Montpelier, VT. — The Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development has launched the Vermont Housing Improvement Program to rehabilitate housing stock.

The program uses federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds and will invest $5 million into existing, but under-utilized structures in hopes of bringing housing units back online and help renters and property owners most in need of assistance.

“Expanding the housing stock has been a top priority of me and my team, investing more than any Administration in history,” said Governor Phil Scott. “In addition to building new housing, VHIP will be critical for bringing housing that has fallen into disrepair back online, helping provide more housing for the workforce, lift people out of homelessness, and aid in the transformational change we are seeking to create stronger communities.”

This round of grants will be aimed towards units helping renters exiting homelessness. The grants will be up to $30,000 per unit along with a 20% funding match to make code non-compliant units habitable.

“Throughout the course of the pandemic many businesses received financial assistance, but one of the populations that has been overlooked is the mom-and-pop landlords across the state. We designed this program for the long run with the success of the landlord and the tenant in mind,” said Housing and Community Development Commissioner Josh Hanford, “With this program, you are creating permanent housing and improving neighborhoods.”

“We are working from the ground up, addressing the needs of the most vulnerable,” said Shaun Gilpin Housing and Community Development Housing Division director. “We have been working with Vermont’s five homeownership centers to create a new program that is based on successful models and improves upon past efforts to bring more housing on-line.”

VHIP partners include Champlain Housing Trust, Rural Edge, Downstreet Housing and Community Development, Windham and Windsor Housing Trust, and Neighborworks of Western Vermont.

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