The Champlain Housing Trust announced today that they have come to an agreement with a Vermont philanthropist and community leader to develop 100 new homes in Hinesburg. Jan Blomstrann, the former owner of NRG Systems, will donate approximately 46 acres south of the Champlain Valley Union High School to support the development of affordable, sustainable, and inclusive housing close to the town center. Earlier charitable donations by Ms. Blomstrann helped secure public bus service for Hinesburg and other Route 116 towns and establish a permanent location for the Hinesburg Community Resource Center.
Individuals and families in Hinesburg, especially those of low and moderate incomes, face significant hurdles for affordable homeownership. According to Realtor.com, there are currently only two homes for sale in Hinesburg, with both offered for over $400,000. This mirrors a broader trend: the reported median home sale in December 2021 was $446,000 in Chittenden County – an increase of 8.8% in the last year alone.
Champlain Housing Trust is partnering with Sterling Construction and Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity. Program design includes these anticipated elements:
- Of approximately 100 homes, 60% will be perpetually affordable to households earning less than 100% of area median income (approximately $86,400 for a family of three) through Champlain Housing Trust’s Shared Equity program.
- One-third of these permanently affordable homes, or roughly 20, will be more deeply affordable through a partnership with Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity and their model of sweat equity and volunteer labor.
- Sterling Construction will construct 40% of the homes for sale at market value in a range of styles including modest “starter homes” as well as higher-value single family homes.
- All of the homes will be built to high energy efficiency standards and will maximize the use of alternative energy sources.
- The neighborhood will include playgrounds and other recreation opportunities including walking trails and sledding hills.
“I had the great fortune of working with the town of Hinesburg and its people for more than three decades with NRG Systems,” said Ms. Blomstrann. “The development partners, led by the Champlain Housing Trust, have the track record and expertise to implement this plan. I look forward to the generations of families that will have the profound opportunity to benefit from homeownership. I urge town and state regulators, along with the array of funders needed, to make this new neighborhood a reality.”
“I cannot express our appreciation to Jan deeply enough,” said Michael Monte, CEO of the Champlain Housing Trust. “This project is consistent with Hinesburg’s plan for village growth and is critically needed to support working families and the Vermont economy. This will be a model project that I hope will inspire other communities across our region and state to prioritize affordable housing development when Vermonters’ need is so great.”
This spring, the partners will work together on the design of the new neighborhood. In June, the partners will engage the community, including initiating the local permitting process and reaching out to the Hinesburg Affordable Housing Committee.
The first homes should be ready to purchase in the summer of 2024, with the full build-out completed by 2026.