Community celebrates new housing in Shelburne

Governor Peter Shumlin and Amy Wright, in center, officially cut the ribbon for Harrington Village and the Wright House while all those in attendance look on Wednesday morning, Sept. 10 in Shelburne. Photo by Jon Shenton, Champlain Housing Trust
Governor Peter Shumlin and Amy Wright, in center, officially cut the ribbon for Harrington Village and the Wright House while all those in attendance look on Wednesday morning, Sept. 10 in Shelburne. Photo by Jon Shenton, Champlain Housing Trust

Three local nonprofit housing developers were joined by Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin to celebrate the opening of Harrington Village and the Wright House in Shelburne’s village center on Wednesday, Sept 10. Scores of community members, local leaders, representatives of the funding agencies, and new residents joined in the celebration.
“After many years of planning and persistence, this new neighborhood in the heart of Shelburne is now a reality,” said Gov. Peter Shumlin. “Harrington Village, including Wright House, brings together homes for all ages and a variety of income levels. Surrounded by open land, but in the center of the village, it is providing both affordable housing and a good quality of life for residents.”
The three nonprofits, Champlain Housing Trust, Housing Vermont, and Cathedral Square collaborated to build a mixed-income, mixed-generation neighborhood of 78 new homes including 42 family apartments and 36 senior apartments. A second partnership between Champlain Housing Trust and Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity will result in four affordable homes for sale in two duplexes currently under construction. Residents of the apartments started moving in this July, with full occupancy expected within weeks.
“We are here today because committed citizens and local officials in Shelburne wanted to make sure that their community is inclusive for people of all incomes,” said Brenda Torpy, CEO of the Champlain Housing Trust. “We applaud that commitment.”
“This new neighborhood has so many wins: a great service plan for seniors, solar and the latest in technology, conservation of open space for the town, and affordable financing, and it is all possible because of partnerships at every level,  partnerships with service agencies like the VNA and Area Agency on Aging, a commitment to smart growth by the Town of Shelburne, and national funding partners like USDA and Enterprise Community Partners,” added Nancy Eldridge, Executive Director of Cathedral Square.
Funding for the project came from a variety of sources, including investments made by TD Bank and Enterprise Community Investment through the federal Low Income Housing tax credit program. Awards from HUD-funded programs and USDA Rural Development were instrumental to the development, including support from NeighborWorks America, HOME, and Community Development Block Grants (commonly known as CDBG). Support and financing also came from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Vermont Housing Finance Agency, Vermont Community Development Program, Efficiency Vermont, Vermont Gas, the Town of Shelburne, and proceeds from the Merchants Bank purchase of state tax credits. SCHIP’s Treasure Shop, a resale shop in the center of Shelburne, made an early grant in support of the predevelopment costs of the project.
“The vacancy rate for rental housing in suburban Chittenden County is currently less than one percent,” said Housing Vermont President Nancy Owens. “Clearly, there are many families and seniors who are looking for quality apartments at affordable rents in good locations. Harrington Village directly responds to those needs,” Owens said.
Wright & Morrissey Inc. was the general contractor for both the senior and family housing, and Duncan Wisniewski Architecture is the project’s architect. The combined cost of the two rental developments is approximately $20 million.