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Vermont Housing Improvement Program (VHIP)

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The Vermont Housing Improvement Program (VHIP) offers grants up to $50,000 per unit for repairs needed to bring vacant rental units up to Vermont Rental Housing Health Code guidelines, add new units to an existing building, or create an accessory dwelling unit on an owner-occupied property. Application review and project oversight is conducted through the regional Homeownership Centers, listed below.

Program participants are required to provide a 20% match for VHIP project grants, maintain HUD Fair Market Rent prices. Property owners who are rehabilitating existing units or creating a new unit that is not an ADU must work with Coordinated Entry Lead Organizations to identify suitable tenants exiting homelessness.

VHIP is designed to address two critical issues in the state, the declining quality of rental units and the homeless assistance programs that often struggle to find suitable housing for their clients.  

As an addendum to VHIP, the Healthy Homes Initiative (VHIP-HHI) offers supplemental grants ranging from $500 to $30,000 to replace and install old plumbing, outdated fixtures, and new water systems (wells and septic systems) as part of VHIP housing rehabilitation projects.  

More about the Vermont Housing Improvement Program (VHIP):

  • Landlords can apply for grants to bring units up to Vermont Rental Housing Health Code guidelines. These grants can be:

    • Up to $30,000 for the rehabilitation of each 0-2 bedroom unit.

    • Up to $50,000 for the rehabilitation of each 3+ bedroom unit.

    • Up to $50,000 for the creation of new units in an existing building.

    • Up to $50,000 for the creation of accessory dwelling units (ADUs)

  • Units applying for rehabilitation must have been vacant for 90 days before application to VHIP.

  • Property owners are required to match at least 20% of the grant funds, with the option for an in-kind match for unbilled services or owned materials.

  • All VHIP participants must agree to rent units at or below HUD Fair Market Rents for the County for a minimum of five years (a fair market rent calculator is included at the bottom of this page).

  • VHIP participants rehabilitating rental units or creating new units in existing, rented buildings must work with Coordinated Entry Lead Organizations to find suitable renters for at least five years.*

    • *VHIP participants creating an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) are exempt from the requirement to work with the Coordinated Entry Lead Organization and may use their preferred selection criteria in accordance with Vermont's residential rental laws.

    • To find more information about ADUs, visit our Accessory Dwelling Unit information page.

 

Please Note

As this program matures, the Department is working to increase accessibility and answer eligibility questions. Additional information and answers to frequently asked questions will continue to be posted to this site as available. Click here to join our email list and stay up to date on Vermont Housing Improvement Program and Accessory Dwelling Unit (VHIP-ADU) program updates and news.

Connect with your local Homeownership Center to learn more about VHIP and receive application assistance. 

 

More About the Healthy Homes Initiative (HHI) supplemental water system assistance:

As an addendum to VHIP project funding, the Healthy Homes Initiative (HHI) provides additional grant funding that offers property owners supplemental grants ranging from $500 to $30,000. These grants can be used to update leaking service lines, old plumbing, replace outdated fixtures (sinks, toilets, dishwashers, laundry) with high-efficiency devices, and install new water systems (wells and septic systems) and water efficiency improvements as part of VHIP housing rehabilitation projects. 

  • VHIP-HHI supplemental grants are available to property owners who have received approval for their VHIP project(s).

  • VHIP-HHI supplemental grants do not impact the total per unit funding caps received for VHIP projects.

  • There are no match requirements to receive VHIP-HHI supplemental grant funding.

  • Property owners are subject to and must comply with all guidelines and parameters of the Vermont Housing Improvement Program as contained in VHIP Eligibility Application and the VHIP-HHI Supplemental Eligibility Application.

 

VHIP was modeled after the highly successful 2020  Re-Housing Recovery Program, which brought 251 units up to code, of which approximately one-third house formerly homeless households.