Housing Coalition to host Landlord Summit

BRATTLEBORO — The Housing Coalition of Southeastern Vermont will host a free, virtual Landlord Summit to educate residential property owners about available financial resources and new housing policies related to the pandemic, particularly new opportunities connected with the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA), which took effect in March.

These resources include mortgage assistance, rental assistance, and an anticipated second round of the grants for rental property rehabilitation.

The summit will also include an update from Brattleboro municipal personnel on recent changes to zoning policies designed to promote development of new rental units.

“We know that property owners and tenants alike continue to struggle from the financial impacts of the pandemic,” Joshua Davis, coalition co-chair and executive director of Groundworks Collaborative, said in a news release. “We want to get critical information out to landlords that can help them stabilize their finances while also avoiding the eviction process [for tenants].”

In addition to other local program administrators, summit presenters will include Shaun Gilpin, housing program administrator of Vermont's Agency of Housing and Community Development; Sue Fillion, Brattleboro planning director; and Tyler Maas, accessory dwelling unit manager at the Vermont State Housing Authority.

The event will also feature Brattleboro property owner George Perides, who will share his successful experience with the Vermont Re-Housing Recovery Program, which can fund apartment repairs for up to $30,000 per unit, according to the website of the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust.

Attendees will also be able to ask state, town, and housing nonprofit representatives about these programs.

Davis pointed out “the state's creativity in using ARPA funds to increase the size and quality of Vermont's housing stock.”

“Our housing shortage is a crisis and these programs represent a great opportunity for property owners to get more involved in helping address the shortage,” he noted.

The Housing Coalition of Southeastern Vermont works to address and prevent homelessness in Athens, Brattleboro, Brookline, Dummerston, Dover, Guilford, Halifax, Jamaica, Marlboro, Newfane, Putney, Somerset, Stratton, Townshend, Vernon, Wardsboro, Westminster, Whitingham, and Wilmington.

The Coalition meets on the second Tuesday of each month from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Zoom.

Membership is open to nonprofits, towns, civic organizations, and businesses. Guests are welcome at meetings.

For more information, or to get in touch with the coalition, contact Sue Graff, state Agency of Human Services field services director, at [email protected].

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