Revitalizing downtown with affordable housing

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BRATTLEBORO — Windham & Windsor Housing Trust will celebrate its new downtown development at 29 Flat St., otherwise known as the Snow Block, Tuesday from 4 to 6 p.m. The new apartment building will create 23 new homes ranging from studio to two-bedroom apartments, with the goal of revitalizing a portion of the downtown area.

Funding for the project includes monies from the state's Housing for All Revenue Bond (HRB), which was passed into law in 2017.

"The Snow Block, located in downtown Brattleboro, has met a housing need that continues to grow throughout Vermont," said Gov. Phil Scott in a statement. "And with both millennials and our aging populations looking to live in walkable communities close to shopping and access to public transportation, having housing they can afford in vibrant downtowns is critical. I'm so pleased our housing bond is making that possible in Brattleboro and in our downtowns across Vermont."

Funding totaling over $7 million from numerous sources was raised to cover the total development costs. Almost $5 million came through Housing Tax Credits administered by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) and purchased by People's United Bank.

"The Snow Block is the latest example of Windham & Windsor Housing Trust's vision of a vibrant downtown Brattleboro where everyone in the community can afford their housing," said VHFA Executive Director Maura Collins. "This building will strengthen the health, connections, and financial stability of residents today and well into the future."

"People's United Bank is pleased to have been a major investor in the Snow Block and we are thrilled with our long term relationship with Windham & Windsor Housing Trust, said People's United Bank Vice-President and CRA Officer Art Casavant. "This important project reflects the power harnessed in Vermont in support of low and moderate income communities and we look forward to the occupancy of this vibrant new housing space."

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The Vermont Housing & Conservation Board committed $1,538,000 in proceeds from HRB to the development, as well as $490,000 in federal HOME Program funds, and $292,178 in federal National Housing Trust funds.

Additional funders include NeighborWorks America, Efficiency Vermont, and the Windham Regional Commission.

The Snow Block will provide housing options for a cross section of the community with some apartment income limits set as high as $55,188 for a single person or $63,072 for a two-person household. Other apartments will be paired with a rental voucher making it affordable to those with more modest incomes. Four of the apartment will be occupied by Youth Services clients with an opportunity to have services available on site.

"We are delighted by our partnership with Youth Services at the Snow Block," said Executive Director Elizabeth Bridgewater. "Young people often have the hardest time getting their first apartment and the Snow Block will provide a home and support at a critical point in a young person's life to set them up for success now and in the future."

The project's design and development team include Stevens & Associates, PC, John F. Penney Consulting Engineers, Dubois & King, Inc, Eco Houses of Vermont, and JD Kantor. ReArch Construction has overseen construction management services for the project.

For information about any of WWHT's apartments or to learn how to apply for housing, call 802-254-4604.


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