02.27.09

Vermont Congressional Delegation Commends Obama Administration For Prompt Release Of First Funds To Vermont Under The Economic Recovery Act

$14.4 M. For Housing And Community Development

(FRIDAY, Feb. 27, 2009) -- Senator Patrick Leahy, Senator Bernie Sanders and Congressman Peter Welch Friday praised the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) for its swift action in releasing the first official funding to Vermont under the newly enacted economic recovery act. 

Four grants for community development and to improve the availability of affordable housing, totaling $14.4 million, are the first Vermont grants to flow to Vermont under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which the President signed on February 17.  The funds are directed to both state and local agencies through the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program, the Homeless Prevention Program Fund, the Capital Fund Formula Program and the Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) Assistance Fund. 

Leahy said, “The economic recovery plan was designed to be timely, targeted and effective.  These grants and the swift work in putting these funds into service lives up to those goals.  These grants are investments in affordable housing and preventing homelessness, which are two of the most wrenching problems created by the housing and economic crisis.”

Sanders said, “This funding couldn’t come at a better time.  It will go a long way toward addressing the affordable housing crisis and improving communities and towns throughout Vermont.”

Welch said, “With these funds, struggling Vermonters will begin to receive the assistance they desperately need. I am relieved that just weeks after Congress passed the economic recovery bill, Vermont communities are being given the tools they need to fight homelessness and improve affordable housing.”

The Delegation released this summary of the HUD grants:

  • A total of $2.2 million in CDBG grants are directed by formula to the State of Vermont and the City of Burlington to help meet the needs of low-income communities.   CDBG dollars support housing rehabilitation, support services, public improvements and economic development projects.  Both the statewide funds and those allocated to Burlington will be distributed competitively.
  • $3.39 million in Homelessness Prevention Grant funds will provide assistance to help prevent individuals and families from becoming homeless and to quickly re-house those who are homeless.  These funds will be targeted to help individuals and families who would be homeless but for this assistance. 
  • $3.37 million through the Capital Fund Formula Program will be used to provide funds to public housing agencies to modernize and develop public housing.  In Vermont the following housing authorities will receive funding:  Barre, Bennington, Brattleboro, Burlington, Montpelier, Rutland, Springfield and Winooski.
  • $5.4 million in LIHTC funds will be distributed to the Vermont Housing Finance Agency to invest in projects that were previously awarded credits.  These funds are intended to address the instability in the LIHTC equity market, which has prevented affordable housing construction projects from moving forward.

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