Governor Phil Scott, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Vermont State Housing Authority (VSHA), and the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) announced $30 million in housing assistance to those affected by COVID-19. The programs utilize federal CARES Act funding to provide relief for those tenants unable to pay rent, landlords suffering from a loss of rent payments, and those lower income homeowners needing assistance in paying the mortgage.
These relief programs will be available starting Monday, July 13th through two different programs. Technical assistance for these programs is being provided by Vermont Legal Aid to help tenants and homeowners and technical assistance has been made available through the Vermont Landlord Association to help landlords access these programs.
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)
Rental Housing Stabilization Program
The Vermont State Housing Authority, an agency that manages federal rental assistance programs statewide, will administer the $25 million rental assistance program. The program will provide the VSHA Payment Standard or the actual amount due for the month(s) being claimed, whichever is less, per household at a single unit who meet eligibility criteria.
Applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis, and assisted units must be free from life safety hazards. Find applications, additional program eligibility requirements, and answers to FAQs at the VSHA website.
Vermont Mortgage Assistance Program
Vermont’s Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP) helps low-income homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage and are facing economic hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program recently extended its deadline and expanded some components. It will provide up to six monthly mortgage payments directly to the servicer of the mortgage with a goal of preventing future foreclosure. Administered by Vermont Housing Finance Agency with $5 million of the funding provided to Vermont through the federal CARES Act, the program is available to any homeowner who meets the eligibility criteria, and is not just for VHFA borrowers.