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We are especially grateful to all the funders who made this permanently affordable apartment building possible. Even though remarks couldn't be delivered in person, funders participated in a virtual Ribbon Cutting by sending video remarks that are available to view in the full press release.
If you missed the live event, you can still check out the virtual property tour, and until October 2nd, participate in an online raffle for 8 amazing gift baskets including a grand prize of two handcrafted Adirondack Chairs. You can also learn more about the development at www.addisontrust.org/vergennes-community-apartments
On September 25th, friends of ACCT and Evernorth gathered to celebrate the launch of Vergennes Community Apartments at 45 Armory Lane. Almost 100 community members came out to take socially distanced property tours while enjoying live music in the outdoor picnic pavilion and pizza from the Pizzeria Verita mobile oven. Local businesses sponsored the event and helped ACCT raise over $12,000 for our affordable housing programs!
Thank you partners, funders, sponsors, and everyone who came out to make this event a huge success! We couldn't do our work without you and your support.
ACCT's regular September Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, September 28th at 4pm via Zoom. Please register using the form below to receive the Zoom link.
September Director's Report
ACCT is now accepting applications for upcoming vacancies at Pete Coe Village (North Pleasant Housing) and Stone Hill Apartments in Middlebury. Check out our Apartments webpage as our open waitlists are updated from time to time.
As part of the CARES Act, the Vermont Legislature allocated money to ACCD to help landlords fix up rental apartments that are currently substandard or not in use due to needing renovations. Landlords are eligible for grants of up to $30,000 that must be used by December 20, 2020. The apartments must then be rented at an affordable rent for five years, and priority will be given to landlords who agree to work with local service providers to rent to formerly homeless households. A 10% match from the landlord is also required.
The program is being administered in Addison County by NeighborWorks of Western Vermont, a nonprofit organization based in Rutland. ACCT is helping to spread the word. Refer to this flier for more information, and contact CJ at NWWVT with questions:
NeighborWorks of Western Vermont
110 Marble Street, West Rutland, VT 05777
Conicia Jackson, RENTAL Repair Coordinator
Vermont Integrated Architecture, who designed the building, recently featured the results of the very promising blower door test on the building. The following is re-posted from their newsletter, WAYWORD:
"In January, the Vergennes Community Housing project underwent its construction-phase blower door test. BVH Integrated Services, commissioning consultant for the project, conducted the test and found that the 23,470 sf building, which includes 24 housing units, had a leakage rate of .017 CFM at 50 pascals per sf (5-sided surface area). This rate is within the range of “ultra-tight air barriers” or Passive House standard. According to BVH, this building is on track to be one of the tightest commercial buildings in New England.
VIA has had very good air leakage results over the years with single-family residential projects, with a variety of builders. But this result is truly exciting for a building of this size. Jean Terwilliger, project architect, credits Neagley & Chase’s crew for their excellent oversight of air sealing throughout construction. “We can always design this level of air barrier into a project,” says Jean, “but it’s up to the contractors to pay close attention to it every step of the way.” Neagley & Chase took special care to adequately seal further penetrations as construction progressed.
The apartments are almost finished, with punch-list work ongoing and landscaping starting in the coming weeks. Slated for completion in early September, the building is leasing now and will be ready for occupancy October 1st."
The Department of Public Service will launch an utility arrearage assistance program with a current launch goal of August 14th.
More information will be posted as soon as it's available at https://publicservice.vermont.gov/publications-resources/consumers/assistance
As part of the Coronavirus Relief package recently passed by the state, the Vermont Housing Finance agency has announced mortgage assistance for homeowners. The program can provide six months of mortgage payments that never have to be repaid, and the applicant does not have to be a current VHFA borrower.
Vermont Legal Aid will be conducting a webinar to answer questions about the program on July 23rd. For more information and to register, visit https://www.vhfa.org/news/blog/mortgage-assistance-program-webinar-july-23. Legal Aid has also posted previous webinars about various relief programs to their website.
IMPORTANT UPDATE 7/24: VHFA has determined that owners of mobile homes with mortgages in mobile home parks are eligible for this program.
The Mortgage Assistance Grant Program, a Vermont COVID housing relief program launched on July 13 by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency, provides $5 million to help low-income homeowners, including owners of mobile homes, who have fallen behind on their mortgage and are facing economic hardship brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will provide up to 6 monthly mortgage payments directly to the servicer of the mortgage with a goal of preventing future foreclosure. The program is available to any homeowner who meets the eligibility criteria, not just to VHFA borrowers. Information and application materials are available on VHFA’s website at www.vhfa.org/map. A Mortgage Assistance Program information hotline is open 9 am – 4 pm, Monday through Friday, at 1-800-889-2047. VHFA will accept applications until August 31, 2020.
This week, the State of Vermont launched the Rental Housing Stabilization Program. If you owe back rent, this is grant assistance you never have to pay back and which can protect you from eviction. The program is administered through the Vermont State Housing Authority, and they have provided a one-page application to fill out and submit via email. All of the info and the application is available on their website at https://www.vsha.org/rental-housing-stabilization-program/
Residents who owe back rent are encouraged to apply ASAP, as funds are limited! If you need help filling out the tenant application, John Graham Housing and Services can help--contact Jubilee. ACCT also intends to initiate applications for residents who may be eligible to receive assistance.
Anyone in need is encouraged to register for upcoming food drops! More info at vtfoodbank.org/gethelp or call 1-800-585-2265.
For more information on resources, visit www.csac-vt.org.
ACCT staff members share news and information about upcoming events.