Vermont Housing Improvement Program (VHIP)
Creating enough homes to ensure that no Vermonter goes without requires creative solutions that capitalize on every potential opportunity. Through VHIP, landlords can bring their vacant apartments up to code and start renting them to new residents.
2022 VHIP investment
2022 VHIP investment
157 units statewide
In response to the need for more homes, the State of Vermont implemented the Vermont Housing Improvement Program (VHIP), which provides American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding for landlords to bring vacant rental units up to Vermont Rental Housing Health Code guidelines, add new units to an existing building, or create an accessory dwelling unit on an owner-occupied property. To implement the program in Central Vermont, the state called on Downstreet for help.
“We field phone calls to answer any questions interested landlords might have. We also accept the applications through our website and process them to determine eligibility,” explained Director of HomeOwnership, Cheryl Moyer. “Then we guide the landlord through the process and facilitate the distribution of grant funds.”
To qualify for a grant, property owners must match 20% of the VHIP funding they receive and must agree to rent the repaired units at or below HUD Fair Market Rents for the County for a minimum of five years. In 2022, the Healthy Homes Initiative (HHI) was added to the program to provide additional grant funding to property owners for updating leaking service lines, old plumbing, replacing outdated fixtures (sinks, toilets, dishwashers, laundry) with high-efficiency devices, and installing new water systems (wells and septic systems) and water efficiency improvements as part of VHIP projects.
The state has provided a total of $5.8 million to 60 property owners for the creation of 127 rental units across Vermont. As for Central Vermont, 13 landlords applied for the program and were approved for funding, and five landlords completed 12 units, with others still in the construction phase. A total of $305,000 in VHIP grants was awarded, and an additional $11,000 in Healthy Homes Initiative funding was disbursed.
“Looking forward, we expect to complete 25 – 30 more units by 2025,” Cheryl said.
Before & After
BEFORE VHIP INVESTMENT
AFTER VHIP INVESTMENT