Towns receive housing, development funds

Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas awarded $1.3 million in taxpayer-funded community development grants to 10 communities. Creating affordable housing, jobs, and alternative energy sources in Vermont were on the agenda as Douglas announced the award of $1.3 million in community development grants to 10 communities Feb. 4. These grants will rehabilitate affordable housing; create new elderly housing units and adult day care; help plan for responsible future housing projects and promote job creation in Vermont, Douglas said. The $1,345,498 in Vermont Community Development Program grants will also leverage $10,152,714 in other private and public resources, he said during a ceremony in Milton. A $297,500 grant to Meadowlane Housing Associates and Housing Foundation Inc. will be used to purchase and rehabilitate 20 units of affordable housing and create 16 additional new units of affordable elderly housing. The Town of Middlebury was awarded the largest grant, receiving $412,498 to rehabilitate the Hill House Group Home, which provides housing and other services to the homeless who are struggling with mental illness or substance abuse. These eight units of housing are critical to meeting the needs of these extremely vulnerable Vermonters, Douglas said. In addition, the septic failure at the facility will be addressed by connecting to municipal sewer and water, and energy efficiency and ADA improvements will be made. A $250,000 grant to the Town of Colchester will be sub-granted to the Vermont Center for Emerging Technologies (VCET), an incubator affiliated with the University of Vermont, to support the expansion of services in a new facility in Colchester. Two towns, Sutton and Bridport, will each receive roughly $30,000 in grant money to study the feasibility of setting up a wood or fiber-fuel pellet production plant in those towns. Implementation Grants $412,498, Town of Middlebury: Subgrant to Addison County Community Action Group to rehabilitate the Hill House Group Home on 290 Route 7 North. The home provides transitional supportive housing services to mentally ill homeless persons. Planning Grants $29,996, Town of Bridport: Subgrant to Addison County Regional Planning Commission to study the feasibility of producing fiber-fuel pellets and the viability of a pellet production plant in Addison County.

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