Vermont Governor Phil Scott announced $3.5M in grants from the Vermont Community Development Program Wednesday to support housing affordability and downtown redevelopment.
The money will eight communities in the Green Mountain State, and will go towards projects like the Brownfield clean-up in Rockingham, downtown redevelopment in Springfield and funding for home repair programs statewide.
“From Brattleboro to St. Albans, communities across Vermont will use these grants to build affordable housing, clean up contaminated sites for redevelopment, expand services to their residents, restore historic buildings, plan for the future and make their communities more affordable,” Gov. Scott said.
The Town of Springfield and its partners, Housing Vermont and Springfield Housing Authority, plan to use its $400,000 grant to restore the iconic Woolson Block property on Main Street, to build affordable apartments on the upper floors, with commercial space on the ground floor.
“I’m also very pleased to see this funding available statewide, to support small scale landlords in their efforts to improve existing housing stock. This work is important to my administration’s focus on growing the economy, making Vermont more affordable, and protecting the most vulnerable,” Scott continued.
The state awards around $7M annually in grants through Vermont’s Department of Housing and Community Development. The grants are funded through the federal Community Development Block Grant Program of the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.
Vermont’s congressional delegation, Senators Patrick Leahy and Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch, released a joint statement, that reads:
“Housing is a vital part of our communities’ infrastructure, and housing is one of the most important investments we can make to support individuals, families and the economic vitality and quality of life that we want for our state. These latest grants add more than $400M in federal CDBG funds that have been allocated to Vermont in the program’s 43-year history, leveraging more than $4 billion in additional investments. Now is not the time to make slashing cuts, as the President has proposed. We must strengthen these investments to ensure Vermont communities remain accessible and affordable. As we approach a year-end funding deal, we will continue to fight for CDBG to ensure that Vermont does not lose out on this irreplaceable funding source.”
- $28,000 Town of Plainfield – Cutler Memorial Library Planning Grant: Subgrant to Cutler Memorial Library to help plan for an addition to the building to allow the library to be in full compliance with state and federal accessibility requirements.
- $40,000 Village of Essex Jct. – Northwestern Vermont Housing Data Community Profiles: Subgrant to Vermont Housing Finance Agency to create a web-based, interactive resource that provides residents, municipal officials and planners with up-to-date, vetted housing need indicators in a variety of user-friendly formats for communities in Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties.
- $150,000 Town of Rockingham – Robertson Mill Redevelopment: Subgrant to Island Holdings LLC for the demolition of Robertson Mill building and removal of hazardous material. This project will alleviate a blighted portion of downtown Bellows Falls and provide for future commercial development opportunities.
- $725,000 Town of Brattleboro (Consortium with Barre City) – 5-County Homeownership Services Program: Subgrant to Windham & Windsor Housing Trust to deliver home repair and housing counseling services program to a five-county region including Windham, Windsor, Orange, Lamoille, and Washington Counties.
- $635,000 City of St. Albans – Champlain Housing Home Repair Loan Program: Subgrant to Champlain Housing Trust to deliver a home repair and housing counseling services program in Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle counties.
- $800,000 Town of West Rutland – NeighborWorks of Western Vermont Revolving Loan Fund: Subgrant to NeighborWorks of Western Vermont to deliver a home repair and housing counseling services program in Addison, Bennington and Rutland counties.
- $726,000 Town of Lyndon – Northeast Kingdom Revolving Loan Fund: Subgrant to Rural Edge to deliver home repair and housing counseling services program in Caledonia, Essex and Orleans counties.
- $400,000 Town of Springfield – Woolson Block: Deferred Loan to Woolson Block Limited Partnership, formed by Springfield Housing Authority and Housing Vermont, for the redevelopment of the Woolson Block into 21 affordable apartments and 3,400 SF of commercial space.