State-Local Investment Initiative to Benefit Rutland County

02 November 2016

RUTLAND Vt.—State and local leaders today announced a major financial boost to
improve housing stock in Rutland county. State Treasurer Beth Pearce was joined by Rutland
Mayor Chris Louras and Ludy Biddle of NeighborWorks of Western Vermont in announcing the
availability of $1.75 million in lending capital for home rehabilitation loans and home purchasing
assistance financing.

The funding of local investments is part of an ongoing process managed through the State
Treasurer’s Office. The local investments initiative aims to invest a significant portion of Vermont’s
short-term operating funds in Vermont communities, while earning a competitive rate of return. The
initiative redirects funds that were invested primarily in out-of-state government agency securities
and money market accounts at large financial institutions to local investments. The Treasurer’s
office has invested approximately $30 million since 2014 in energy improvements in residential
housing, commercial energy projects, and in the rehabilitation of State office buildings for energy
efficiencies.

“For low and moderate income families, a home purchase and the equity built in that home,
represents one of their largest financial investments. This proposal from NeighborWorks of Western
Vermont will strengthen an existing housing and lending program that is helping people become
homeowners and make efficiency improvements to their property,” said State Treasurer Beth
Pearce. “It is a local investment that addresses a very real need for affordable and sustainable
housing.”

The NeighborWorks proposal aims to accomplish three main objectives within the next
year:

Make an estimated $500,000 in home rehabilitation loans to help no fewer than 30 low-and
moderate-income homeowners, and homeowners living in distressed neighborhoods, to
improve their properties and address health, safety, and energy efficiency needs;

Provide $750,000 in home purchasing assistance financing to help 50 first-time homebuyers
purchase a home; and

Revitalize distressed neighborhoods in Rutland and other area towns by providing $500,000
in rehabilitation and refinance loans to small, local responsible landlords who own 2-6 unit
residential or small mixed-use properties in these neighborhoods.

“Low-and-moderate-income households often lack the income to qualify for market-rate
financing and often lack credit scores to qualify for such financing,” said NeighborWorks Executive
Director Ludy Biddle. “This investment from the State Treasury will make it possible for
Vermonters to buy or fix up a home during a time when interest rates are low and pent-up demand
is high.”

The NeighborWorks initiative cites a decline in home values in their service area as
contributing to the difficulty some homeowners face when applying for a conventional home repair
loan. As the owner’s home equity declines, it is more difficult to qualify for or afford conventional
financing. Landlord rehab loans may also be difficult to obtain for small investor owners who want
to make improvements to properties located within a distressed neighborhood.

“The Rutland region is an exceptional place to live and work. Programs like this particularly
bolster our efforts to encourage residents to feel pride in their neighborhoods and build a stronger
sense of community,” said Rutland Mayor Chris Louras. “Giving residents the financial tools they
need to buy and fix up their homes creates a positive momentum toward rebuilding distressed
neighborhoods.”

In 2014, the Vermont State Legislature passed a law that established a Local Investment
Advisory Committee, or LIAC, to provide input to the State Treasurer. The NeighborWorks project
was funded following a formal solicitation process by LIAC earlier this year seeking proposals.
Future awards across the state are anticipated. A new round of proposal solicitation is slated to open
in December. More information on the NeighborWorks of Western Vermont housing and lending
program is available by going to www.nwwvt.org or by calling (802) 438-2303.

Other examples of Treasurer Pearce’s commitment to supporting local investments include
investments in the Vermont Community Loan Fund and the Bank in Vermont program. Through
Bank in Vermont, the Treasurer’s office gives community banks the opportunity to invest State
funds through a certificate of deposit program that in turn earns a competitive return on those
investments.

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Office of the State Treasurer
109 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont 05609

Main Phone: (802) 828-2301
Toll Free: (800) 253-0191
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