Release: Delegation Announces Funds for Jobs and Housing

Vermont delegation announces $10.3 million in recovery funds to create jobs and provide affordable housing in Vermont

WASHINGTON (Friday, July 10) -- U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and U.S. Representative Peter Welch (D-Vt.) on Friday announced nearly $10.3 million in funding to the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) to spur development of affordable housing in Vermont.

The funding, made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), will allow the VHFA to provide sufficient equity funding to complete ongoing construction projects in Windsor, Colchester and Montpelier. The ARRA investment will help create 130 affordable housing units and an estimated 175 jobs by leveraging over $20 million in construction funding.

VHFA will use the funding to provide credit to the following projects:

  • Union Square, Windsor – This project includes 43 units of mixed-income housing and is expected to provide 76 construction jobs.
  • Brookside Village, Colchester – This project includes 42 units of mixed-income housing and is expected to provide 76 construction jobs.
  • North Branch Apartments, Montpelier – This project includes 45 units of mixed-income housing and is expected to provide 27 construction jobs.

The Treasury announced $486 million in funding to affordable housing projects in 12 states, including Vermont, on Friday – the fourth installment in a $3 billion ARRA program. The money comes as the number of housing starts has fallen almost 80 percent since 2006 and as the number of houses under construction has reached a 13-year low.

Sarah Carpenter, Executive Director of the VHFA said, “Vermont has been very fortunate to have great support from our local and regional banks and investors in providing tax credit equity for affordable rental housing – but they can't do it all. With Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of the national equity market, we desperately needed an alternate investment option like the tax credit exchange program. This will allow us to complete 130 units of affordable housing and leverage over $20 million in construction funding.”

Sen. Leahy said, “As a result of the economic downturn our state and nation are facing, many affordable housing developments in progress or about to break ground would have faced disaster without these recovery funds. The complicated tax incentives that have been successfully used for years to help incentivize affordable housing developments have fallen victim to the economic crisis.   We are pleased that these funds will help VHFA and other organizations around the state complete much needed affordable housing and put people to work.”

Sen. Sanders said, “Not only will this federal investment begin to provide concrete solutions to the affordable housing crisis in Vermont, it also will create decent-paying jobs.  These federal dollars demonstrate a commitment to increasing affordable housing opportunities and putting Vermonters to work.”

Rep. Welch said, “This recovery funding will ensure that critical construction projects in Vermont do not grind to a halt at a time when we need them the most. By putting people to work while creating much-needed affordable housing units, we are making just the sort of investment Vermont communities need. I’m pleased these federal dollars will be put to good use in Windsor, Colchester and Montpelier.”