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VHFA News

By: Mia Watson on 5/10/2019

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

There are vacancies in 88 different apartment complexes across the state, according to the Vermont Directory of Affordable Rental Housing. Learn more about particular units by clicking on the development name below, or by visiting the vacancy profiles on the website.

Pictured: Hawk's Meadow Apartments in Essex

 

Property Namesort descending Street Address City/Town Vacant Units Apts restricted to elderly and/or tenants with disabilities
137-139 Benmont Neighborhood 137-139 Benmont Avenue Bennington 2 0
14 Birge Street 14 Birge Street Brattleboro 1 0
86 Raymond Street 86 Raymond Street Lyndon 1 0
Abbott Neighborhood Housing 10 & 18 Canal Street; 172 Elliot Street and 12 & 16 Horton Place Brattleboro 1 0
Abenaki Acres Bushey Street Swanton 1 0
Adams House 8 & 10 South Park Place Fair Haven 1 1
Addison Housing Limited Partnership 97 - 101 Main Street Vergennes 1 0
Adele Stanley Apartments Cold River Road Rutland Town 1 0
Alburgh Family Housing 2 Carle Street; 4 North Main Street and 6 North Main Street Alburgh 1 0
Alfred Court Apartments 20 Airport Road Fair Haven 3 0
Applegate Apartments Applegate Drive Bennington 13 0
Arlington Village Center Apartments 3658 - 3662 VT Route 7A Arlington 3 0
Avenue Apartments 1201 North Avenue Burlington 1 0
Barre Street Apartments 39-40 Barre Street Montpelier 3 0
Bemis Block Housing 41 South Main Street Hardwick 1 1
Ben South 120-126 Benmont Avenue and 501-507 South Street Bennington 3 0
Bennington Historic 50 & 100 Carrigan Lane, 316-318 Safford Street, 233 School Street and 119-121 Pleasant Street Bennington 5 0
Benson Heights 2747 Stage Road Benson 1 1
Black River Overlook 146, 147 & 161 Rublee Lane Ludlow 3 0
Bobbin Mill Apartments 234 South Champlain Street and 235 Pine Street Burlington 3 0
Bradford Village Apartments 110, 125 & 142 Meadow Lane Bradford 4 0
Branchwood Housing 17, 19 Pearl Street and 3 Randolph Avenue Randolph 1 0
BRHIP 62-68 North Champlain; 42, 84 North Street; 47-49 Archibald Street; 86 Oak Street; 68 Cottage Grove; 189, 191 & 193-197 Pine Street; 52 & 52 1/2 Hyde Street; 23 Front Street; 16 North Avenue; 95 Grant Street and 59 North Union Street Burlington 4 0
Briars, The 647 Bugbee Street Hartford 3 0
Bridge & Main 27 North Main Street Hartford 1 0
Bright Street Bright Street Burlington 1 0
Bristol Family Housing 2066 - 2070 Hunt Farm Road. Bristol 2 0
Bromur Apartments 2 - 8 & 1 - 21 Bromur Street Barre City 1 0
Brookside I 5 Victoria Lane St. Albans Town 5 0
Brookside Village Housing Morehouse Drive Colchester 2 0
Brookview Apartments Bugbee Road Hartford 2 0
Caledonia Housing 279 Spring; 380 Portland Street; 139 Pearl Street; 72 High Street; 767 Railroad Street; 211 Winter Street; 78 Hastings Hill; 77 Barker Avenue St. Johnsbury 6 0
Callahan HLP 44 Front St, 33 & 132 North St and 163, 171-173 & 177 Intervale Ave Burlington 3 0
Canal Street Veterans Housing 120 West Canal Street Winooski 4 0
Castleton Meadows 148 Castleton Meadows Lane Castleton 1 0
Cathedral Square Senior Living 3 Cathedral Square Burlington 11 11
Colonial Village 59 & 63 S Pleasant St and 94 & 128 S Main St Bradford 1 2
Columbian Avenue Apartments 194 & 196 Columbian Avenue Rutland City 2 0
Congress & Park 95 Park Street and 23 Clark Street Morristown 1 0
Cora B. Whitney 814 Gage Street Bennington 1 1
Courtyard, The 120 East Spring Street Winooski 1 1
Coventry Senior Housing 10 Covered Bridge Road Coventry 1 0
CPWD Scattered Sites 221 Dorr Drive; 76 Williams Street; 25 Cottage Street and 42 & 44 Pine Street Rutland City 1 0
Crystal Lake Housing 117 High Street; 109 Water Street and 35 Main Street Barton 1 0
Cummings Street Apartments 21-25 Cummings Street Montpelier 2 0
Darling Inn 76 Depot Street Lyndon 1 2
Depot Street 211, 213 & 215 Depot Street Bennington 1 0
Dogwood Glen Dogwood Glen Drive Northfield 6 12
Downstreet Apartments 22 Keith Avenue Barre City 2 0
Downtown Crossing 302 & 304 South Street and 343 - 349 School Street Bennington 1 0
Eagle Crest 129 Eagle Crest Drive Williston 3 3
ECHO Housing 211 Park Street; 75-77 North & 136 Park Street; 117 Archibald Street; 16-18 1/2 Decatur Street; 58 North Champlain Street; 257 & 259 North Winooski Avenue; 84 North Avenue and 21-23 North Champlain Street Burlington 1 0
Falcon Manor 104 Falcon Manor Williston 4 4
French Block Apartments 34 Main St Montpelier 1 0
Good Neighbors 81 Elm St Barre City 1 0
Green Mountain Seminary 201 Hollow Rd Waterbury 1 0
Hawk's Meadow Apartments 17 Carmichael Street Essex 1 0
Hawk's Nest 110 Hawks Nest St. Albans Town 1 1
Hebert Farm Apartments 21 & 23 Hebert Road Montpelier 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
Homestead Greene Route 67A Bennington 1 1
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 Meadows 121 Commerce Street (Route 122) Lyndon 1 0
Mad River Meadows 144 Butcher House Drive Waitsfield 2 2
Manchester Knoll 35 - 83 Torrey Knoll Manchester 5 0
Meadows - Middlebury Cedar Court Middlebury 1 1
Newport Senior Housing 107 & 119 Main Street Newport City 1 0
North Branch Apartments 87 & 89 Elm Street; 6 & 8 Monsignor Crosby Ave and 47 Barre Street Montpelier 5 0
Norwich Senior Housing 4 Dorrance Drive Norwich 1 1
Park House 16 Park Row Box 4 Rochester 4 0
Parker House 129 Church Street Rutland City 1 0
River Station Apartments 191 Barre Street Montpelier 3 0
Riverview Apartments 73 Westminster Street Rockingham 1 0
Roaring Branch 132-134, 136-138 & 140-142 Benmont Avenue and 100-111 & 113-115 Roaring Branch Lane Bennington 1 0
Sadawga Springs 9 School Street Whitingham 2 0
Silver Street Apartments 212 Silver Street Bennington 1 0
Southview Apartments 30 Stanley Road Springfield 1 0
Spear House and Spear House Apartments 69 Main Street North Newbury 1 0
Stimson and Graves 12 Stowe St Waterbury 1 0
Tontine 500 Coolidge Hwy Guilford 1 0
Vermont Arts Apartments - Shaftsbury 10-12 & 14-16 Greenwich Street Shaftsbury 2 0
Waits River Apartments 64, 68, 108, 234, 245 South Main Street; 33 South Pleasant Street and 25 Cobblestone Street Bradford 1 0
West River Valley - Assisted Living 461 Grafton Road Townshend 2 0
West River Valley - Independent Living 451 Grafton Road Townshend 2 0
Wheeler Brook Apartments 19, 31 & 71 Wheeler Brook Drive Warren 2 0
By: Leslie Black-Plumeau on 5/1/2019

