Governor Douglas Announces $1.6 Million in Grant Awards

Governor Douglas Announces $1.6 Million in Grant Awards

Five Communities To Receive Funds For Housing, Economic Development Projects

LYNDONVILLE, Vt. – December 17, 2008 – (RealEstateRama) – Governor Jim Douglas has announced the award of more than $1.6 million in community development grants to five communities that will help low-income Vermonters lower their energy costs; rehabilitate existing housing; and lay the groundwork for future job creation.

At a ceremony at the site of a Lyndonville home that is being renovated and weatherized with assistance from the Gilman Housing Trust in Tuesday, the governor announced that the Vermont Community Development Program would present two awards totaling more than $821,000 to the town of Lyndonville.

“These funds will assist the Gilman Housing Trust in its efforts to help not only residents of Lyndonville, but of the entire Northeast Kingdom,” Governor Douglas said. “Helping needy Vermonters weatherize their homes saves energy, and can help keep them in their homes in these difficult times.”

In addition to providing low-interest loans to owners for rehabilitation or handicapped access modification, the money will also be used to provide counseling services for homebuyers before and after purchase, including delinquency and foreclosure prevention.

“By helping Vermonters stay in their homes, we prevent homelessness and the costs associated with it,” Governor Douglas said. “These costs are not only monetary, but human. And we can relieve some of the pressure on homeless shelters and other service providers, which are already feeling the strain.”

A similar grant of $750,000 will go to the Town of West Rutland and be passed through to NeighborWorks of Western Vermont to provide the same services in Rutland, Bennington, and Addison Counties.

“NeighborWorks has a terrific track record of helping needy Vermonters in this area get and keep housing,” Douglas said. “We are pleased to partner with them in this important work.”

In addition, the City of Rutland will receive an $18,000 planning grant to help develop a Vermont Innovation Kitchen in the Rutland area that would provide incubator space for small, start-up food companies. Vermont Innovation Kitchens will provide space for entrepreneurs who don’t yet have the capital to fit-up or construct their own facility. These grants can be for up to $750,000.

In addition to commercial kitchen space, clients would be able to access technical expertise and learn everything from food safety to food inspection as well as traditional business practices.

Other Vermont Community Development Program planning grants include $30,000 to the Town of Bennington to develop a feasibility plan for the design and construction of a new community center and up to 3 additional units of housing at Applegate Apartments in Bennington.

“This project, which is owned by Applegate Housing, Inc. in partnership with Housing Vermont, provides 104 units of mixed income family housing,” Douglas said. “These are important to the town of Bennington.”

Finally, the Town of Killington will receive a $25,000 grant to conduct a preliminary feasibility study of the development of an events center there.

“Killington’s new Economic Development Director, Carl Spangler, has been heavily involved in this exciting proposal to create jobs by developing a world-class performance event center,” Douglas said. “We are pleased to support this effort.”

He also praised the dedication of the staff at the Department of Housing and Community Affairs who work in the Vermont Community Development Program.

“These grants will leverage more than $7 million in other resources and help address critical needs in these communities,” Douglas said. “Our staff is extremely experienced at administering this program, and that’s why I’m pleased we will be using their skills to administer the roughly $19 million in Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds we expect to receive.”

The Vermont Agency of Commerce and Community Development awards the competitive grants, based on recommendations of the Vermont Community Development Board and approval of Secretary Kevin Dorn.

For information about the Vermont Community Development Program, please see the Agency of Commerce and Community Development website at: http://www.dhca.state.vt.us/VCDP/index.htm

2008 Cycle I Awards

Implementation Grants

Town of Lyndon: $721,540 subgrant to Gilman Housing Trust to deliver the Northeast Kingdom Housing Rehab Revolving Loan Fund, a three-county housing rehabilitation revolving loan fund, housing services and counseling program. The program will provide loans for single and two-family owner-occupied housing rehabilitation, home access modification, and housing counseling services for pre- and post-purchase, delinquency and foreclosure prevention.

Town of Lyndon: $100,000 subgrant to Gilman Housing Trust to enhance the Northeast Kingdom Housing Rehab Revolving Loan Fund by providing special funding for energy efficiency and weatherization improvements to income eligible households.

Town of West Rutland: $750,000 subgrant to NeighborWorks of Western Vermont to deliver the Scattered Site Rehab Loan Fund, a three-county housing rehabilitation revolving loan fund, housing services and counseling program. The program will provide loans for single and multi-family owner-occupied housing rehabilitation, home access modification, lead abatement, and housing counseling services for pre- and post-purchase, delinquency and foreclosure prevention.

Implementation Grant Total $1,571,540

Town of Bennington: $30,000 grant to develop an architectural/financial feasibility plan for the design and construction of a new community center and up to 3 additional units of housing at Applegate Housing in Bennington.

Town of Killington: $25,000 grant to conduct a preliminary feasibility study of the development of an events center to stimulate the local and regional economy and provide year round jobs to low and moderate income persons.

City of Rutland: $18,000 grant to plan for a regional food Vermont Innovation Kitchen in the Rutland area that will provide a facility to process, store, and package locally grown and produced food.

Planning Grant Total $73,000

Grand Total $1,644,540

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