Vermont’s largest affordable housing community marked a special milestone Saturday with a neighborhood-wide celebration. The Northgate Apartments in Burlington’s New North End is celebrating 30 years of housing affordability and resident ownership.
“We’re celebrating 30 years of ownership, resident ownership,“ said Linda Romeo, a longtime resident.
Romeo has lived at Northgate for the past 48 years. She raised her family there and can remember a time when conditions were poor.
“We used to have sewage backed up into the apartments,“ Romeo said. “In the winter, we were freezing.“
With the help of the city, residents worked to gain ownership and have successfully managed the housing community since. The collaboration also ensured the apartments will offer permanent affordable residency.
It’s something Mayor Miro Weinberger said is crucial while Burlington is experiencing a housing crisis.
“To have more than 300 homes here that are affordable is just a great asset to Burlington when so much of our housing is priced so much higher,“ Mayor Miro Weinberger said.
Property staff said the residents managing their own community has been instrumental in its success.
“Most of the people on staff every year have either been residents or former residents to ensure their voice is the loudest voice,“ said Kathy Luce, Vice President of Maloney Properties.
Romeo, herself, now serves as the Secretary of Northgate’s board and proudly represents her neighbors.
“To help them understand that this is their community, they have a say in what happens here,“ Romeo said.
Northgate’s apartments are now being used as a model for other affordable housing communities around the nation.