Governor Phil Scott Announces $3.5 Million in Grants to Support Housing Affordability and Downtown Redevelopment

21 December 2017

For Immediate Release:

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Contact:

Rebecca Kelley, Office of the Governor, 802-828-6403

Josh Hanford, Department of Housing and Community Development, ACCD 802-595-1385

GOVERNOR PHIL SCOTT ANNOUNCES $3.5 MILLION IN GRANTS TO SUPPORT HOUSING AFFORDABILITY AND DOWNTOWN REDEVELOPMENT 

Springfield, VT – Governor Phil Scott joined local, state and federal partners Wednesday to announce over $3.5 million in community development grants to eight communities. Brownfield clean-up in Rockingham, downtown redevelopment in Springfield and funding for home repair programs statewide are among the projects receiving more than $3.5 million in grants from the Vermont Community Development Program announced today.

The Town of Springfield and its partners, Housing Vermont and Springfield Housing Authority, will leverage a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant to restore the iconic Woolson Block property on Main Street, building affordable apartments on the upper floors and new commercial space on the ground floor.

“From Brattleboro to St. Albans, communities across Vermont will use these grants to build affordable housing, clean up contaminated sites for redevelopment, expand services to their residents, restore historic buildings, plan for the future and make their communities more affordable,” said Gov. Scott. 

“I’m encouraged by the efforts of our statewide network of HomeOwnership Centers – supported with these grants today – to help low and moderate-income Vermonters invest in their homes through much-needed home repairs, improvements, energy upgrades and accessibility modifications. I’m also very pleased to see this funding available statewide, to support small scale landlords in their efforts to improve existing housing stock,” added Gov. Scott. “This work is important to my administration’s focus on growing the economy, making Vermont more affordable, and protecting the most vulnerable.”

The state awards approximately $7 million annually in competitive grants through Vermont’s Department of Housing and Community Development. The grants are funded through the federal Community Development Block Grant Program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Funding is targeted to address the needs of lower income Vermonters and represents a true partnership between the federal, state and local government.

“We are excited to support this array of community projects, and thank all the people and organizations working hard every day to improve the lives of Vermonters and the communities we call home,” said Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development Deputy Commissioner Josh Hanford. 

Vermont’s congressional delegation has been steadfast in supporting the funding that makes the program possible. Senators Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) congratulated Wednesday’s recipients, adding, in a joint statement: “Housing is a vital part of our communities’ infrastructure, and housing is one of the most important investments we can make to support individuals, families and the economic vitality and quality of life that we want for our state. These latest grants add to more than $400 million in federal CDBG funds that have been allocated to Vermont in the program’s 43-year history, leveraging more than $4 billion in additional investments. Now is not the time to make slashing cuts, as the President has proposed. We must strengthen these investments to ensure Vermont communities remain accessible and affordable. As we approach a year-end funding deal, we will continue to fight for CDBG to ensure that Vermont does not lose out on this irreplaceable funding source.”

For information about the Vermont Community Development Program, please see the Agency of Commerce and Community Development website at:  http://accd.vermont.gov/.

$28,000  Town of Plainfield – Cutler Memorial Library Planning Grant: Subgrant to Cutler Memorial Library to help plan for an addition to the building to allow the library to be in full compliance with state and federal accessibility requirements.

$40,000   Village of Essex Jct. – Northwestern Vermont Housing Data Community Profiles: Subgrant to Vermont Housing Finance Agency to create a web-based, interactive resource that provides residents, municipal officials and planners with up-to-date, vetted housing need indicators in a variety of user-friendly formats for communities in Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties.

$150,000  Town of Rockingham – Robertson Mill Redevelopment: Subgrant to Island Holdings LLC for the demolition of Robertson Mill building and removal of hazardous material. This project will alleviate a blighted portion of downtown Bellows Falls and provide for future commercial development opportunities.

$725,000  Town of Brattleboro (Consortium with Barre City) – 5-County Homeownership Services Program: Subgrant to Windham & Windsor Housing Trust to deliver home repair and housing counseling services program to a five-county region including Windham, Windsor, Orange, Lamoille, and Washington Counties.                       

$635,000  City of St. Albans – Champlain Housing Home Repair Loan Program: Subgrant to Champlain Housing Trust to deliver a home repair and housing counseling services program in Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle counties.

$800,000  Town of West Rutland – NeighborWorks of Western Vermont Revolving Loan Fund: Subgrant to NeighborWorks of Western Vermont to deliver a home repair and housing counseling services program in Addison, Bennington and Rutland counties.

$726,000  Town of Lyndon – Northeast Kingdom Revolving Loan Fund:  Subgrant to Rural Edge to deliver home repair and housing counseling services program in Caledonia, Essex and Orleans counties.

$400,000 Town of Springfield – Woolson Block: Deferred Loan to Woolson Block Limited Partnership, formed by Springfield Housing Authority and Housing Vermont, for the redevelopment of the Woolson Block into 21 affordable apartments and 3,400 SF of commercial space.

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