Leahy Announces More Than $16 M. In Affordable Housing And Community Development Funds For Vermont

Senator Patrick Leahy announced Tuesday that Vermont will receive more than $16 million in new affordable housing and community development funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and NeighborWorks America. 

Earlier this year, as Vice Chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Leahy successfully negotiated a bipartisan deal to lift the budget caps on discretionary funding to allow Congress to fund the nation’s domestic priorities, including significant increases in infrastructure, community development, and affordable housing construction, rehabilitation and rental assistance programs for low-income individuals and families.  Under these newly negotiated caps, Leahy was able to secure significant increases in the 2018 Omnibus Appropriations Act, signed into law in March, including a $300 million increase for Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) and a $412 million increase for the HOME Investment Partnership Program.  Also included in the new appropriations was a provision to expand the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) – a  key tool for encouraging the development and rehabilitation of affordable housing.

Leahy said Vermont will receive approximately $7.6 million in CDBG funds, $3.5 million in grants from the HOME program, $3 million from the Housing Trust Fund (HTF), and more than $620,000 for Emergency Solutions Grants.  Vermont’s five NeighborWorks affiliates will receive a total of another $1.2 million to invest in affordable housing and development tailored to the needs of their respective communities. 

Leahy said:  “Affordable housing and community development are priorities for Vermonters and for communities across the nation.  Now is not the time to dial back these essential investments, as the Trump administration had proposed.  Those slashing cuts would have been short-sighted and risked losing progress we’ve already made toward providing housing options for all Vermonters and ending homelessness.  Rents continue to outpace wages in Vermont and across the country.  We’ve seen continued success of these programs in our communities going back decades, and we must ensure that progress continues for our future generations.  Congress made clear that we remain committed to affordable housing and community development by providing significant increases to these programs this year.

Leahy continued:  “While I’m pleased we were able to secure landmark and significant increases for these programs that have served Vermont so well, we must continue to fight for these priorities.  This administration continues to propose eliminating CDBG, HOME and NeighborWorks and diverting the Housing Trust Fund investments, year after year.  We must be vigilant to maintain and build our affordable housing stock for future generations.  It’s the good work of Vermont advocates, housing providers, and resident advocates that makes these programs a success.  We heard you, and we will fight for the essential funding that helps support your good work.”

Over the course of CDBG’s 44-year history, Vermont has received more than $407 million in CDBG funds to invest in rural infrastructure needs, leveraging more than $4 billion in additional investment.  The CDBG program is administered by the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development, as well as the City of Burlington’s Economic Development Office.  These entities support communities to identify and address local needs in the areas of housing, economic development, public facilities, public services and handicapped accessibility modifications.  The program is designed to predominantly benefit persons of low- and moderate-incomes.  To learn more about projects funded in recent years, visit HERE.

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