
Hotel & Kidder 22 & 29 West Street Derby 1 0
Island Pond 19 Walnut Street, 190 Derby Street, 74 Mountain Street, 84 Elm Street Brighton 2 0
Keen's Crossing 65 - 85 Winooski Falls Way; 15 Cascade Way and 16 Abenaki Way Winooski 6 0
Lyndon Housing 467, 473 & 491 Main Street Lyndonville 1 0
Mad River Meadows 144 Butcher House Drive Waitsfield 1 2
McAuley Square 110, 130 and 140 Mansfield Avenue Burlington 1 0
Newport Senior Housing 107 & 119 Main Street Newport Center 1 0
North Branch Apartments 87 & 89 Elm Street; 6 & 8 Monsignor Crosby Ave and 47 Barre Street Montpelier 3 0
Norwich Senior Housing 4 Dorrance Drive Norwich 1 1
Regency Manor Haywood Avenue Rutland City 0 0
River Station Apartments 191 Barre Street Montpelier 1 0
Riverview Apartments 73 Westminster Street Bellows Falls 1 0
Sadawga Springs 9 School Street Whitingham 2 0
South Main Apartments 36 State Dr. Waterbury 3 0
Southview Apartments 30 Stanley Road North Springfield 1 0
Spear House and Spear House Apartments 69 Main Street North Wells River 1 0
Stimson and Graves 12 Stowe St Waterbury 2 0
Waits River Apartments 64, 68, 108, 234, 245 South Main Street; 33 South Pleasant Street and 25 Cobblestone Street Bradford 3 0
West River Valley - Assisted Living 461 Grafton Road Townshend 2 0
Wheeler Brook Apartments 19, 31 & 71 Wheeler Brook Drive Warren 2 0
Posted by: Mia Watson on 7/31/2018

Vermont Community Loan Fund (VCLF) is our newest Platinum level sponsor of the 2018 Vermont Statewide Housing Conference. The conference will be held on November 13th and 14th at the Hilton Burlington.

The conference, held every two years, draws hundreds of housing professionals, including legislators, town and regional planners, advocates, developers, and bankers. It offers a unique opportunity to network, learn, and be inspired about housing in Vermont. This exciting event would not be possible without sponsors like VCLF.

A limited number of sponsorship opportunities are left! Sign up to sponsor this event now to get free conference registrations, an exhibit table, and many marketing benefits. Learn more about sponsorship benefits online.

Posted by: Leslie Black-Plumeau on 7/27/2018

Donald Webster one of the original framers of VHFA died earlier this month at the age of 82.  As Vermont's Secretary of Development and Community Affairs from 1972 through 1976, Webster helped develop VHFA from its outset in 1974.  Faced with a serious mortgage funds crunch across the state, Webster and VHFA's first Board of Commissioners created a Loans to Lenders Program that met with an overwhelming response. Within 3 months of the program's start, the program had committed funds to over 500 Vermont qualified home buyers. 

The Board continued to roll out additional programs over the next few years to address unmet mortgage needs among Vermont homebuyers and lenders.  In VHFA's first annual report in 1975, the board commissioners described their vision for the agency: 

"We must look upon our people as a natural resource, just as we do the trees and the mountains. We, therefore, must make a commitment to protect them with decent shelter as they are a part of Vermont's total environment.... with strong support from both the administrative and legislative branches of our government we can accomplish this goal in the near future at minimal cost to the tax payers of the state through the vehicle of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency." 

Read more about Donald Webster in The Commons

Posted by: Mia Watson on 7/25/2018

The Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB) is seeking concepts for innovative housing development projects. These projects will be funded by the Housing for All Revenue Bond (HRB), which was issued by VHFA on behalf of the state in January. The proceeds of the $37 million bond are administered by VHCB for the development and rehabilitation of owner-occupied and rental housing for Vermonters with very low to moderate incomes. To date, 414 new homes across the state have been developed.

VHCB invites the development community to propose innovative approaches to affordable housing development. VHCB’s goals for the use of the HRB funds include the development and improvement of 550-650 units of housing, meeting the highest priority housing needs, geographic distribution, leveraging an additional $70-100 million in additional resources, and allowing for the piloting of new approaches to providing affordable housing. Developers of selected proposals will be invited to submit a competitive application for consideration by the VHCB Board.

For more information and to learn how to apply, review VHCB’s Request for Concepts. Proposals are due by October 31, 2018. VHCB will hold a conference call on August 22 at 1:00 pm to respond to questions. Clarifying questions should be submitted to Martin Hahn, Housing Director at VHCB (mhahn@vhcb.org).