Housing Trust to raise $4M for upgrades

Thursday April 11, 2013

BRATTLEBORO -- The Windham and Windsor Housing Trust is in the process of raising about $4 million to make major upgrades to 29 units at five different properties in Brattleboro and Wilmington.

WWHT recently was approved for $2.4 million in tax exempt bonds which will be administered by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency.

Improvements include energy efficiency upgrades at 24 Canal Street, 59 Frost Street, 66 Washington Street and 218 Elliot Street in Brattleboro and at 24 E. Main Street in Wilmington.

WWHT Executive Director Connie Snow said tenants probably will have to move out of their apartments during construction.

She said WWHT is still working on the rest of the financing, though work could start in the fall if all of the money can be raised.

Vermont Housing Finance Agency Director Sarah Carpenter said the $2.4 million that will go toward the project will help WWHT improve housing the organization has owned and managed for a number of years.

"These properties have never received energy upgrades and it has been a long time since they've received capital improvements," Carpenter said. "They came to us and said these were old and tired and were in need of improvements."

The VHFA money will be a construction loan which will be paid back to the state housing agency.

"A lot of the old buildings that were purchased in the 1990s never received energy efficiency upgrades," said Carpenter. "The energy upgrades will pay for themselves over time. They do a very good job at maintaining their houses, which helps out the neighborhoods where they are located. "

WWHT is going to group the five properties into a single project and rename it The Cobblestone Neighborhood Housing Project.

The public is allowed to comment on the housing bond. Comments can be sent to VHFA at www.vhfa.org.

Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at hwtisman@reformer.com, or 802-254-2311, ext. 279. You can follow him on Twitter @HowardReformer.


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