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Bright Street Housing Co-op wins National Award

Posted on Friday, February 10, 2017, by Chris Donnelly


The Bright Street Housing Cooperative has been selected for the 2017 Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award from the National Community Development Association. Bright Street Housing Co-op is a new, 40 home development created by Champlain Housing Trust and Housing Vermont in Burlington’s Old North End. The City of Burlington and its Community and Economic Development Office, which sponsored the award, will be recognized on February 17 at a ceremony in Washington, DC on behalf of the co-op. It was one of six other communities selected to receive the award.

“One of the primary focuses of this Administration has been on addressing Burlington’s affordable housing crisis,” said Mayor Miro Weinberger. “The City was pleased to support Champlain Housing Trust and Housing Vermont in the creation of 40 much-needed units that will provide homes for families and individuals from a range of backgrounds and income levels. We are thrilled that the product of this partnership has been recognized by the national Audrey Nelson Community Development Achievement Award.”

The co-op received funding through the City’s Community Development Grant program, its HOME allocation and the Burlington Housing Trust Fund, as well state and national sources such as the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board, tax credits allocated by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency, and NeighborWorks America. The TD Charitable Foundation selected Bright Street as a winner in its annual Housing for Everyone competition.

Residents moved in this past fall, following a large community ribbon cutting celebration which coincided with a trip to Burlington from then-HUD Secretary Julian Castro, organized by Senator Patrick Leahy.


Coalition Launched to Increase Production of Housing

Posted on Monday, June 27, 2016, by Chris Donnelly

Dozens of Chittenden County leaders in the fields of housing, business, local and state government, and social services announced this morning a new campaign to increase the production of housing and setting a target of 3,500 new homes created in the next five years.

The new coalition, called Building Homes Together, was formed by the Champlain Housing Trust, Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission and Housing Vermont and released an initial list of nearly 100 community leaders supporting the effort. Several leaders shared words of support.

“Working together we will accomplish this goal,” said Brenda Torpy, CEO of Champlain Housing Trust. “For the sake of our communities, our workers and local economy, we will educate and advocate together for more housing.”

The housing shortage in Chittenden County has been well noted with unhealthy vacancy rates and high rents,” added Charlie Baker, Executive Director of the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission. “Employers can’t find workers, and workers themselves spend more time in commutes and with a higher percentage of their paychecks on housing costs.”

Twenty percent of the 3,500 goal are targeted to be developed by nonprofit housing organizations. The remainder by private developers.

“This step-up in production will not just provide new homes and infrastructure for communities, it’ll be a boost to the economy and contribute to the tax base. Building homes together is a big win for all of us in Chittenden County,” said Nancy Owens, President of Housing Vermont.

The campaign will provide up-to-date data to the community on the need for and benefits of new housing, build cross-sector and public support for housing development, increasing access to capital, and supporting municipalities.

Individuals, businesses or organizations that wish to sign on and participate in the campaign are encouraged to by sending an email to Chris Donnelly at the Champlain Housing Trust. 

Building Homes Together Infographic

List of supporters (as of June 26, 2016)

What others are saying about Building Homes Together


Bright Street Co-op Update

Posted on Tuesday, September 22, 2015, by Jonathan Shenton

A New Housing Option in the Old North End.


Update

We are moving full steam ahead on creating a new, 40-unit housing cooperative on Bright Street. Construction has begun, and our Selection Committee (members of other housing co-ops) is starting to interview applicants.

The way to apply is to attend an orientation and then submit an application; you can find the next orientation dates and register for one via our calendar. Applicants will be considered in date order.

As well as the autonomy, community and security that all co-ops offer, the Bright Street Co-op will provide underground parking, covered bike parking, a community room, and laundry facilities on-site. We are also working with the city to try to create a community garden right next to the co-op.

What is a housing cooperative?

In a housing co-op “the members are the landlord.” It is a business that the members own and run together, doing the work a landlord would do in a rental.

The shared control and responsibility makes co-ops different from either renting or owning your own home. Financially a co-op is more like renting, but the members’ control and responsibility lead to an ‘ownership attitude’ without the financial commitment of buying a home.

