Voices of Home is a storytelling project that highlights the experiences of affordable housing residents. In their own words, residents describe what home means to them and how access to an affordable place to call home has impacted their lives. VAHC describes the project's launch as aiming to empower residents, build community, break down myths & stereotypes surrounding affordable housing, and foster more meaningful dialogue among residents, policymakers, and the community at large by amplifying the voice of residents in the conversation.
Taking some time to explore Voices is a great way to better understand the importance of the work we do at ACCT and what it means to the community. We hope Voices comes to Addison County soon!
The State of Vermont is requesting input from Vermonters, in particular those who have experienced homelessness. Please see the below letter explaining the project and take a minute to fill out the survey if you are interested in sharing your thoughts on ending homelessness.
Survey: Roadmap for Ending Homelessness
As you may know, a steering committee comprising housing and service providers, state agencies and funding organizations is overseeing an effort to accelerate our mutual work to reduce homelessness and stabilize vulnerable populations. The specific purpose is to build on existing efforts by developing a system for facilitating service-connected affordable housing options, building local capacity, determining costs and identifying available and needed resources.
The Committee has engaged the Corporation for Supportive Housing, which has assisted cities and states across the country with similar projects. CSH is currently gathering information through interviews, facilitated meetings and an online survey as part of its assessment of current efforts and challenges encountered by experts in the field. The feedback it receives will greatly inform its recommended “roadmap” for ending homelessness.
As Co-Chairs of the Roadmap Steering Committee, we hope you will take the time to complete this survey and share it with your colleagues and networks. We are especially interested in getting input from tenants, program participants and Vermonters with lived experience of homelessness. The survey will remain open until August 29th.
Your responses will be confidential and aggregated by staff at CSH.
Director of Housing
Vermont Agency of Human Services
Director of Policy
Vermont Housing and Conservation Board
PS - It’s hard to see from the front of the survey, but CSH has wired it in the background such that if you check the radio button for tenant/consumer/lived experience it jumps you ahead to questions that are more relevant for -- and accessible to -- non-practitioners. It’s set up that in most cases lay people should be able to complete it themselves if they have some familiarity and access to computers.
This November, the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management will feature the SASH model at their Annual Fall Research Conference. Researchers evaluating the SASH program have found initially promising results including lower health expenditure growth rates for residents of senior housing receiving SASH services. You can read the full paper online at https://appam.confex.com/appam/2016/webprogram/Paper17761.html.
ACCT and Efficiency Vermont will be hosting Open Houses this fall at McKnight Lane, beginning September 7 and running every Wednesday (12-8) and Saturday (9-1) through the end of October. ACCT is pleased to schedule tours by appointment beginning August 17th. Appointments are somewhat limited and priority will be given to active applicants for the property. Please call Erika or Jesse at 877-3749 to schedule your appointment. More info on the development and on applying can be found on our website at www.addisontrust.org/mcknight-lane.
Looking for Info on McKnight Lane?
It's now all in one place. Please visit our new page dedicated to the new development at http://www.addisontrust.org/mcknight-lane.html
ACCT is striving to better engage with residents and to do our best to connect people with potentially helpful resources. To that end, we recently launched a quarterly newsletter for each park, put together by Director of Ownership Programs Mary Jackman. Click on the links below to access your park's newsletter, where you can find seasonal maintenance tips, an ACCT staff directory, other maintenance updates, announcements, and more.
This summer, the HV Connections team at Housing Vermont conducted a brief survey in some of ACCT's affordable apartments to get a better sense of residents' needs and wishes. One of their most striking findings was that 82% of respondents reported their housing situation was more stable than it was three years ago. 55% reported being more financially stable than three years ago.
While the survey certainly bore out improvements to residents' housing security, challenges remain for some families. Most notably, 60% of respondents reported that they cannot afford access to the internet at home, and 55% reported some difficulty covering monthly expenses.
Food access was another area where some residents reported challenges. Four of five residents at this particular property participate in the 3 Squares program, and 3/4 reported accessing food pantries. Positively, 3/4 also said they were interested in and would participate in a community garden. ACCT and Housing Vermont are exploring ways to move forward with this idea to continue to improve quality of life at the property.
Overall, residents were generally very positive about this affordable housing community. Four in five agreed with the statement, "People in this community care about keeping it clean, safe, and making it a good place to live." 100% feel safe in the community, and 82% said they believe they have a say in making this community a good place to live.
VerMods in Production!
Vermods are stick-built in a factory in Wilder, VT. ACCT recently had the opportunity to make a site visit and saw the units in production at various stages, from just beginning the decking to hanging sheet rock. Vermods will be delivered to the site as they are completed over the next three months.
The first units are installed and looking great. While some finish work remains to be done, here's a first look at some of the two-bedroom interiors.
ACCT staff members share news and information about upcoming events.