Funds available for community investment in affordable housing

PUTNEY — I am a Putney resident who wants more affordable housing - literally, in my backyard.

There's an alternative to billion-dollar corporations monopolizing Vermont affordable housing building another project in downtown Putney. Right now, the federal government (through Vermont Housing Improvement Program funds distributed by the Windham & Windsor Housing Trust) is offering property owners grants of $30,000 to $50,000 to build affordable housing.

These funds can be used to create in-laws or garage apartments and additions to homes, as long as the project serves those who qualify, like folks already living in current WWHT units or who meet the guidelines of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

The whole community benefits when we come together to share in the responsibility (and benefits) of becoming housing providers. Plus, according to the projected costs of the controversial downtown Putney proposal, community-driven small developments cost much less, put money back into the hands of local workers, are better for the environment, and have less negative impact on the town's infrastructure.

A great example of this is Bellows Falls, where over the last three-years, small, local developers have created affordable housing by employing local workers for a fraction of the cost.

These VHIP funds are available through 2025. Putney residents have already committed to building more than 25 integrated, affordable housing units in our community!

If people can truly believe in a “yes, in my backyard” approach, this is it.

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