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Re-housing Recovery Program
Champlain Housing Trust is now accepting applications from Property Owners to rehab vacant and distressed apartments to increase available affordable rental housing, particularly for vulnerable and homeless households impacted by COVID-19. The funds are limited, and must be spent quickly: the due date for unit completion and occupancy is December 20, 2020.
- The Re-Housing Recovery Program offers grants up to $30,000 per unit for repairs needed to bring vacant rental units up to Vermont Rental Housing Health Code guidelines
- Maximum of 15 eligible units per landlord
- Property Owner is required to contribute at least a 10% match of the grant per unit
- Program requires Property Owners to work with the Continuum of Care to attempt to find suitable renters. Priority will be given to Landlords that re-house the homeless in these units
- Project scope may be reviewed and altered if the property is on or eligible for the State or National Historic Register. Additional compliance is required with the Vermont Rental Housing Code and local ordinances
- All affected units must be rented at or below HUD Fair Market Rents for the appropriate County for at least five years (published annually) and Landlord must sign a Housing Affordability Covenant outlining the agreement
Frequently Asked Questions
- 1. What is considered an eligible unit?
- An eligible unit would be an existing rental unit that is currently vacant. It could be an apartment, single family home, duplex, mobile home, or accessory apartment.
- 2. What type of rehab work can be done with these funds?
- There must be existing code violations or health and safety repairs that need to be addressed, for example: electrical/plumbing work, fire safety improvements, leaking roof, new heating system. However, there is flexibility to make additional upgrades if any funds remain after the necessary repairs are made.
- 3. Who determines the scope of work and selects the contractor?
- The property owner should apply with a basic idea of the work that needs to be completed to bring the unit in compliance with rental housing code. CHT will do a site visit to verify that the scope of work meets program guidelines, as well as any other items that may need to be addressed. The property owner must select the contractor.
- 4. What is the maximum grant amount?
- The maximum grant amount is up to $30,000 per unit. Property owners can apply for up to 15 eligible units.
- 5. How will units be selected for this program?
Units will be selected on a first-come first-serve basis, as long as the following requirements are met:
1. The property is not delinquent on any property taxes, mortgage payments, or has any other adverse lien(s) and/or is not in foreclosure.
2. The property owner must contribute a 10% match (up to $3,000 of his or her own funds)
3. Written agreement that the property owner will review applicants from the Continua of Care when the unit is ready to be leased up.
4. Written agreement that the property owner will agree to lease their rehabbed units at or below the HUD Fair Market rents for at least five years.
5. Units are vacant and eligible (see question 1)
6. The project is shovel ready and can reasonably be completed by 12/20/20. Verification and or a contract documenting that from your contractor would be helpful.
- 6. How much do I need to contribute? How will that be processed?
- Property owners are required to match at least 10% of their own funds. If the project is estimated at $20,000, a match of $2,000 is required. CHT asks that the property owner pay their funds first to the contractor (i.e. initial deposit) and provide CHT with a receipt.
- 7. When do I get paid? Do I need to submit receipts?
- After your initial 10% match contribution, you will be paid in progress payments. You can receive up to 25% at the start of the project, another 25% when the project is halfway completed, and 40% when construction is done. The final 10% will be paid when the unit is leased up.
- 8. What if there are multiple owners of a property?
- Please include contact information for all the property owners on the application. They all must agree to and sign a Housing Subsidy Covenant, which will be recorded in the land records.
- 9. What is the ongoing obligation/compliance for accepting this money?
- All owners must agree to sign a Housing Subsidy Covenant, which will require compliance with keeping rents at or below HUD Fair market rents. Each year, a landlord certificate (Vermont Tax Form LC-142) must be sent to the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development.
- 10. What are the HUD Fair Market Rents in Chittenden/Franklin/Grand Isle Counties?
They usually change once a year, but the current rental limits are:
Apartment Size Maximum Rent Studio Apartment: $1,030 1 Bedroom: $1,223 2 Bedroom: $1,573 3 Bedroom: $1,974 4 Bedroom: $2,131
- 11. Why is the completion date December 20, 2020?
- It’s a provision of the CARES Act funding that Vermont got from the Federal Government in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Unfortunately, CHT has no control over this deadline and we understand the challenges associated with it.
- 12. What is the deadline for construction? What is the deadline for occupying the unit?
- Unit should be completed construction and ready for occupancy by 12/20/2020. A lease should be signed by that date as well.
- 13. What happens if I don’t meet those deadlines?
- If construction is not completed by the deadline, you will forfeit the undisbursed remainder of the grant funds, and may incur a penalty.
- 14. What is the Continuum of Care/Coordinated Entry Program?
- This is a statewide effort to help end homelessness in Vermont. Each community has a lead agency (Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity in our area – cvoeo.org) where there is a coordinated entry system to connect homeless households with housing and services. By enrolling your unit in this program, it is required that you review at least three referrals from the Continuum of Care to fill these rehabbed units. However, you can maintain your usual qualifications in screening these applicants.
- 15. Do I still get to select my own tenants?
- Yes, you are allowed to maintain your standard qualifying factors in selecting tenants. However, CHT asks that you accept the Vermont Common Rental Application, as well as review at least three referrals of homeless families that are connected to the services offered by the Continuum of Care to help connect them to these vacant units.
Application Deadline September 21, 2020
This program is made possible through funding from the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development and the CARES ACT.