SOUTH BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — A long-awaited apartment project is set to open in South Burlington to provide some relief in Vermont’s ongoing struggle to provide enough affordable housing.
The Braeburn Apartments on Williston Road, will open their doors to 20 new tenants in a matter of weeks. Each unit will be fully furnished.
The project has been in development for nearly a year, and was made possible through a partnership with the Champlain Housing Trust, a non-profit organization dedicated to advancing affordable housing in the state.
The Champlain Housing Trust acquired the property, former site of the Ho Hum Motel, in 2020 to provide emershelter during the height of the pandemic. A significant portion of the more than $1.5 million cost came from American Rescue Plan funding allocated to the city.
Tenants at the Braeburn are required to contribute 30% of their income toward rent, ensuring the units are available for households that have struggled with housing instability.
Chris Connelly, the Community Relations Director, said that in addition to providing much-needed housing, the Braeburn Apartments will offer essential services to the residents.
“You know if they’re homeless, chances are they have service needs, and we want to make sure that they’re successful while they’re here,” stated Connelly.
Helen Riehle, Chair of the South Burlington City Council, said the complex is “a wonderful example of reusing and revitalizing existing buildings and plots.
“It’s in a perfect spot on Williston Road with an elementary school behind it that the kids can walk to if there are children here. Bus lines, you got Kinney Drugs across the street, supermarkets down the way, a bank, the post office. It’s the kind of place you want to develop or redevelop for housing.”
The Champlain Housing Trust has already successfully assisted more than 200 households in transitioning out of homelessness over the past year.
Officials are optimistic that tenants can begin settle in by the end of September or at the beginning of October.