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Windham & Windsor Housing Trust receives challenge grants

For more information about the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust and its programs, or to make a contribution to the TIE Fund, visit www.w-wht.org or call 802-254-4604.

BRATTLEBORO—The Windham & Windsor Housing Trust recently received three challenge grants from the Thomas Thompson Trust and two anonymous sources.

A nonprofit organization, the Trust creates renter and owner-occupied housing opportunities that serve the residents of Windham and Windsor counties who are least served by the prevailing market. The Housing Trust’s work has helped to revitalize neighborhoods, preserve historic properties, and enhance economic vitality throughout the region.

Connie Snow, the Trust’s founding executive director, retired in December. Friends of the organization established a fund in her honor to allow the Housing Trust to better navigate complex or time-sensitive transactions and to respond to unexpected opportunities.

When a real estate opportunity is identified, the Housing Trust spends several months studying the feasibility of the project. Once initial government and private funding is committed, there is a 12-16 month gap before funding is actually received.

During this time, the Trust is still doing pre-development work, such as completing environmental and engineering studies, consulting with lawyers and town officials, and coordinating with architects on building design. The cost for these can total $250,000-$500,000, much of which is provided temporarily by the Housing Trust.

The newly established “Timing is Everything: The Connie Snow Opportunity Fund” will be used in the early stages of developing a new Housing Trust project. All contributions to this fund will be held in a distinct account and used only for the project development period.

This fund will not be used for operating expenses and will be replenished at each project’s closing from the private and government funding sources.

Between now and Dec. 31, 2018, contributions to the TIE Fund will be matched dollar for dollar up to $200,000 by the Thomas Thompson Trust and two anonymous sources.

In her 30 years as executive director, Snow was always guided by the firm belief that nothing had greater capacity to promote the stability, health, and well-being of a community than providing affordable housing. These three grants honor that belief and challenge the community to preserve housing opportunities for those in need by making a contribution.

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Originally published in The Commons issue #456 (Wednesday, April 25, 2018).

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