The Addison County Community Trust is embarking on a strategic planning process to guide our work over the next few years. This will influence the kind of housing that gets developed in Addison County. As part of this process, we solicited community feedback on Front Porch Forum. Thank you to the 64 individuals who have responded so far! The survey is still open and can be taken here, but preliminary results are in. Overall:
Those are the high-level takeaways from the survey; check back for more data and analysis as we parse the results!
For the second year in a row, RK Miles, Silver Maple Construction, and Millbridge Construction are showing their support for affordable housing by generously matching gifts to ACCT on Giving Tuesday, which around here we like to call "Giving Roofsday." RK Miles will match gifts up to a total donation of $2,000, Silver maple will match up to $500, and Millbridge will match up to $300. Additionally, this year, and anonymous donor from Bridport has offered up a $1,000 challenge gift! We at ACCT are awed by this support and will need a great turnout from the community to take advantage of this $3,800 challenge, so if you're grateful for having a roof over your head this Thanksgiving, please give that gift to someone else in your community by making a donation of any size this Giving Tuesday, November 27, and share with your friends and neighbors on social media using the hashtags #GivingTuesday and #GivingRoofsday!
Did you know? You may be able to access medical care via ACTR’s public transportation options. Dispatch staff is available to answer questions Monday-Friday from 7:00am until 6:00pm. (802)388-2287, TDD 711.
Public Shuttle Buses
Elderly and Disabled Dial-A-Ride program.
Medicaid Non-Emergency Medical Transportation
During July, August, and September 2018 the weather has been amazing and with it the Vergennes SASH group has been especially active. We now have 94 SASH Participants.
Activities have included: Bone Builders, (which is up to 18 members meeting twice a week), Gardening Group, (which had 15 participants) that planted two gardens, two raised bed vegetable gardens, and created and maintained beautiful flower boxes and flower beds around Armory Lane). Among other activities our people have regular card and board games, a monthly Bible Study Group, Farm Share Vermont Program for Seniors that are income eligible for up to $50 dollars-worth of fresh organic veggies delivered right to their door, Our well attended All SASH Barbeque, A Shingles Presentation, a Hypertension Presentation, and our Annual Stay Steady Vermont Program where local Physical Therapists talk about Falls Risks with our people, then do individual Fall Risk Assessments.
Upcoming programming includes: A Presentation about Health Insurance for Seniors during Open Enrollment, a Flu Clinic this month, A Presentation about Seasonal Depression in November and a Indoor Yard Sale to ward off the winter Blahs.
As you can see, there are a lot of things to choose from with SASH as well as all participants receiving Individual SASH Assessments and Wellness Assessments where they then can work on their very own self-motivated Healthy Living Plan.
How Are We Doing on Improving the Well-Being of Addison County Residents? Come to a Deep Dive Data Session to Explore this Question!
Join us for Addison County’s 2nd Annual State of the County: Data and Discussion about the health and wellbeing of our community
This meeting is hosted by Addison County’s Community Health Action Team (CHAT) Steering Committee. We’ll report on progress since our last data meeting and share some findings from Addison County’s 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment.
Date: Thursday, December 13
Time: 9am – 11am
Location: Counseling Service of Addison County, 109 Catamount Park, Middlebury
Every year, staff at Housing Vermont--a statewide affordable housing developer and owner--pitches in to make a difference at a local partner housing site, and this year, several ACCT properties were beneficiaries. On Friday, the HV team along with ACCT staff installed raised beds at Pete Coe Village Apartments on North Pleasant St in Middlebury and at 11 Seminary St just around the corner. The day culminated with organic pizzas provided by the NOFA pizza oven for residents and volunteers alike.
Thank you Housing Vermont for creating this great amenity for residents, which will increase access to fresh foods for dozens of Middlebury families!
At 7pm on Thursday, September 13th at the Vergennes Opera House, the City of Vergennes will be holding a public forum to solicit stakeholder input on the 2019 Municipal Plan, which is due for a required renewal next year. The Municipal Development Plan "sets broad goals and objectives for the future of the community, and, in doing so, guides the land use, growth, development, conservation, recreation, municipal and business activities in Vergennes."
Vergennes is home to 95 affordable apartments managed by ACCT, as well as a 73-unit mobile home park and 8 permanently affordable single-family homes and condos. We are grateful for the support the Vergennes community has shown to affordable housing initiatives and hope the city will continue to do so in the future. Our most recent partnership involved the extension of the city sidewalk out South Maple St from Thomas Circle to McKnight Lane, a 14-unit net-zero Vermod development just over the city line in Waltham. McKnight Lane shared the cost of the extension with the city, resulting in better connectivity and walkability for residents in both Vergennes and Waltham.
Over the years, several of the historic buildings along Main St have been preserved as affordable housing, such as 224 Main St and 206 Main St. This year, ACCT gave these buildings a curb appeal boost with fresh coats of paint and landscaping. We strive for our properties to make a positive contribution to the streetscape and the wider community.
Speaking of which, the creation of Armory Lane Senior Housing in 2012 brought 25 much-needed affordable apartments for seniors to Vergennes, as well as community space for twice-weekly senior meals where seniors come from all over the city to participate. Along with the affordable apartments, the project also brought a new resource to the community in the form of a Resident Services Coordinator through the SASH ("Support and Services at Home") Program. The SASH program helps seniors stay in their homes and achieve better health and wellness outcomes. It serves not only the 25 households at Armory Lane, but also an additional 60+ households in the surrounding area who benefit from the program.
ACCT surveyed the current residents of Armory Lane as well as the dozens of seniors on the waitlist to gather input about the design of the new building so that seniors as well as families of all ages can feel at home at the new property. To that end, the proposed building will have easy one-level living serviced by an elevator and other features like grab bars, easy-to-operate windows, and plenty of storage to accommodate a wide range of needs. The property will also serve a variety of incomes, with six of the units able to serve households earning up to 120% of area median income ($63,720 for an individual), and another four apartments providing housing and services to formerly homeless households.
If we are able to secure funding for the new property, it will bring almost $7,000,000 of construction activity to Vergennes, as well as tens of thousands of dollars in new property tax revenue annually. It will also support economic development by providing workforce housing, a top priority for area employers. We will need the city's support to see this project through, and that starts with a Municipal Plan that supports affordable housing and "smart growth": development near downtown centers, pedestrian connectivity, public transit, etc.
We hope residents of Vergennes will continue to see the value that ACCT and our diversified portfolio of rental and ownership opportunities brings to Vergennes. In particular, the Municipal Plan can support density for multifamily development. Rental housing sometimes gets short shrift in our public discourse, but it's a vital option for workers who want to move to the area to be closer to work, and can build just as strong communities as ownership housing. For example, the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard has found that "apartment residents—who represent the highest-density renters—are almost twice as likely to socialize with their neighbors as homeowners, and are just as likely to belong to structured social groups and to closely identify with the town or city in which they live." (via Nonprofit Quarterly.) Perhaps another surprise is that research has shown that affordable housing does not negatively impact property values.
Hope to see you on the 13th!
Habitat for Humanity of Addison County is holding two info sessions this fall for potential applicants to their homeownership program. Check out their information below:
ACCT staff members share news and information about upcoming events.