Sen. Patrick Leahy (D), Sen. Bernie Sanders (I) and Rep. Peter Welch (D) Monday announced that NeighborWorks will be awarding $427,230 in federal funds to help inform Vermonters about homeownership and to preserve and develop affordable rental housing. This first round of 2013 grants allocates federal budget funds for the first half of the fiscal year.
NeighborWorks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to improving distressed communities. The NeighborWorks America program is awarding five competitive federal grants to Vermont's NeighborWorks affiliates:
Central Vermont Community Land Trust -- $84,600
(Serving Washington, Lamoille, Orange Counties)
Champlain Housing Trust -- $92,355
(Serving Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle Counties)
Gilman Housing Trust -- $81,075
(Serving Caledonian, Essex and Orleans Counties)
NeighborWorks of Western Vermont -- $88,125
(Serving Addison, Bennington and Rutland Counties)
Windham & Windsor Housing Trust -- $81,075
(Serving Windham and Windsor Counties)
Leahy said, "Vermont's NeighborWorks affiliates do some of the most significant work being done to create jobs and stabilizing struggling communities, while making sustained investments in affordable housing. They leverage these grants to build new units, rehabilitate old ones, manage properties and offer crucial housing counseling across Vermont. These are vital ingredients in strengthening local economies." Leahy, the most senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee and of its transportation and housing subcommittee, which handles NeighborWorks' budget, helped create Vermont's first NeighborWorks organization in 1993 through a grant to Rutland West NHS, currently NeighborWorks of Western Vermont. Since then he has led in continuing NeighborWorks funding in annual budget bills.
Sanders said, "NeighborWorks organizations in Vermont have excellent track records revitalizing neighborhoods, investing in affordable rental housing and improving energy efficiency through weatherization."
"This is great news," Welch said. "NeighborWorks and their affiliates are providing a much-needed helping hand to Vermonters in need. I'm pleased they will be able to continue doing this important work."