Agreement reached on affordable homeownership at Cambrian Rise

Posted on Tuesday, September 05, 2017, by Chris Donnelly

The Champlain Housing Trust and Eric Farrell announced today that an agreement has been reached on the development of 30 affordable condominiums on the former Burlington College land now known as Cambrian Rise. This will be the first of what is expected to be a two phase project.

The agreement stipulates a purchase price of the 30 condominiums of $6.3 million. The sale price is discounted from estimated market value of $8.5 million due to Burlington’s Inclusionary Zoning Ordinance, and is dependent on CHT securing funds to help finance the purchase. Some of the funding is budgeted to come from the proceeds of the affordable housing bond recently enacted by the Vermont Legislature. An application is pending at the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board seeking that funding.

A second phase is anticipated that would double the number of permanently affordable condos to be built for a total of 60 affordable homes. The condominiums are planned to be built over the next two to three years. 

“We look forward to adding this significant number of permanently affordable homes to this very challenging housing market in Chittenden County,” said Michael Monte, COO/CFO of the Champlain Housing Trust. “Combined with the affordable family and senior rentals planned for this site, there will be nearly 200 new affordable homes in Burlington to provide a wide range of options.”

These condominiums will help fill a large need for affordable housing in Chittenden County. After subsidy, the 30 condominiums in the first phase of the development will have an estimated sale price of between $140,000 and $180,000. The median priced home in Chittenden County sold for $287,000 in the first half of 2017.

“I’ve always believed in sustainability when developing new homes,” added Eric Farrell. “Sustainability doesn’t only mean all the renewable energy systems and environmental protections that we’re including at Cambrian Rise, it also means equity and ensuring people of all incomes can live here.”

The condominiums will be made affordable through CHT’s shared equity homeownership program. This program provides down payment assistance and homebuyer education for qualified buyers. In exchange, buyer agree to share a portion of the appreciation of their home when they sell, keeping the home affordable. This program was recognized by the United Nations with a World Habitat Award in 2008.

The construction of the new affordable homes are part of a larger development with 739 planned homes, a 12 acre public park with beach access, a community garden and commercial space.  In addition to the 60 new affordable homes for sale, the 739 homes will also include 128 affordable rentals for families and seniors with incomes of less than 65 percent of the Chittenden County median income.  The first apartments in Liberty House (the old Orphanage) are occupied, and the remaining affordable and market housing will be constructed after Farrell receives necessary permits.

New Housing Underway in Shelburne

Posted on Friday, June 28, 2013, by Jonathan Shenton

Thursday afternoon brought together scores of interested onlookers as three local nonprofit housing developers were joined by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin to mark the beginning of construction of new housing in Shelburne village.

“After many years of planning and persistence, this new neighborhood in the heart of Shelburne will soon be a reality,” said Gov. Peter Shumlin. “Harrington Village brings together rental and single family homes for all ages and a variety of income levels in the village center, surrounded by open land and promoting smart downtown development with good quality of life for residents.”

The three nonprofits – Champlain Housing Trust, Housing Vermont and Cathedral Square – are collaborating to build a mixed-income, mixed-generation neighborhood of 82 new homes including 42 family apartments, 36 senior apartments and four affordable homes for sale. Construction is underway and occupancy of the family and senior rentals is expected in the summer of 2014; the for-sale homes will be available later.

“We are here today because committed citizens and local officials in Shelburne wanted to make sure that their community is inclusive for people of all incomes,” said Brenda Torpy, CEO of the Champlain Housing Trust. “I applaud that commitment, and we look forward to coming back here next summer to welcome the first people moving in.”

“We also appreciate the Town of Shelburne’s support for the new neighborhood we are creating,” added Kim Fitzgerald, Chief of Operations and Finance at Cathedral Square Corporation. “This development has so many wins – mixed income housing for seniors and families in a village location, construction jobs, and conservation of open space for the Town. Cathedral Square anticipates the Wright House senior housing to be leased up before the doors open next summer.”

Funding for the housing came from a variety of sources, including investments made by TD Bank and Enterprise Community Investment through a federal tax credit equity program. Grants from HUD-funded programs and USDA Rural Development were instrumental to the development, including support from NeighborWorks America, HOME and Community Development Block Grants (commonly known as CDBG). Support and financing also came from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Vermont Housing Finance Agency, Vermont Community Development Program, Efficiency Vermont, Vermont Gas, the Town of Shelburne and proceeds from state tax credit. SCHIP’s Treasure Shop, a resale shop in the center of Shelburne, made an early grant in support of the predevelopment costs of the project.

“The vacancy rate for rental housing in suburban Chittenden County is currently less than one percent,” said Housing Vermont President Nancy Owens. “Clearly, there are many families and seniors who are looking for quality apartments at affordable rents in good locations. Harrington Village directly responds to those needs and we expect that demand will be strong,” Owens said.

Wright & Morrissey Inc. is the general contractor for both the senior and family housing, and Duncan Wisniewski Architecture is the project’s architect. The combined cost of the two rental developments is approximately $20 million.