The Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) is providing key financing to support the construction or preservation of 139 affordable apartments in four communities.

iQoncept/Adobe Stock
iQoncept/Adobe Stock

“Our state continues to see numerous challenges in the construction and rehabilitation of housing combined with increasing rates of homelessness,” said VHFA executive director Maura Collins. “The Vermont development community and housing funders have joined together to make these projects possible and get more Vermonters into safe, decent and affordable homes, including those exiting homelessness.”

The latest financing includes $18 million in equity through federal 4% low-income housing tax credits (bond credits) and $1.3 million in equity through state housing credits. VHFA also awarded $15.8 million in construction loans, $360,000 in equity bridge loans, and $650,000 in long-term loans to the projects.

In addition, VHFA is providing nearly $600,000 in loans from its Vermont Housing Investment Fund (VHIF), which was established in 2020 to provide more flexible financing opportunities for affordable housing development. To date, it has raised over $9.5 million in public and private capital.

The projects receiving funding are:

· Hospital Heights in Rutland is a rehabilitation of 22 apartments, including four set aside for households experiencing or at risk of homelessness. The developer is Summit Properties. VHFA awarded state and bond credits and a construction loan;

· Reid Commons is a new project in St. Albans by Cathedral Square and will include 33 apartments, six set aside for households experiencing or at risk of homelessness. VHFA awarded state and bond credits, construction and permanent loans and VHIF;

· Salisbury Square Phase 2 in Randolph is a new project by Randolph Area Community Development and will include 12 apartments, three set aside for households experiencing or at risk of homelessness. VHFA awarded state credits and a construction loan;

· Randolph House in Randolph is a redevelopment by Randolph Area Community Development and includes 48 apartments, five set aside for households experiencing or at risk of homelessness. VHFA awarded VHIF; and

· Kelley’s Field 2 is a new project by Cathedral Square in Hinesburg and will include 24 apartments with four set aside for households experiencing or at risk of homelessness. VHFA awarded state credits and an equity bridge loan.

The projects include 22 apartments for households experiencing or at risk of homelessness. This is in addition to the federal housing credits awarded in April funding homes for those who were previously homeless. This comes as Vermont recorded a nearly 19% increase in persons experiencing homelessness this year compared with last, likely due to continued pandemic-related challenges and an extremely tight rental market.

The latest awards come after VHFA awarded $28 million in federal housing credits to support the construction of 112 homes in perpetually affordable apartment buildings in April.