Waterbury Recovery Efforts Get a Boost with $1 Million VHCB Grant Award


27 New Apartments Planned for Ladd Hall on South Main Street in Waterbury

WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 30, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — On Thursday, January 24, the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board approved awards of $625,000 in VHCB funding and $455,000 in federal HOME Program funds to the Central Vermont Community Land Trust and Housing Vermont for the acquisition and reconfiguration of Ladd Hall on South Main Street in Waterbury to create 27 new, affordable apartments.

Ladd Hall was originally constructed in the 1890s. A wing was added in the 1950s to provide a dormitory for nurses employed at the State Hospital. The building was later converted to state offices. When Tropical Storm Irene hit in August of 2011, water entered the basement via heating system tunnels connected to other state buildings. Since that time, the building has been vacant.

Vermont State Representative Rebecca Ellis, who serves as vice chair of the Waterbury Select Board and chairs the Waterbury Long-Term Community Recovery Steering Committee, said, “Tropical Storm Irene starkly highlighted the need for affordable housing in the Waterbury area. In our post-flood planning process, Waterbury residents ranked affordable housing among their top priorities for future flood resiliency. I am incredibly pleased that CVCLT and Housing Vermont, working in partnership with the state and local governments, have identified a location that will both enhance Waterbury’s walking downtown and preserve a historic building. The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board’s support is critical to the success of this important project.”

Waterbury was hit hard by Tropical Storm Irene, and more than 200 homes were damaged or lost, putting more pressure on an already tight housing market. Even before the storm, there was a low vacancy rate for rentals and a need for more affordable housing in town. The community group Revitalizing Waterbury, and the non-profit housing developers CVCLT and Housing Vermont have previously developed new affordable housing in the area. The Stimson Graves block, developed in 1993 and rehabilitated in 2010 to increase energy efficiency, is on Stowe Street in Waterbury and houses the senior center, commercial space and 14 apartments for seniors on the upper floors. In 2000, CVCLT developed 14 family apartments at the Seminary Apartments in Waterbury Center.

Christine Hart, VHCB Chair, said, “VHCB is pleased to support this important project with its downtown location and a day care center next door. It complements other flood mitigation work we are involved in, such as replacement units for public housing lost in Brattleboro and $2 million in matching funds for a FEMA program that will conserve land under destroyed homes that need to be rebuilt out of the flood plain.

The 1890s building will be converted into two 3-bedroom apartments on the first and second floors and a one-bedroom loft on the third floor. The historic staircase at the front entrance will remain and each apartment will have a front entrance as well as a rear entrance leading to the elevator. The 1950s wing will be demolished and replaced by a three-story addition with 23 apartments. The entrance lobby, which has direct access to the parking lot in the rear of the building, will also have an elevator and community space. A door from the community space will lead to an outdoor terrace for use by the residents. Common laundry rooms will be provided on the 2nd and 3rd floors.

The new construction portion will be energy efficient with a new heating system to serve the entire building and with the capability to connect to a district heat system. Solar domestic hot water will also be part of the heating system. Once completed, Ladd Hall will offer thirteen 1-bedroom, eleven 2-bedroom, and two 3-bedroom apartments. Construction could start as early as the fall of 2013 and the new apartments will be ready for occupancy by the fall of 2014.

“This redevelopment project is an incredible outcome after experiencing the negative effects of Tropical Storm Irene. Adding more residential capacity in our downtown will only help make us more vibrant,” said State Representative Tom Stevens.

Nancy Owens, President of Housing Vermont, said, “The residents of Waterbury demonstrated the best qualities of Vermonters as they reacted so quickly to the devastation from Tropical Storm Irene. The reconstruction of Ladd Hall will advance Waterbury’s recovery. We appreciate VHCB’s support and look forward to working with CVCLT to make Ladd Hall a contributing resource to a vibrant downtown.”

The Vermont Housing & Conservation Board makes loans and grants for the creation of permanently affordable housing and for the conservation of Vermont’s agricultural and recreational land, natural areas and historic properties. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, VHCB has awarded funds for the creation of more than 10,000 affordable homes, the conservation of 594 farms, nearly 400,000 acres of land and 57 historic buildings restored for community use. www.vhcb.org

Housing Vermont is a private, nonprofit development company founded in 1988 to produce permanently affordable rental housing for Vermonters through partnerships with communities and the private sector.
Since its inception, Housing Vermont has raised more than $255 million in private equity to finance 155 affordable rental housing developments throughout the State. This equity has leveraged an additional $352 million in private financing and public investment. The 4,700 apartments created or renovated in these efforts serve low and moderate income Vermonters including seniors and those with special needs. Many developments also include commercial space. www.housingvermont.org

The Central Vermont Community Land Trust addresses the shortage of affordable housing and the housing affordability gap for low- and moderate-income residents by developing rental housing, single-family homes, and ownership within mobile home parks. Their NeighborWorks® Homeownership Center delivers comprehensive services to homebuyers. The HomeOwnership Center also manages a Property Rehabilitation loan fund and provides property management services for CVCLT-owned rental housing and mobile home parks and for some units developed by other entities. www.cvclt.org


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