The Champlain Housing Trust and TD Charitable Foundation announced today the investment of a $100,000 grant to a housing and community development effort in Burlington’s Old North End. The award is just one of 25 grants made from TD Charitable Foundation’s Housing for Everyone competition, and is the only one recognized in Vermont.
“We are very thankful for TD’s commitment to our work to rejuvenate this block in the Old North End,” said Brenda Torpy, CHT’s CEO. “In these days where there are fewer federal resources but increased demand for affordable housing, this award is a welcome and appreciated contribution to our development plans on Archibald and Bright Streets.”
The grant is funding CHT’s work with Housing Vermont to redevelop an urban brownfield with four existing structures in Burlington’s Old North End into the Bright Street Housing Cooperative – 42 newly constructed homes in a resident-controlled housing development. Developing new, affordable housing in Chittenden County is critical with a 1% vacancy rate and rents that have increased by nearly 50% since 2007.
“We are excited to support the transformation of a full block which needs more affordable housing and is in one of the most diverse neighborhoods in Vermont,” said Phil Daniels, Vermont President of TD Bank. “The Champlain Housing Trust has a long and successful history contributing to the vibrancy of the Old North End, and we are happy to be able to support their next development there.”
The Housing for Everyone competition received 300 applications with 25 winners from Maine to Florida. This year’s theme was “Neighborhood Revitalization and Stabilization” with a focus on preservation, rehabilitation and expansion of viable affordable housing proprieties or utilization of abandoned properties for affordable housing. The Bright Street development covered all of these bases. Each application was evaluated on merits of the proposal, the organization’s viability and sustainability, the organization’s governance strength and structure, and history of organization’s involvement with affordable housing. The development’s many green features, including energy efficiency and garden space, scored extra points in its judging.
Four buildings will be constructed on the site; one large building with 35 apartments, and three other buildings with a total seven apartments scattered amongst them will form the streetscape. The larger building will be developed in the middle of the block. For a visual of the site plan, visit http://bit.ly/brightstreet. The plan envisions several eco-features, such as community garden space in raised beds, the possibility of solar panels on the roof stormwater collection for watering gardens and clotheslines.
“The redevelopment of this area of Bright Street is an ambitious project,” said Nancy Owens, President of Housing Vermont, a partner in the development. “The grant from the TD Charitable Foundation will enable us to create housing that will benefit the neighborhood for years to come.”
The development will be under construction in late summer of fall of 2014, beginning with the demolition of buildings along Bright Street. Occupancy in the new co-op is expected to be in late summer 2015.