WATERBURY – August 26, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — Standing at the intersection of State Drive and Main Street, Gov. Peter Shumlin today congratulated the community of Waterbury on the opening of South Main Apartments and beginning construction of the Hunger Mountain Children’s Center. At the conclusion of the event, he handed keys to a family moving into one of the new affordable homes. The projects each were supported by $1 million grants of Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery funds from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development.
“As we approach the fourth anniversary of Tropical Storm Irene, it’s important to mark our progress,” said Gov. Shumlin. “These long term recovery projects are the result of years of hard work and are restoring much needed affordable housing and services for children and families.”
“Soon, in addition to South Main Apartments, the Children’s Center and other projects such as the state office complex and municipal building will be completed making it possible for people of all incomes to live, work and play in the heart of Waterbury,” added Jen Hollar, Deputy Commissioner of Housing and Community Development.
Formerly located at 123 Main Street, the Hunger Mountain Children’s Center has been at a temporary location since being flooded during Irene. With the CDBG-DR grant, bank financing and its own savings, HMCC has purchased and is renovating the 19th century historic buildings at 121 and 123 Main Street. The new facility will allow it to expand and care for up to 65 children compared to the current 45 and employ additional staff. The grant requires that half the schools’ enrollment be from low and moderate income families.
“Everyone is so eager for construction to begin. We’re planning our new classrooms and simply can’t wait to return to downtown Waterbury in a spot that’s convenient to where people live and work,” said Bethany Fuller, HMCC’s teaching director. “Our staff refers to it as our ‘forever home.’”
South Main Apartments, developed by Downstreet Housing and Community Development and Housing Vermont, provides 27 mixed income apartments. It is located in the former Ladd Hall office building at the Waterbury State Office Complex which suffered flood damage when water enter the building through an underground utility connection. The redevelopment converts Ladd Hall, originally constructed in the 1890’s, and adds a wing to house one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. Rents for 25 units will be affordable to households at 60% and 80% of area median income and two units will be rented without income restrictions. Other funding sources include the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, the federal HOME Program and private investor equity through state historic tax credits and federal housing tax credits administered by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency.
“The energy unleashed during Irene devastated Waterbury,” said Eileen Peltier, Downstreet’s Executive Director. “But we are here thanks to the outpouring of energy from this community and its supporters. Today, we are delighted to welcome residents to South Main Apartments.”
“This has been a complicated venture from the outset,” said Nancy Owens, President of Housing Vermont. “State government from the Governor on down was instrumental in helping us make this happen. We thank ACCD, the Department of Building and General Services, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board and the Vermont Housing Finance Agency for their support.”
The CDBG Disaster Recovery Grants are part of $40 million CDBG-DR funding secured by U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy and supported by Senator Bernie Sanders and U.S. Congressman Peter Welch in the federal budget process. The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and is administered by the state’s Department of Housing and Community Development of ACCD. The funds have helped towns across the state rebuild and become more resilient following Tropical Storm Irene and the spring floods of 2011.