Cooperative housing is not for everyone. As an intentional community it is ideal for people with the desire and skills to work with their neighbors and to help create a stable community.

The co-op will feature:

  • Forty apartments and townhomes 
  • A vibrant mix of household sizes and incomes
  • New, energy-efficient construction 
  • Self-management that brings a sense of community and security
  • Underground parking, laundry room, community room, elevator
  • Shared outdoor space

Time frame

  • Construction started in August, 2015; we expect to open in the fall of 2016. 
  • We are taking applications now.

Apartment sizes and approximate monthly charges (heat included):

Thirteen 1BR apartments in the range of $675 to $975/month
Twenty-one 2BR apartments in the range of $780 to $1,250/month
Five 3BR apartments in the range of $975 to $1,350/month
One 4BR apartment in the range of $1,300 to $1,450/month

Interested? To learn more and apply, come to a one-hour Orientation to Cooperatives. 
Register online or with Julia Curry at jcurry@getahome.org or (802) 861-7378.

Seeking Public Input on former Burlington College land

Posted on Tuesday, June 09, 2015, by Chris Donnelly

Your help is needed! CHT is working with Burlington City Community Housing LLC (BCCH), the City of Burlington, the Vermont Land Trust and their constituents in a planning process for potential site designs on 27.65 acres of land BCCH recently purchased from Burlington College. A core part of the process is to solicit the community’s feedback through an online survey and comments, as well as small group and public meetings. Please complete our online questionnaire and join us at our next public meeting on July 7, 2015.

This site is a critical, centrally located parcel, both geographically in the City of Burlington and in the memories of residents. Located west of North Avenue, the site is immediately north of Downtown Burlington and provides a link between the city’s commercial core, the New North End neighborhood, and the Old North End. The site includes approximately 1,200 linear feet of frontage along North Avenue, as well as over 930’ of beachfront just north of Texaco Beach that are accessed by an informal trail. There are 27.65 acres of undeveloped land and 6 acres of land that are occupied by Burlington College. The remainder of the site includes steep slopes, open fields, and forested zones, as well as community gardens.

Please take a few minutes to fill out the survey to tell us what you think!

CHT Celebrates NeighborWorks Week with New Community Garden

Posted on Saturday, June 06, 2015, by Chris Donnelly

The Champlain Housing Trust was joined by leaders of NeighborWorks America to celebrate the creation of a new community garden at Harrington Village in Shelburne, a brand new neighborhood that opened in the fall of 2014. The creation of the garden was followed by a barbecue for residents and the neighbors. The event kicks-off NeighborWorks Week, where NeighborWorks America and its network of local organizations mobilize tens of thousands of volunteers, businesspeople, neighbors, friends, and local and national elected and civic leaders in a week of neighborhood change and awareness.

“I am so happy to be here in Shelburne with the Champlain Housing Trust, their volunteers and Harrington Village residents to celebrate the beginning of NeighborWorks Week,” said NeighborWorks America’s CEO Paul Weech. “It’s great to see this multi-generational neighborhood coming together for a barbecue, to see the new community gardens where fresh food will be grown, and feel the sense of community that’s building here.”

Volunteers and residents of the apartments at Harrington Village filled in twenty raised beds Saturday morning, and residents began to put in seeds and seedlings in the gardens. The effort was supported by volunteers from the Master Gardener’s program at UVM, and several local businesses contributed supplies or gave a discount to create the gardens, including American Meadows (seeds), Vermont Community Garden Network (seedlings and technical assistance), Lamell Lumber Corp (raised bed lumber), Lowes (garden shed and picnic table), Agways (soil), and Dan Herman (compost tumbler).

NeighborWorks America made a capital grant in support of the development of Harrington Village, which includes 42 affordable family apartments developed by CHT and Housing Vermont, 36 senior apartments developed by Cathedral Square, and four affordable homes built by Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity in collaboration with CHT.

