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Congressional Delegation Announces $2 Million Grant for Vermont Affordable Housing

September 23, 2016
Press Release

BURLINGTON, Vt., Sept. 23 – The Vermont congressional delegation announced Friday a $2 million grant to Housing Vermont to help provide affordable housing to low-income families in the state.

“While the economy has certainly improved since the Great Recession, far too many people in Vermont and across the country are still struggling to get by on stagnant wages.  Many pay 50 percent or more of their limited incomes to keep a roof over their heads, leaving little for food, childcare, transportation and health care,” said Sens. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Rep. Peter Welch (D-Vt.) “These funds will help get us a little closer to the day when all Vermonters have safe, decent and affordable housing.”

Housing Vermont is a Burlington-based nonprofit founded in 1988, which creates permanently affordable rental housing and enables investments in economic and community development to benefit Vermonters through partnerships with local organizations, public agencies and the private sector. Housing Vermont has built 5,120 affordable apartments in 171 developments throughout the state.

“We are excited to get these federal funds to Vermont. This $2 million will strengthen our ability to build more affordable housing,” said Nancy Owens, president of Housing Vermont. “There is a tremendous shortage of affordable housing in Vermont. These funds will really help us serve our mission by helping low-income Vermonters in high-need communities secure affordable housing.”

The funds announced by the delegation today are part of $91.5 million in grants from the U.S. Treasury's Community Development Financial Institutions Fund, which were awarded to 32 organizations throughout the United States for the development of affordable housing and community facilities in low-income communities. The awards were made through the fiscal year 2016 round of the Capital Magnet Fund.

The Capital Magnet Fund was part of the same legislation that created the National Housing Trust Fund. Sanders led the 15-year effort to pass the National Housing Trust Fund and Leahy led the effort to ensure the Capital Magnet Fund was enacted in 2008. Vermont is receiving $3 million from the National Housing Trust Fund to build, preserve, and rehabilitate affordable rental housing.

Affordable housing is a high priority in Vermont. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro visited Vermont this month at Leahy’s invitation to spend time with Vermont’s housing partners to discuss the array of successes and challenges of achieving affordable housing in Vermont and rural America.  

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