Treasurer Pieciak and VHFA Announce Housing Investments Made Through 10% in VT Program | Office of the State Treasurer Skip to main content

Treasurer Pieciak and VHFA Announce Housing Investments Made Through 10% in VT Program

April 1, 2024

St. Albans, VT - State Treasurer Mike Pieciak and Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) Executive Director Maura Collins joined local stakeholders today to announce housing investments made through the Treasurer’s 10% in VT local investment program.  

The $50 million loan awarded to VHFA in September 2023 will help fund a spectrum of housing initiatives including deeply and perpetually affordable rental housing, housing for Vermonters exiting homelessness, manufactured home communities, homeownership, and middle-income rental units in Vermont’s economic centers. The funding is often the missing piece enabling projects to be feasible. 

With 75% of the funds allocated, the investments will support the development of 843 homes in 12 cities and towns throughout the state, including 189 deeply affordable apartments, 420 manufactured homes, 197 mixed-income homes, and 37 owner homes. 

The announcement took place at the Fonda Site in St. Albans, a former paper manufacturing facility that is being revitalized to support 120 new rental units catering to diverse income levels and housing needs. The projects will bolster the St. Albans’ future downtown development. Concerning St. Albans’ role, City Manager Dominic Cloud says, “Direct participation in the development process allows communities to overcome market failures and achieve the goals that their planning documents envision.”  

Treasurer Pieciak emphasized housing development as central to supporting Vermont’s economic future. “Addressing our housing shortage is critical to keeping Vermont’s economy on a positive track. Through the 10% in VT program, we are leveraging Vermont’s strong finances to support new housing projects and help make housing more affordable and available. From growing Vermont’s workforce to supporting individuals transitioning out of homelessness, Vermonters will reap the economic and social benefits of these investments for decades to come.” 

Maura Collins, Executive Director of VHFA, said. “Vermont is a national leader in creatively using the state’s deposits to make low-interest rate loans to housing developments. Lending the money short term to move much-needed housing development projects forward will spark private investment in our downtowns. VHFA is proud to bring 50 years of mission-based lending experience to help the state implement this program and expand opportunities in Vermont communities.” 

The 10% in VT program allows the Treasurer’s Office to invest up to 10% of the state’s cash on hand in economic development and job creation projects through low interest loans. The state’s average daily cash balance has grown substantially in recent years, allowing the Treasurer’s Office to significantly increase the amount available for investment.  

The $50 million loan to VHFA will help fund a variety of housing initiatives, specifically: 

  • $14 million for traditional affordable housing, including first lien mortgages, gap loans, and construction financing for rental projects with units serving households at or below 60% of Area Median Income. Projects also include units for Vermonters exiting homelessness. 

  • $14-20 million for priority economic development projects, supporting households between 65%-120% of Area Median Income that demonstrate broader economic impact, support of municipal infrastructure, or partnerships with employers. 

  • $6 million for small and emerging developers of smaller or infill housing developments, common in rural areas of the state. By supporting more types of housing developers, this investment will expand the state's long-term capacity for creating much-needed housing. Programming also will focus on emerging BIPOC developers. 

  • $6.5 million towards homeownership development, including subsidized loans and site infrastructure improvements (such as water, sewer, and sidewalks) through the Middle-Income Homeownership Development Program. 

  • $6.5 million for manufactured housing communities, focusing on cooperatively and non-profit owned communities by providing much-needed below market-rate loans. 

Kim Fitzgerald, CEO of Cathedral Square, said the Reid Commons project, located within the Fonda Site, will help ensure older residents in St. Albans have access to affordable housing where their needs are met. "We are thrilled to start construction soon on Reid Commons, which will bring 33 new affordable homes to those 55 and older in St. Albans. Our older adult population is growing, and there is a significant need for affordable, safe, accessible housing with on-site services. Programs like the 10% for Vermont program are an important piece in helping us deliver permanently affordable housing like Reid Commons." 

Peter Wright, CEO of Northwestern Medical Center, highlighted the impact that Vermont’s housing shortage has had on recruiting new employees. "In healthcare, our biggest hurdle isn't technology or resources; it's people. Without available housing, recruiting and retaining staff becomes a struggle. We can't serve our community effectively if our workforce can't afford to live here. This issue affects everyone, regardless of income. We commend the collaborative efforts of VHFA and the Treasurer’s Office in creating innovative solutions to tackle the housing crisis, ensuring our healthcare institutions can operate at their best." 

Milton Manufactured Home Cooperative Development Consultant, Liz Curry said the funds come at a critical time for the Co-op. Their original 3 mortgage loans were all due this month at a 5.25% interest rate that would have increased if not for the 10% in VT program. “Refinancing the Co-op's mortgage debt at the program’s rate of 3% means an annual savings of over $30,000,” said Curry. “This will allow the park to stabilize its lot rents and avoid increases that create heavy financial burdens for many park residents who live on fixed incomes with no financial cushion. The funds will also give the park additional liquidity to reinvest in infrastructure projects that significantly improve the quality of life for the community and make it more resilient against climate change." 

Additional awards under the 10% in VT program will be considered on a rolling basis. The application process and timeline for deployment of these funds varies by the proposed use and housing type. Applicants can find more information here