Leahy, Sanders, Welch: Housing Vermont Receives $2 Million In U.S. Treasury Support For Affordable Housing Development

(THURSDAY, Feb. 27, 2020) – Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Congressman Peter Welch (D-Vt.) announced Thursday that the U.S. Treasury awarded Housing Vermont a $2 million grant to support affordable housing production and preservation of roughly 900 affordable rental units. The grant was provided through the Capital Magnet Fund program. The grant was provided by the Community Development Financial Institutions’ (CDFI) Capital Magnet Fund program.  As Vice Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Leahy championed a $12 million increase for CDFI in fiscal year 2020.

In a joint statement, Leahy, Sanders and Welch said:  “We are proud to see Housing Vermont receive this highly competitive grant.  Urban and rural communities across our nation struggle to provide safe, decent and affordable housing.  But while communities share this challenge, the solutions that work best are often unique.  With this funding, Housing Vermont will be able to do what they do best, to partner with organizations across Vermont to develop tailored housing projects that fit community needs, further economic development and energy goals, and provide homes for Vermonters.”

With this grant, Housing Vermont will create a fund to support predevelopment financing to help meet the needs of community developers who require early stage capital to catalyze affordable housing projects.  Housing Vermont aims to leverage an additional $5 million to provide communities with access to a total of $7 million to invest in improving the quantity and quality of the rental housing stock across the entire state of Vermont. Housing Vermont received a similar award in 2016 that helped communities who accessed Vermont State Housing Revenue Bond funds to move forward with new housing, which to date have resulted in 843 units of affordable housing across Vermont.

“We are pleased to receive the Capital Magnet Fund award,” said Housing Vermont’s President, Nancy Owens.  “Having these funds will result in the production and preservation of 900 affordable rental apartments in the 5-year period.”

The Capital Magnet Fund is a program of the U.S. Treasury that helps create and preserve affordable housing for low-income families and economically distressed communities by attracting private capital.  Since its creation in 2010, it has helped finance 13,316 affordable housing units and supported the development of nearly 16,000 jobs.  In fiscal year 2019, Senator Leahy, as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, helped to secure $250 million for the Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, which includes the Capital Magnet Fund.  This funding level was $236 million above the President’s budget request. Congress continued its commitment to providing strong funding for vital affordable housing resources in fiscal year 2020.