The following organizations and resources are available to assist communities in their response to COVID-19.
The federal CARES Act includes $5 billion in funding for the HUD- Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program. Vermont’s share will result in more than $4.7 million to assist communities across the state recovery from COVID-19. Much like after Tropical Storm Irene, this special allocation of CDBG funds will be available to rapidly respond to COVID-19 and the economic and housing impacts caused by it, including the expansion of community health facilities, child care centers, food banks, and senior services. The VT Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is expecting further guidance from HUD on the timing and availability of funds. DHCD is gathering comments on the COVID-19 recovery needs of communities and how CDBG funding may help respond to those needs.
U.S. EDA Makes $1.5B Available to Communities
The U.S. Economic Development Administration has made $1.5 billion from CARES Act funds available to communities for economic development assistance programs to help prevent, prepare for, and respond to COVID-19. Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis.
Give to Support Community Recovery
The Vermont Community Foundation has established the VT COVID-19 Response Fund to support nonprofits that are particularly equipped to address community impacts of the spread of the coronavirus in Vermont. The Community Foundation will provide flexible resources to nonprofits working to address the most immediate public health and economic impacts, focusing on vulnerable populations and the service providers that support them.
Rapid-response Seed Grants
The New England Environmental Grassroots Fund is offering rapid-response seed grants for community-based response.
Rapid-response Funding to Arts and Humanities Organizations
The Vermont Arts Council in partnership with the Humanities Council has rapid-response funding to arts and humanities organizations facing financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. They have established the COVID-19 Cultural Relief Grant Program.
Funding Available for Rental Housing in Need of Repair
Landlords and property owners that have vacant, unused rental properties may be eligible to receive up to a $30,000 grant per rental unit to fix up and renovate rental units and get them ready for use again. Grants are available from the Department of Housing and Community Development utilizing CARES Act funding to improve the overall quality, availability, and affordability of rental housing throughout the state.
Landlords and property owners should contact their local NeighborWorks Alliance of Vermont Home Ownership Center to determine eligibility (certain affordable housing conditions apply) and to enroll in the program (act fast, as funding deadlines apply):
- Champlain Housing Trust: (Chittenden, Franklin & Grand Isle Counties)
- Downstreet Housing: (Lamoille, Orange, & Washington Counties)
- NeighborWorks of Western Vermont: (Addison, Bennington, & Rutland Counties)
- Rural Edge: (Caledonia, Essex, & Orleans Counties)
- Windham & Windsor Housing Trust: (Windham & Windsor Counties)