A recent study illustrates how new market-rate housing construction in one part of town, especially in markets with low vacancy rates, improves housing affordability for lower income residents in other parts.  This occurs because newly built homes and low-income neighborhoods are connected to each other via a complex housing ecosystem, according to economist Evan Mast’s recent study for the Upjohn Institute.  Through address matching, Mast traced the chain of moves triggered when new homes are purchased.  

This concept is similar to a game of musical chairs, noted one reviewer:

"We all know the old child’s game musical chairs, where children circle a group of chairs (where there’s one less chair than children). The kids constantly move while the music plays.  But when the music stops, everyone has to sit down. Whoever doesn’t find a seat and is left standing is removed from the game.  Tight housing markets are like that: if there aren’t enough houses (chairs) someone ends up on the outside looking in, and in markets it’s not the slowest kid, but the poorest household."

Many Vermont communities have very low vacancy rates. The rental vacancy rate in Chittenden County was 2.8 percent as of 2017, while healthy housing markets have vacancy rates closer to 5 percent. When vacancy rates are low, homebuyers and renters must compete for a limited number of homes, allowing sellers and landlords to charge higher prices. 

Low vacancy rates are driven by an insufficient housing stock relative to the area population. Vermont and most of its communities have witnessed a dramatic decrease in residential construction since 1980.  Since 2010, the state’s housing stock has increased by a mere 0.16 percent each year.   

