Downstreet strengthens the communities of Central Vermont by engaging with people, providing affordable homes, and connecting people to the resources and services they need to thrive.
Home is a fundamental need; it is the most constant and essential element of our day-to-day reality, and one that impacts all aspects of our lives. Sadly, for many, an affordable and healthy place to live remains far out of reach. It is a well-known fact that an individual’s earning potential, ability to build successful relationships, and level of physical and mental health and well-being are directly linked to the neighborhoods and communities in which they live; in most cases, the more money you have to spend on housing costs, the better you will fare in all of these areas. We believe that it is unreasonable for a person’s opportunities and potential to be limited based on their income – and yet this is exactly what is happening.
It is for these reasons that we take a comprehensive approach to developing and implementing programs and services to address the inequities associated with the cost of home. We do this in many ways:
- We develop and build safe and affordable places for people to live and provide the management services required to respond to resident needs;
- We educate potential home owners about how to grow their financial strength in pursuit of owning a home, and we guide them through the home buying process when they are ready;
- We take an active role in ensuring that those who have the desire to age in place can do so, using home as the hub for a continuum of care for elderly and disabled Vermonters;
- We work with households experiencing homelessness to find them permanent housing solutions;
- We collaborate with strategic partners in order to maximize the positive impact we can create to make all parts of our communities stronger and more resilient;
- And perhaps most importantly, we put ideas into action in order to address new and continuing affordability issues that surround home and housing.
Home is the keystone that supports all of the crucial components to a fulfilling life. As such, Downstreet continues to think strategically about the future of housing in Vermont – a future that works for everyone.
Founded in 1987, Downstreet was originally known as the Central Vermont Community Land Trust. Our roots as a community land trust have grown with our continued dedication to the success of our Central Vermont communities.
We are guided by a set of core principles that are the common thread through all aspects of our work:
- We value quality, seizing every opportunity to maximize the impact and sustainability of our housing programs and services through the thoughtful creation of beautiful and healthy homes for the benefit of the individuals and communities we serve.
- We embrace the need to be courageous and bold in our approach to fulfilling our mission, challenging assumptions and norms as a leader in innovative housing development; likewise, we appreciate the courage exhibited by the people we serve as they advocate for themselves in pursuit of a fulfilling life, despite the challenges they face.
- We believe in Vermont’s small communities and rural character and aim to strengthen both through our work, while preserving the beauty and charm our Green Mountain State embodies.
- Human dignity is important to us. A strong sense of pride, self-worth, and belonging are tremendously powerful and essential to personal success, especially for those in vulnerable situations. We strive to do our best to impart these feelings to those we serve through our every intent and action.
- We understand the need to protect our environment and to promote a healthy planet. We are committed to environmentally-friendly and sustainable practices throughout all of our lines of business.
- Cultivating a great workplace is a top priority, as we believe that our greatest assets are the minds and hearts of those who carry out our mission every day.
Our Commitment to Racial Justice & Equity
We have long considered the work we do at Downstreet to be social justice work, with the view that housing is an ideal platform for the delivery of services that touch all areas of a person’s life. We believe in human dignity and equity for all, and those beliefs guide our work every day. As such, we recognize that we have an important role to play in helping to dismantle racism and promote equity, diversity, and inclusion for all through education, understanding, and action within our organization and throughout the communities we serve. We welcome this opportunity and embrace the challenges and benefits it presents. Learn about our Race, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (REDI) Awareness & Action Initiative.
Today we are responsible for over 50 rental properties, 165 single-family homes, and a range of services that provide more than 550 Vermont households with access to high-quality, safe places to live that are also financially viable. We cherish the role of being Central Vermont’s mission-driven affordable housing provider.
Our Staff Leadership
Karen Hatcher Liz Genge
CEO Director of Property and Asset Management
Nicola Anderson Schuyler Anderson
Director, Real Estate Development CFO
Director of HomeOwnership
Board of Trustees
Downstreet is guided by a volunteer Board of Trustees. The Board is structured in such a way as to represent: the general population ("general" members); professionals holding prominent community positions, such as legislators, lobbyists, and leaders of the faith community ("public" representatives); and beneficiaries of Downstreet's programs and services ("resident" representatives).
2019 COSCDA (Council of State Community Development Agencies) Sterling Achievement Award for Housing for French Block Apartments, Montpelier Vermont
2018 Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award for Downstreet Apartments, Barre Vermont
2018 Washington County Mental Health Services Community Partner Award
Our Members & Supporters
As a membership organization, we encourage anyone who is inspired by our mission to join us. Those who use our programs and services are part of our membership as well as our donors, staff, volunteers, and Board Members. Members are invited to participate in our annual meetings, where they can weigh in on the state of the organization and vote on new and returning Board members and bylaws changes, when necessary.