Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman, Senate President Tim Ashe, and Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger were among the elected officials that celebrated the opening of 76 new affordable apartments in Burlington Monday.
“Too many Vermonters struggle with housing costs, the largest piece of most families’ budgets. I am pleased to celebrate this opening and recognize its part in meeting our statewide goals of affordable and inclusive housing,” said Lt. Governor Zuckerman.
The building was developed by Housing Vermont and Champlain Housing Trust, with the Housing Trust leasing up and managing the building. The first tenants moved in September 20; as of Monday, virtually all the apartments were taken.
“These new apartments are literally in my neighborhood, so I know how desperately needed they are. More than a hundred people will have a high-quality, affordable new home once the moving trucks have come and gone. I know first-hand as someone who has developed affordable housing how important this is. It’s just what we hoped for when we passed the state housing bond,” added Senator Ashe.
The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board provided close to $2 million, or close to 10%, of the overall cost of the development, including funding from the Housing for All Revenue Bond of 2017 and the National Housing Trust Fund. A significant piece of the funding came from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit allocated by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency, with People’s United Bank as an investor. Several other funders such as NeighborWorks® America contributed to the financing, and the City of Burlington committed funds through their Housing Trust Fund federal HOME Program resources.
“Housing impacts everything that we want and need to do in our city. Even as we continue to work on policy reforms that will make homes more available and affordable for Burlingtonians, it is so exciting to see these 76 new, permanently affordable homes open up at the Laurentide Apartments,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “I am proud that the City has been a partner in creating this new mixed-use, mixed-income neighborhood from the beginning. I can’t wait to meet the Burlingtonians who have already moved in to these apartments, and to see this become a home for many.”
Laurentide Apartments is part of a larger, mixed-use, mixed income neighborhood under development along with a new public park on 28 acres along North Avenue. In all, about 800 new homes will be constructed over the next several years. With Burlington’s inclusionary zoning ordinance, a quarter will be permanently affordable. The average rent for a two-bedroom, income-restricted apartment is about $1,000 including heat and hot water – which is more than $500 lower than the Fair Market Rent in the region.
People with a range of incomes have moved in or are moving in to the new apartments, including 14 households who are moving out of homelessness and several apartments that are set aside for those earning above what federal programs are normally allowed to serve, yet cannot find an affordable apartment in the tight Chittenden County housing market.