RUTLAND, VT – April 4, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — An affordable housing revolving loan program in West Rutland that provides Vermonters with services, technical assistance and loans to rehabilitate their homes will receive a $1 million grant from the state, Gov. Peter Shumlin announced today.
The West Rutland program was one of 10 Vermont Community Development Program grants totaling $2.4 million announced by Gov. Shumlin during an awards ceremony Monday at Forest Park in Rutland.
The grants are funded through the state Community Development Block Grant Program of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The U.S. House recently voted to cut the Community Development Block Program by 62 percent, which puts the program at risk of losing federal funding next year.
“The Vermont Community Development Program helps Vermonters by developing affordable housing, creating jobs, making town halls and community centers accessible, and providing services to those in need,” said Gov. Shumlin. “Our ability to help municipalities meet the unique needs of their communities, which is the hallmark of the grant program’s success, would be severely diminished if those in Washington have their way.”
The largest among the latest round of VCDP awards is a $1 million grant to NeighborWorks of Western Vermont in West Rutland. NeighborWorks provides low-interest loans to low and moderate income Vermont homeowners in Addison, Bennington and Rutland counties for repairs and upgrades. The organization recently expanded its reach into Addison and Bennington counties and is also focusing on energy efficiency improvements.
“NeighborWorks is the oldest and one of the most established and most successful regional, affordable housing revolving loan programs in the state,” said Gov. Shumlin. “Vermont has one of the highest homeownership rates in the nation, and we must continue to provide assistance to help our neighbors live in safe, decent and affordable housing.”
Other grants announced at the ceremony include $650,000 in funding to the Town of Bennington, the Regional Affordable Housing Corporation of Bennington and Housing Vermont to construct 14 new rental units and renovate 12 units of existing housing. Also, the Town of Chelsea and Safeline, a non-profit organization that provides free and confidential services to victims of domestic and sexual violence, have received $300,000 to purchase and renovate the building Safeline currently rents.
The Town of Waitsfield and the Central Vermont Community Land Trust were awarded $165,525 to rehabilitate the Verdmont Mobile Home Park. In addition, the Town of Bradford and the Central Vermont Community Land Trust were awarded $84,475 to rehabilitate the Whistlestop Mobile Home Park.
Other grant recipients include the Town of West Rutland, Town of Groton and the Village of Johnson for the Vermont Studio Center, which each received between $50,000 and $62,000 to help bring specific buildings into full compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Village of Saxtons River received $18,360 in grant funding to plan the Historic Mill Site Park, and the Villages of Orleans and Barton were awarded $40,000 to complete a feasibility study for a wood-biomass fueled electric plant.
“All of these municipalities and organizations are striving to help Vermonters improve their quality of life and build strong communities, which is our core mission” said Lawrence Miller, Secretary of the Agency of Commerce and Community Development. “Their vision and dedication is what helps make this grant program so successful.”
The Vermont Community Development Program money comes from the approximately $7 million Vermont receives annually in Community Development Block Grant funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, which must be used principally to benefit persons of low and moderate income. The awards leverage more than $14 million in other funds from private and public sources.
The state awards the competitive grants based on recommendations of the Vermont Community Development Board and approval of Secretary Miller.
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