By: Chad Simmons

September 13, 2023

On Wednesday, Governor Phil Scott and Treasurer Mike Pieciak announced a $55.5 million investment in housing, as part of the “10% in Vermont” local investment program.

Maura

VHFA will administer $50 million of these funds to construct or rehabilitate an estimated 1,000 homes over the next 2-3 years. The program will support the construction or rehabilitation of traditional affordable housing, market rate apartments, homeownership as well as housing for individuals experiencing homelessness. Additionally, reserves will be made available for households and housing impacted by this summer’s flooding.

The 10% in Vermont local investment program uses the state’s cash deposits to make secure loans to critical state priorities such as housing, climate action and social equity. The $50 million housing program administered by VHFA will leverage approximately $145 million in private capital and could potentially leverage another $125 million in state and federal public resources. VHFA will be able to begin making investments immediately, due to existing housing development proposals in need of crucial gap funding to move forward.

“By investing in affordable housing, the state can further the work of communities, while supporting the workforce, which will strengthen the state overall,” Maura Collins, Executive Director of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency said. “10% in Vermont is a model for other states. This substantial investment will support over one thousand for-sale, rented, and manufactured homes. We are excited to work with builders and developers across the state to meet these housing needs.”

VHFA plans to allocate the $50 million in six priority areas:

  • $14 million for traditional affordable housing, including first lien mortgages, gap loans, and construction financing. This includes approximately 100 homes for people exiting homelessness.
  • $14 million for market rate rentals, in the form of loans, for people earning between $50,000-$100,000. This will leverage employer and municipal investments.
  • $6 million for small and emerging developers of smaller or infill housing developments, common in rural areas of the state. By supporting more types of housing developers, this investment will expand the state’s long-term capacity for creating much-needed housing.
  • $5 million towards homeownership development, including subsidized loans and site infrastructure improvements (such as water, sewer and sidewalks) through the Missing-Middle Homeownership Development Program.  
  • $5 million for manufactured housing, focusing on cooperatively and non-profit owned communities by providing much-needed below market-rate loans.
  • $6 million for flood resiliency and sustainable innovation. This set-aside will be for homes and buildings impacted by this summer’s flooding and to build resilience in the face of future climate impacts.

In addition to the $50 million investment to VHFA, $5 million was awarded to the Vermont Economic Development Authority (VEDA) and $500,000 was awarded to the Northern Forest Center for projects in Vergennes and St. Johnsbury.