WINDSOR, Vt., Jan. 21 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) today announced federal funding he secured for a major renovation of a housing complex.
The 77-unit Windsor Village has provided affordable housing to seniors and others in the community for more than 30 years.
Sanders secured a $243,500 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for Housing Vermont, a non-profit development company which has owned the property since 1995. The federal funding will be used toward making the facility more energy efficient. The funding will provide a significant boost to a project expected to cost $5 million. Construction began in December and is expected to be completed in about one year.
“Today is an exciting day for affordable housing in Windsor County," Sanders said. “To say that this housing has become an important asset to the area would be an understatement. This reinvestment in the property will make Windsor Village Housing an even better place to live for many years to come. As important as it is to build new affordable housing, we must also make sure that we preserve the housing that we already have.
“What makes this project stand apart is its commitment to energy efficiency. As we struggle with global warming and the need to cut greenhouse gas emissions, the rehabilitation of this housing will be done with energy efficiency in mind,” said the senator, who sits on both the Senate energy and environment committees.
From 1808 to 1975, the building housed tenants who lived there involuntarily. In 1978, the former state prison was converted to housing. The brick buildings sit next to the elementary and high school and two-blocks from Main Street. The site is on the State Register of Historic Sites and is eligible for the National Register.
“The renovations to Windsor Village acknowledge our commitments to both preserving this important senior housing resource and to sharply decreasing our reliance on fossil fuels,” said Housing Vermont President Nancy Owens. “Senator Sanders’ help in securing HUD funds will greatly benefit our current residents and seniors for years to come.”
The project will install energy-saving windows, enhanced insulation, a solar hot water heater, a wood pellet-fired boiler, and improvements to sealing and ventilation. These improvements are expected to reduce fuel consumption by up to 50 percent.
The property contains 67 apartments for seniors and 10 for families. Each apartment will receive new flooring, kitchen cabinets, lighting, bathroom fixtures and paint. The renovation also will upgrade the facility’s flooring, roofing, drainage, painting and open two new laundry rooms.