VHFA recently relaunched their Mortgage Assistance Program with new relief funds. More info is available at www.vhfa.org/map.
Thanks to residents, staff, Board, and friendly volunteers, ACCT greened up three mobile home parks on May first. Otter Creek's playground got a facelift with the addition of some new swings and lots of brush clearing around the slide. Meanwhile, three new Zero Energy Modular (ZEM) homes at KTP were landscaped to get ready for guests of John Graham Housing & Services to move into their homes. Up at Lazy Brook, volunteers refurbished a sign and beautified the park with plantings.
A huge THANK YOU to all our volunteers! And thanks to property manager Chris Ouellette for organizing the whole thing!
Addison County Community Trust’s mission is to enrich the lives of low- and moderate-income people of Addison County by ensuring the development, management, and maintenance of safe, quality, affordable homes and related support for families, seniors and individuals. Last fall, thanks to the support of several generous donors, ACCT developed a pilot program to provide a new level of support for its residents to help them successfully remain in their new homes. Family Supportive Services is available free to residents young and old in ACCT housing who have a history of such problems as: housing instability or homelessness, struggles with mental health or addiction, need of support retaining employment and/or maintaining household income, and the added demands of juggling any such challenge on top of growing a young family.
ACCT hired Precious Chamberlin last month as its first Family Support Coordinator. Over time she will work with as many as 40 separate families (approximately 100 individuals). Some of these families will be identified as being in need by property managers; others may be referred by local social service agencies; and still others might hear about the program and apply themselves. For all residents, participation in the program is entirely voluntary and all services are free.
In the six weeks she has been working with ACCT, Precious has seen twelve different families, helping them navigate existing resources to solve the challenges of their daily lives. Gradually she will increase her case load to help even more families acquire the skills they need to avert the problems that might result in poor health and homelessness.
ACCT's April Board meeting will be held Thursday, April 22nd, at 4pm, via Zoom. (Note that regular meetings have moved to the 4th Thursday of the month.) Please register using the form below to receive the link.
VERMONT EMERGENCY RENTAL ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (VERAP)
*IMPORTANT INFO ABOUT ELIGIBILITY*
VERAP is a new program to help with rent, back rent, utilities, back utilities, and other housing expenses. Unlike RHSP which provided back rent assistance through December 2020, VERAP ELIGIBILITY IS LIMITED TO VERMONT RENTERS WHO MEET ALL OF THE FOLLOWING CRITERIA:
Rent assistance can be provided for 3 months at a time. Yes, you can apply for forthcoming months.
APPLY ONLINE AT https://erap.vsha.org. UNLIKE RHSP, YOUR LANDLORD (ACCT) CANNOT COMPLETE THE APPLICATION FOR YOU.
IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE, YOU WILL BE ASKED TO PROVIDE DOCUMENTATION THAT MAY INCLUDE A COPY OF YOUR LEASE AND THE AMOUNT OF RENT YOU OWE. PLEASE CONTACT JEFF TO MAKE SURE THE AMOUNT YOU APPLY FOR MATCHES OUR RECORDS; THIS WILL BE REQUIRED IN ORDER TO RECEIVE ASSISTANCE.
If you think you owe back rent, or not sure what your rent is, PLEASE CALL OR EMAIL JEFF at 802-877-2626 x104, because you will need the correct figures to apply. Statements occasionally have errors.
IF YOU THINK YOU MIGHT NOT BE ELIGIBLE AND NEED TO SET UP A PAY PLAN, CONTACT JEFF WEDWALDT AT 802-877-2626 x104 or via EMAIL
NEED HELP APPLYING? ACCT CAN HELP, or you can contact Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity - CVOEO They can assist applicants without access to the internet, a computer, or mobile device capable of completing an online application. Please contact them at: https://cvoeo.org/ or by phone - (802) 388-2285.
VT Legal Aid also has great info on VERAP and eligibility: https://vtlawhelp.org/money-for-past-due-rent
The affordable housing crisis is reaching a fever pitch. The below stories are just a sampling of some of the ways housing has appeared in the news recently:
You can join us at www.addisontrust.org/donate!
This is the last week to complete the Community Health Needs Assessment Survey. This survey is critical in supporting our residents and developing a healthy and flourishing community for all. This information will be used to better understand our resident’s needs (healthcare, mental health, childcare, schools, dental care, senior care, hunger, etc) and how we can all work together to improve overall quality of life. Please help us spread the word to get as many responses as possible to ensure all voices are heard when identifying priorities.
The survey will remain open until MARCH 20th and we are encouraging individuals 18 and older, and families to respond to the survey!
Link to English survey: surveymonkey.com/r/86PSH65
Enlace a la encuesta en español: surveymonkey.com/r/86PSH65?lang=es
ACCT's regular Board meeting will be held the 4th Tuesday of the month, 3/23/21, at 4pm via Zoom.
ACCT's regular February Board meeting will be held 2/23/21 at 4pm via Zoom. Use the form below to RSVP and receive the link.
From last summer through December, the Vermont State Housing Authority helped over 14,000 renters maintain their housing by providing assistance for back rent or other housing services through the Rental Housing Stabilization Program (RHSP). ACCT helped dozens of our residents access this program to keep current on their rent despite facing financial hardship due to the pandemic. You can view other outcomes from the program through this online data visualization.
RHSP ended in December, but many tenants continue to struggle. The state is working on a new multimillion dollar round of investments to provide rental relief that will be available in the coming weeks. This assistance will be more restrictive than RHSP in terms of who can access it, as it will be more deeply targeted to low-income households. Any ACCT residents who are having trouble paying rent are encouraged to call us at 877-2626 x 104 to discuss payment options and receive updates about the availability of back rent assistance.
ACCT staff members share news and information about upcoming events.