VHFA joined housing partners in Stowe this week to celebrate the completion of Phase 1 of the River Bend Apartments project. The first phase of the project, developed by Lamoille Housing Partnership and Evernorth, includes nine newly constructed affordable apartments on Maple Street in Stowe. The project received federal tax credits and a loan awarded by VHFA, as well as a loan from VHFA’s Housing Investment Fund (VHIF).
“Projects like this one are easy when you have so many amazing partners working towards the same goal,” remarked VHFA Executive Director Maura Collins.
The new building is in Stowe’s walkable Village Center, close to jobs, schools and amenities. Four of the new apartments are reserved for Vermonters experiencing or at risk of homelessness, paired with supportive services and additional rental assistance to ensure deep affordability. Despite the challenges posed by the pandemic, the project was completed in just 10 months and the building is already fully occupied.
Kristy Sansone, a new resident of River Bend, spoke about how she had been living in temporary motel accommodations, and how much having a permanent home meant to her.
“I can start my life over and not have to worry about the things other people take for granted,” said Sansone.
The $5.7 million project received federal Low Income Housing Tax Credits awarded by VHFA. The tax credits were purchased by Union Ban, raising nearly $1.6 million in equity for construction. The project also received a $267,500 permanent loan from VHFA. Other funders included the Vermont Community Development Program through the Town of Stowe and $3.3 million in federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds awarded through the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB).
River Bend also received a $245,000 long-term loan from the Vermont Housing Investment Fund (VHIF), awarded by VHFA. VHIF investment was critical in filling in project gaps. Vermont Community Foundation (VCF) was the first seed investor into the fund, and VCF President & CEO Dan Smith was invited to the event to recognize their contribution to the project.
“When I get to see that our charitable assets are invested in a project like this, and knowing that every time one of these doors opens someone is coming into a home that they may not have had access to before, it makes me feel that real progress is possible,” said Smith. “Partnerships are the infrastructure that can close the opportunity gap and put our communities and all Vermonters on a trajectory for a much stronger future in the coming years.”
Phase 2 of the project has begun. It will involve the rehabilitation of an existing building on Hutchins Street in Morrisville to create seven apartments.