Last week, VHFA joined Governor Scott and housing partners in South Hero for a groundbreaking ceremony at Bayview Crossing. The project, developed by Cathedral Square Corporation, will create 30 mixed-income apartments for senior residents. The project will receive the majority of its funding from federal credits and a loan awarded by VHFA.
"We know housing, especially housing working Vermonters and retirees and can afford, is a tremendous need in Vermont, all across Vermont," remarked Governor Scott.
The project will include 24 apartments affordable to households earning at or below 60% of Area Median Income (AMI) and six units for households earning up to 100% AMI. As part of the project, six apartments in other buildings off-site will be set aside for homeless or at-risk of households. Bayview will also contain a commercial space with an office for Champlain Islanders Developing Essential Resources (CIDER), a local nonprofit offering transportation, meals and other services to island residents.
Bayview is especially noteworthy as the first affordable housing developed in the islands in over 10 years. Many Islanders have moved away from the area in great part due to the lack of affordable housing. All Bayview Crossing tenants will have access to SASH (Support and Services at Home), a care-coordination program that helps residents live safely and independently. The apartments at Bayview Crossing will allow people to age in the community they call home, staying connected to their family and friends, and natural surroundings.
The project was particularly difficult to develop due to requiring water and sewer systems originally not present at the site. However, the development had strong community support, with the Town of South Hero expanding the Village Center boundary to include the project site. This was key to accessing funding and infrastructure to support the project.
Bayview Crossing is expected to cost roughly $10.62 million. Roughly $6.87 million will come from federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits and a long-term loan awarded by VHFA. Other funders included the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB), and the Vermont Department of Housing & Community Development (DHCD), Enterprise Community Partners, Housing Ministries of New England, Efficiency Vermont, and Vermont Electric Cooperative. The project also raised $435,000 from a capital campaign and donations with $125,000 for the housing portion of the project.
Cathedral Square expects construction to be completed by Fall, 2022.