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By: Mia Watson

June 10, 2022

Last week, VHFA joined Governor Scott and housing partners in Colchester for a groundbreaking ceremony at Stuart Avenue Apartments. The project, developed by Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) and Evernorth, will create 36 new apartments as part of the Sunderland Farms master development at Severance Corners. The project will receive the majority of its funding from federal credits awarded by VHFA.

Groundbreaking at Stuart Avenue

The mixed-income project includes nine units affordable to households earning at or below 50% of area median income (AMI), 15 units affordable to households at or below 60% AMI, and 3 at or below 80%. The project responds to the growing need for apartments to house larger families by including several two- and three-bedroom units. 

In addition, three of the on-site apartments and three apartments located elsewhere in CHT’s portfolio will be reserved for households experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The units will be paired with supportive services and rent vouchers guaranteeing deep affordability, which will help these households transition to stability. 

The groundbreaking ceremony also celebrated Vermont’s participation in the House America initiative, in which the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) have invited local leaders, tribal nation leaders and governors into a national partnership to utilize the historic investments provided through the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to address the crisis of homelessness.

“The State of Vermont has stepped up to the challenge and gone above and beyond by developing multifamily affordable units, with units set aside for families facing homelessness,” said HUD New England Regional Administrator Juana Matias. “This project is a successful demonstration of what is possible when federal, state, nonprofit and private sector partners come together to address some of our most pressing challenges.” 

Stuart Avenue is expected to cost roughly $12.2 million. Roughly $6.8 million will come from federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits awarded by VHFA. Other funders included the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB), and the Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP), the federal HOME program, and Neighborworks. 

Construction is expected to be completed in Spring, 2023.

Pictured: Groundbreaking Ceremony at Stuart Avenue Apartments, Courtesy of Evernorth