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2011 Annual Report to the General Assembly - Vermont Housing ...

2011 Annual Report to the General Assembly - Vermont Housing ...


PROJECT AWARDS BY COUNTY 1987–2011 GRAND ISLE 48 units 3,257 acres FRANKLIN 522 units 34,690 acres ORLEANS 313 units 19,309 acres ESSEX 13 units 180,517 acres CHITTENDEN 3,291 units 14,178 acres LAMOILLE 201 units 16,234 acres WASHINGTON 776 units 11,288 acres CALEDONIA 388 units 5,663 acres ADDISON 682 units 47,730 acres ORANGE 344 units 10,561 acres RUTLAND 485 units 19,471 acres WINDSOR 1,200 units 11,049 acres BENNINGTON 367 units 5,468 acres WINDHAM 785 units 9,988 acres

January 31, 2012 Dear Governor Shumlin and Members of the General Assembly: photos courtesy of the Committee on Temporary Shelter, the Vermont Land Trust, and the Friends of Algiers Village, Inc. From top: With VHCB support, COTS and Housing Vermont completed housing with support services for veterans on Canal Street in Winooski; the Vermont Land Trust worked with the Town of Wells to conserve frontage on Lake St. Catherine, along with farmland sold to Rico and Jill Balzano; the Friends of Algiers Village, Inc. purchased and are renovating the historic Guilford Country Store, a community gathering spot. I am pleased to present this annual report detailing the public investments you have made in housing and conservation across the state of Vermont. Over the last 18 months, the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board committed funds for 778 homes and apartments, for conservation of 53 farms totaling 8,945 acres, for protection of 1,791 acres of natural areas and recreation lands, and for preservation of three historic sites. Your investments in these projects have provided economic stimulus, have created hundreds of jobs, and have improved Vermonters’ quality of life. In addition, your $18.2 million investment leveraged another $90 million in private equity, foundation funds, and federal grants for these projects. A fundamental element of vhcb’s work, as codified in Title 10, is “to consider the need for a timely response to unpredictable circumstances and special opportunities.” As the Executive Director of the Brattleboro Housing Authority, I know first-hand about unpredictable circumstances. I witnessed the devastation caused by Tropical Storm Irene in my community, where businesses suffered heavy damage and a number of residents were displaced from their homes. As we rebuild, we need to think carefully about flood prevention and flood resiliency. In the coming years, vhcb will focus on long-term investments in flood-proof affordable housing and land conservation along flood-prone waterways. At vhcb, the staff has been participating in a post-Irene Housing Task Force, conducting outreach, participating in community meetings, coordinating technical assistance for farmers, and working closely with the state’s network of nonprofit housing organizations. vhcb continues to support the capacity of these organizations, especially through home ownership centers, as they assist home owners affected by the flooding. The nonprofit network stands ready to aid our municipalities in their rebuilding efforts. vhcb conservation investments in farm and forest land along river corridors proactively address the challenges of climate change and promote flood resiliency. At the same time, these investments spur economic growth both in the agricultural sector and by encouraging outdoor recreation activities and promoting travel and tourism, maintaining Vermont’s rank as one of the world’s great tourist destinations. Housing investments in our town and village centers and in historic properties complete the comprehensive approach to community and economic development exemplified by the broad mission of the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board. An example of a multi-goal project this past year resulted in the conservation of a combination of farmland, forestland, and 2,000 feet of frontage on Lake St. Catherine when the Vermont Land Trust purchased and conserved the 300-acre Delaney Farm, a scenic property in the center of the town of Wells. With vhcb support, vlt sold the conserved farmland to a young couple, Rico and Jill Balzano, who will operate an orchard. The town purchased the balance of the conserved acreage to create a town forest

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