Rental Housing Preservation Workshop for Vermont Non-profits: Developers to Focus on Redevelopment Opportunities and Strategies


Montpelier, VT – November 3, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — On Thursday, November 12 and Friday, November 13, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board will present a rental housing preservation workshop at the Best Western Inn of Waterbury for non-profit housing developers. The workshop is sponsored by the Chittenden Bank and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. Workshop participants will examine affordable housing developments in Vermont with expiring federal and private funding and consider policy, financing and project development strategies for successful redevelopment.

Vincent O’Donnell, V.P. of the national housing group LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) will present at the two-day workshop, along with Amy Wright, Director of Development for Cathedral Square Corporation.

Over the next decade, Vermont faces a potential loss of subsidized rental housing that will affect more than 7,000 households statewide. A $600,000 grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation awarded in February 2009 will boost the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board’s efforts to preserve affordable rental housing around the state by offering technical assistance and training workshops to non-profit developers, creating a standardized appraisal guide for subsidized properties, and assisting with the costs of energy efficiency and capital needs assessments for all preservation projects.

The MacArthur Foundation investment in Vermont is aimed at ensuring the preservation of between 50 and 75 percent of that affordable housing which is at risk due to expiring private and federal subsidies. In presenting VHCB with a $600,000 grant award in February, MacArthur Foundation President Jonathan Fanton said,

“Vermont’s creative efforts, including support services for the elderly living in subsidized rental housing and energy retrofitting of assisted properties will not only preserve affordable rental units, but also strengthen local communities and economies.”

Many of Vermont’s affordable rental developments were originally funded by federal programs including HUD Section 8 and USDA Rural Development, and with private Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity. These programs guaranteed affordability for a certain time period, often 15-20 years. Anticipating the potential loss of subsidy in these apartments, Vermont’s housing agencies are working together to refinance and convert the units to permanently affordable housing. Given the fact that it generally costs twice as much to build an affordable home as to preserve one, Vermont’s efforts to preserve affordable housing are critically important and serve as a model for other states throughout the country.

Registration is due by November 11. For more information contact Rick DeAngelis at 828-3526 or email: rick (at) vhcb (dot) org


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