“Harrington Village is a great example of how we do things in Vermont – with a lot of collaboration and partnerships,” said CHT’s CEO, Brenda Torpy. “And today is another demonstration of that ethic, working together to build stronger communities. We’re thrilled to help NeighborWorks America launch their annual week of celebration here in Shelburne.”







Your Input Needed!

Posted on Wednesday, December 10, 2014, by Chris Donnelly

Every five years, the State of Vermont develops a "Consolidated Plan" to submit to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to guide use of approximately $10 million dollars in spending on housing, homelessness, and economic and community development. As part of this process, state officials are seeking public input to develop their plan. They especially would like input from residents of affordable housing or folks who have participated in our rehab loan program. There is a short, anonymous survey that can be filled out online.

Members of the public are also encouraged to attend public hearing at the St. Albans City Council Chambers from 4pm to 6pm on Thursday, December 18. For more information on the State's process and prior plans, visit the Department of Housing and Community Development's webpage.

Housing and the Economy

Posted on Saturday, November 08, 2014, by Chris Donnelly

When we think of affordable housing, we often think of the benefits that people living there receive: a secure, safe place to live that meets their budget and where they can set and achieve their goals. But there's a significant economic impact from which we all benefit -- jobs, sales and payroll taxes, local economic development and vibrant communities.

In Housing and the Economy: The Statewide Ripple Effect, we tell this story of how affordable housing development and preservation adds value to the bottom line, with real examples from communities across the state. It's the fifth and final in our series of papers describing the intersection of housing with other public policy priorities.

(photo credit: Sally McKay)

 

 

Harrington Village

Posted on Friday, April 04, 2014, by Jonathan Shenton

Now Accepting applications

BRAND NEW affordable apartments in Shelburne available for move-in August 2014.


Bright Street

All apartments feature

  • Heat & hot water, snow & trash removal included in rent

Select apartments feature

  • Covered parking with elevator service
  • Washer and dryer hook-ups or on-site laundry

Development Features

  • Walking distance to banking, shopping, schools, nature trails and museum.
  • Located just off Route 7 and the bus line
  • Playground on property 
  • Handicapped accessible units
  • Secure non-smoking buildings

Apartment sizes and approximate monthly charges (heat & hot water, snow & trash removal included) rents subject to change:

1BR apartments $625 to $950/month
2BR apartments $750 to $1,225/month
3BR apartments $865 to $1,450/month

Interested?

First step is to fill out an application or contact David Ellsworth-Keller at 861-7369 or e-mail at dellsworthkeller@getahome.org.

Harrington Village Application Harrington Village Application (407 KB)

Harrington Village Brochure Harrington Village Brochure (898 KB)

Housing For Everyone Award

Posted on Wednesday, November 13, 2013, by Chris Donnelly

TD Everyone Award Announcement

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.

CHT & Saint Michaels College Agree to Land Transfer

Posted on Monday, July 08, 2013, by Jonathan Shenton

The Champlain Housing Trust and Saint Michael’s College announced today the sale of land currently leased to CHT along Route 15 in Colchester, Vermont. The parcel is home to Winchester Place, a mixed-income rental development with 166 apartments. The Champlain Housing Trust’s lease with the College was slated to expire in 2033, and this agreement preserves the affordability of the apartments on the site. The existing lease also made investment in the long term capital needs of the property difficult.

“The College’s understanding of our mission and commitment to avoid the displacement of low income households is greatly appreciated,” said Michael Monte, Chief Operating and Financial Officer of the Housing Trust. “We are very pleased to work with St. Mike’s on this transfer.”

In addition to securing the long term affordability of the apartments, another benefit to executing a sale now was to make refinancing and rehab work possible as needed in the coming years.

“We had no plans to sell this property, but when Champlain Housing Trust explained the importance of the sale transaction to the future of Winchester Place it made sense for the College to proceed,” said Neal Robinson, Vice President for Finance at Saint Michael's.

The leased parcel consists of 16.3 acres, and will be sold for $3.2 million. The 2-bedroom apartments have a range of rents from $725 to $1,050 per month. Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Chittenden County is $1,280, and renters are the second highest cost-burdened in New England.