Vermont Busines Magazine The 2018 Burlington Housing Trust Fund (BHTF) grant awards were announced today. This year, the fund provided $310,455 in projects and capacity funds to projects that will help create or preserve over 70 affordable homes in Burlington through Cathedral Square and the North Avenue Co-op and will support capacity at Champlain Housing Trust, COTS, Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity, and HomeShare Vermont.
Mayor Miro Weinberger, City Councilor Adam Roof, and Community and Economic Development Office Director Noelle MacKay and community leaders announced the recipients of the 2018 awards. Councilor Roof and Director MacKay are members of the BHTF Administrative Committee that makes the awards.
“The City doubled its annual contribution to the Housing Trust Fund in 2015 without increasing taxes because the Administration and City Council believe that all residents deserve safe, high-quality housing and this is a powerful tool to help increase the number of permanently affordable homes,” said Mayor Weinberger. “We have worked hard over the past six years with partners like Champlain Housing Trust, COTS, and Cathedral Square to expand options for all Burlingtonians, including at the North Avenue Coop, the Bright Street Coop, as well as the new City Place Burlington, low barrier warming shelter, and Cambrian Rise projects. I commend the applicants and awardees, and look forward to our continued partnership addressing Burlington’s housing needs.”
"I feel particularly good about the Housing Trust Fund allocations this year,” said Councilor Adam Roof (Ward 8). “Important projects and mission-driven organizations are being supported and the community at large is getting a win. The HTF is critical to the City's comprehensive mission of creating and preserving affordable housing for those who earn a low and moderate income."
“We already have an inquiry list of seniors interested in Juniper House, where we will offer ‘Support and Services at Home’, which assists older adults in aging safely at home,” said Cindy Reid, Director of Development at Cathedral Square. “There is a significant need for affordable housing for our growing senior population. We appreciate the City’s critical support to help us build Juniper House.”
“Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity appreciates the partnership with Burlington Housing Trust Fund, which has helped us to build more perpetually affordable homes in Burlington over the past 33 years for low-income working families who live in substandard rental housing,” said Catherine Stevens, Advancement Director for Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity. “As an independent 501c3, we must raise all the funding locally in order to purchase building lots and build homes, and we look forward to building more homes in Burlington and all of Chittenden County with a continued partnership with the City.”
“CEDO is proud to administer a program that provides hundreds of thousands of dollars annually to support the retention and creation of new, affordable homes for some of our most vulnerable residents. We appreciate the support of the Mayor, the City Council, and our partners like Cathedral Square, COTS, CHT, and others in creating dozens of new units just in the last two years with the opening of new housing on North Ave and Bright St.”
Project awardees are:
- Cathedral Square’s Juniper House: Awarded $188,174 to support the creation of 70 affordable housing units for seniors in the Juniper House development, part of the Cambrian Rise project on North Avenue.
- North Avenue Co-Op (NAC) Water and Sewer System Design: Awarded $45,000 to design and build a new water and wastewater distribution system and road network for the NAC, an important source of affordable housing in Burlington that contains home-sites for up to 117 very low, low, and moderate income families.
Capacity awardees are:
- Champlain Housing Trust: Awarded $44,781 to support staffing of operations, public education, outreach, fundraising, and engagement of public officials to ensure people in Burlington and across the region understand the need for more affordable housing, which helps incentivize projects and attract and secure resources to build affordable housing.
- Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) Housing Resource Center: Awarded $7,500 support staffing resources, supervision, and overall organization operations to provide homeless prevention and re-housing programming to 400 households annually (approximately 900 people) who are at risk of becoming homeless or who need assistance getting housing.
- Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) Waystation: Awarded $7,500 to pay for the day-to-day expenses of operating the Waystation and providing services to stabilize approximately 220 homeless adults.
- Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity: Awarded $10,000 to hire an additional construction supervisor to supervise and administer home rehabs in Burlington, working with the CEDO office to review requests from low-income homeowners.
- HomeShare Vermont: Awarded $7,500 to pay for outreach and marketing to encourage more people to share their homes with those looking for an affordable place to live.
Burlington Housing Trust Fund
The Housing Trust Fund award are allocated annually through a competitive process in which nonprofit corporations, municipal corporations, limited equity housing cooperatives, for-profit corporations, partnerships and individuals are invited to submit proposals for either the expansion or support of affordable housing. All projects must serve households having an income not exceeding 100 percent of median income, as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and preference is given to proposals serving households having an income not exceeding 50 percent of median income. Priority for funding is given to perpetually affordable housing projects.
Proposals were evaluated by an Administrative Committee composed of CEDO Director Noelle MacKay, Ward 8 City Councilor Adam Roof (Chair of the City Council’s Community Development and Neighborhood Revitalization Committee), and Mayoral Communications & Projects Coordinator Katie Vane. This year, the Administrative Committee used a new application scoring system weighing the strengths of each application before a final meeting to vote on the awardees on December 4, 2017.
Burlington’s City Council approved the Housing Trust Fund Ordinance in 1988 to assist the City’s nonprofit housing organizations in building more affordable housing, and the Housing Trust Fund made its first disbursement in November of 1989. The BHTF provides grants and loans for the promotion, retention and creation of long-term affordable housing for very low, low and moderate-income households. The BHTF project grants go to projects that create new affordable housing units, while capacity grants are supporting the staffing, training, planning, fundraising, and ongoing operations of nonprofit organizations that are creating or preserving housing for very low, low, and moderate-income households.
More information may be found on CEDO’s website at https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/CEDO/Housing-Trust-Fund-0.
Source: Mayor 12.21.2017