Lamoille housing partnership proposes new community development project

4 mins read

MORRISVILLE — Non-profit, affordable housing developers Lamoille Housing Partnership and Housing Vermont have proposed the development of a new construction project in Morrisville.

Village Center Apartments will build 22 brand new affordable rental apartments in a previously unused in-fill lot in the heart of downtown for low and moderate-income residents.

In October 2020, LHP plans to break ground on Village Center Apartments, with tenants moving in the next year.

“Village Center Apartments creates opportunities for all community members to thrive,” said Jim Lovinsky, Executive Director of Lamoille Housing Partnership.

Their housing portfolio also includes affordable housing sites in Jeffersonville, Kingston, and Hardwick that are income eligible and designated for the community’s low and moderate-income residents.

“In partnering on the development of Village Center Apartments, we believe we will improve the lives of the residents and strengthen the economy of Morrisville,” said Nancy Owens, President of Housing Vermont.

Recent zoning changes enacted by the Town of Morrisville opened up the possibility for affordable housing, downtown development, and inclusive communities.

Located on Hutchins Street, the building design includes four stories with two staircases, an elevator, a common area with Wi-Fi, indoor bike storage and sidewalk bike racks.

The upper level apartments are open to the surrounding mountains, there are on site amenities such as mail and laundry and the rental price will range from $650 to $1,000 including heat and utilities.

According to the “Lamoille Housing Needs & Assessment Study,” fair market rents for similar types of apartments range from $1,000 to $1,400 per month excluding heat and utilities.

There are some challenges, such as the small and steep nature of the site, and soil remediation to clean up past fire damage.

Lovinsky opines that the benefits outweigh the development challenges by the many opportunities and a multitude of benefits.

“Residents will have increased access to important local resources including human service agencies, Copley Hospital, and the library, as well as grocery stores, local schools, and jobs, and all that downtown has to offer,” he said.

The project has also garnered community support from State Representative Dave Yacovone and Clarina Howard Nichols Center (CHNC) Executive Director, Becky Gonyea.

The building’s design team includes Housing Vermont, Vermont Integrated Architects, Neagly & Chase Construction Company, Engineering Ventures, Vermont Energy Investment Corporation, Engineering Services of Vermont, and Stowe-based Mumley Engineering Incorporated.

Notably, a significant portion of the funding comes from the $37 million housing bond, passed by the Vermont Legislature in 2017.

Anticipated funding sources include Vermont Housing & Conservation Board (VHCB,) Vermont Community Development Program (VCDP,) Low Income Housing Tax Credits (LIHTC,) LIHTC investors, Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA,) and Housing Ministries of New England (HMNE.)

“We’re eager to share news and information about Village Center Apartments, and invite the community to join us for a cup of coffee at our upcoming Open House,” says Lovinsky.

Village Center Apartments is currently phasing from schematic design towards finalizing cost estimation.