Check out your town’s rate of home building on the Vermont Housing Data website’s community profiles.

By: Mia Watson on 4/24/2019

Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) is seeking feedback and comments on the Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) that guides the agency in making housing tax credit allocation decisions. The agency is opening the comment and feedback period effective April 23, 2019 and will close the period on Friday, May 24. The current version of the QAP is available on VHFA’s website.

The Federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit Program, which is governed by Section 42 of the Internal Revenue Code, requires that each tax credit allocating agency maintain a Qualified Allocation Plan (QAP) that sets eligibility and criteria for awarding state and federal tax credits to developers of affordable housing. The QAP is a compilation of IRS mandates, national best practices and state housing priorities.

In Vermont, VHFA convenes the Joint Committee on Tax Credits, which solicits public feedback, reviews the policies in the QAP and makes recommendations to the VHFA Board of Commissioners. The Board votes to adopt the plan before being sent to the Governor for approval. VHFA’s goal is to update the QAP as needed with sufficient notice that developers are able to respond accordingly and bring projects that reflect the criteria of the QAP, with a target of two years between substantial updates.

To arrive at recommendations for updates to criteria and policies in the QAP, VHFA staff facilitate public comment prior to presenting a recommended QAP. VHFA first sought public comment on this current round of updates in the fall of 2018. Staff will combine the feedback from the fall with the feedback received over the next month. Following public outreach meetings to preview an updated draft QAP leading up to the recommended QAP updates to the VHFA Board of Commissioners. Check VHFA’s website and blog for information regarding future public outreach meetings related to the QAP.

If you would like to submit comments or learn more about this process, you may reach out to VHFA’s Managing Director of Community Development, Seth Leonard at sleonard@vhfa.org or by mail at 164 Saint Paul Street, P.O. Box 408, Burlington VT 05402.

Pictured: Great River Terrace in Brattleboro. Great River was developed using state and federal housing tax credits awarded by VHFA

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By: Mia Watson on 4/22/2019

The annual Burlington Young Professionals (BYP) survey conducted by the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce reveals that 33 percent of young adults surveyed plan to move out of the area within the next four years. Among the most common challenges cited were the high cost of living, lack of job growth opportunities, and a lack of affordable housing.

The survey included 500 participants between the ages of 22 and 40 living or working in the greater Burlington region. 56 percent were renters. Survey respondents ranked the City of Burlington as the top place where they would ideally like to live in Vermont, citing work opportunities, culture, and sense of community. Yet only 30 percent of renters and just 14 percent of homeowners actually live in Burlington. Of the surveyed homeowners living outside of Burlington, 27 percent have purchased a home outside of Chittenden County entirely.

Respondents reported that the cost of housing was a major concern that could prevent them from staying in the area long term. In particular, respondents reported that they wanted to purchase a single family home rather than a condominium. The median single family home in Chittenden County cost $336,000 in 2018. This is unaffordable with the median income of $52,000 reported in the survey, even assuming a two-earner household. High home prices are compounded by a amount of significant student loan debt among young professionals, with average $424 in monthly student loan payments for those who completed the survey.

One survey participant wrote, “My spouse and I are currently living in a condo that I purchased by myself in 2015. Now that we are expecting our first child, we are looking for the jump to a house; however, the cost of a reasonably sized affordable housing & yard PLUS daycare costs in excess of $12k per year is preventing us from leaving this condo.”

This imbalance between incomes and home prices can make it difficult to save enough to purchase a home, especially for first-time buyers. Fortunately, Vermont Housing Finance Agency’s homeownership programs can help young homebuyers, including down payment and closing cost assistance up to $5,000.

By: Mia Watson on 4/18/2019

The Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB) of Boston has announced its training schedule and application deadlines for the Affordable Housing Program (AHP) for 2019. The program awards approximately $20.7 million in grants and low-interest loans through member institutions to organizations promoting homeownership and rental housing opportunities for low income households.

Among the recent projects that have received funding through this program are Lake Paran, an affordable rental housing development in Shaftsbury, Vermont that will break ground in the coming months. 

To help developers and sponsors with their funding applications, FHLB Boston will be holding a free session in Montpelier on Thursday, June 13 at the Capitol Plaza Hotel. Other  trainings will be held in Portsmouth, New Hampshire on May 2, Concord, New Hampshire on June 6 and Springfield, Massachusetts on June 25. Although all sessions are free, attendees must register, and space is limited.  

FHLB's training sessions are important for any developer or lender who is planning to apply for AHP funds in 2019 or in the future.  FHLB Boston will also host a series of online webinars for applicants.

The online AHP application will be available on the FHLB Boston website starting on June 3. Applications are due by July 25. 

 

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