Snow Block Community

If it wasn’t for the Snow Block I know I would be on the streets or worse right now. Now that I have my own apartment, I don’t have to worry about where I’m staying and I don’t have to do things I don’t want to do or be around people I don’t want to be around. I am working on finishing my high school, got a job at a mechanic’s office, and got promoted to assistant manager. My case manager wants me to go to college and maybe I will one day. Right now I just want to get used to taking care of myself.
Snow Block Resident

Vermont Housing & Conservation Board

Jen Hollar
Vermont Housing & Conservation Board
[email protected]

The Windham & Windsor Housing Trust created 23 new apartments on a downtown infill site in close proximity to services and amenities, including the Brattleboro Transportation Center and the Boys & Girls Club. With 8 micro apartments, 6 efficiencies, 6 one-bedroom apartments and 3 two-bedroom apartments, Snow Block responds to the documented need, identified by a market study and by property managers, for small apartments in the downtown, suitable for individuals transitioning from SRO housing, for elders, for young people just starting out and looking for a downtown location, and for households without cars. The apartments are affordable to households at a range of incomes, from 50-120% of median. Additionally, Windham & Windsor Housing Trust partnered with Youth Services to provide supportive services to 4 apartments. These apartments are targeted to youth aging out of the foster care system who are at risk of homelessness.

The five-story building has tenant community space, office space for service providers, tenant storage, laundry, and a small commercial space on the first floor with the upper 4 floors providing the 23 new rental apartments. The commercial space current houses a young professional architect, providing an affordable commercial rental space for a new business in Brattleboro.

WWHT is renting 4 units to young, first-time renters and providing support services to help them learn how to be successful renting, learning about budgeting and caring for an apartment. This practice is adaptable to other developments. WWHT has partnered with Youth Services to provide services to these tenants

An energy-regenerating elevator, air source heat pumps for heating and cooling, and a robust thermal envelope will allow for long-term sustainability of the buildings’ operations and provide a comfortable and healthy environment for the residents. The building is constructed with a high degree of energy efficiency, using Passive House standards as the basis for the design. 

There is substantial unmet need in the community. Since March 2020, approximately 200 area households have been staying in motels under a voucher system supported by the Vermont Agency of Human Services. Local partners are working to coordinate a housing reentry system in anticipation of that program being suspended in July 2021.

Groundworks Collaborative is the local organization providing housing and services for homeless individuals and households. WWHT collaborates with Groundworks and with the local Continuum of Care in accepting referrals for households experiencing homelessness or at risk of homelessness to rent their properties.

In 2020, using federal CARES Act Coronavirus Relief Funds, WWHT purchased a motel and has transformed it to create housing with support services provided by Groundworks, for 27 homeless households.

Windham & Windsor Housing Trust – Developer
JD Kantor, Inc – Development Consultant
People’s United Bank – Tax credit syndication
Vermont Housing & Conservation Board 
Efficiency Vermont – provides funding for energy efficiency incentives
Vermont Housing Finance Agency – Tax Credit award
Windham Regional Commission – award via Windham County Renewable Energy Program

HOME $490,000
Housing Trust Fund $282,178
LIHT Credit Equity $4,937,000
NeighborWorks $100,750
Efficiency Vermont $92,100
State of Vermont Housing Revenue bond funds (VHCB) $1,538,000
Windham County Renewable Energy Program $26,000
Vermont Housing & Conservation Board Feasibility Funds $10,000
Total $7,453,728

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