VT State Rental Rehab Program

Grant money is now available!

If you would like to apply for a grant, please download an application or complete the application online.

DOWNLOAD APPLICATION  or  APPLY ONLINE

If you have questions about the program, please see the frequently asked questions at the bottom of this page.

Attention Landlords!

Grant money is now available for apartment repairs through the Vermont State Rental Rehab Program!

Through the new program, landlords can receive a grant of up to $30,000 per rental unit (maximum award limit of 15 units per owner applies). This is a new program and applications are now ready! Anyone interested in applying for a grant should apply online or download an application. Please note that vacant units will be given preference.

To Qualify a Landlord Must Agree to:

  1. Match 10% of the project cost with their own funds.
  2. Use funds to renovate vacant apartments with code violations.
    (Money cannot be spent on just upgrading the homes).
  3. Develop the scope of work, hire the contractors, and ensure that all necessary permits are obtained and the work is done properly.
  4. Complete work by 12/20/20 (no payments made for work done after 12/20/20).
  5. Work with Downstreet* and the Continuum of Care Program (a HUD program designed to promote a community-wide commitment to ending homelessness).

After receiving the funds, the landlord can only charge tenants the HUD Fair Market Rent for the next five years.
This maximum adjusts every year. Current figures are:

 

* Downstreet is the program administrator for Washington, Orange, and Lamoille Counties only.

Interested? To get started:

  1. Develop scope of work and get bids from contractors to do the work.
  2. Download the application or apply online.

If you have questions, please see the frequently asked questions at the bottom of this page.
 

 

Do you own units outside of Central VT?

Downstreet is administering this program for Washington, Orange, and Lamoille counties, but if you are outside of that area, you can still apply for a grant! Please contact one of our sister organizations for the region in which you own your rental properties:

Champlain Housing Trust (Chittenden, Franklin and Grand Isle counties)

Rural Edge (Orleans, Essex, and Caledonia counties)

Windham & Windsor (Windham and Windsor counties)

Neighborworks of Western VT (Addison, Rutland, and Bennington counties)

Frequently Asked Questions

An eligible unit would be an existing rental unit that is currently vacant.  It could be an apartment, single family home, duplex, mobile home, or accessory apartment. The money cannot be used to “create” a new unit of housing. Occupied units may be considered if there are adverse property conditions that may threaten an occupant to lose their Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher.

There must be existing code violations or health and safety repairs that need to be addressed, for example: electrical/plumbing work, fire safety improvements, leaking roof, new heating system. However, there is flexibility to make additional upgrades if any funds remain after the necessary repairs are made.

The property owner should apply with a basic idea of the work that needs to completed to bring the unit in compliance with rental housing code. Downstreet will do a site visit to verify that the scope of work meets program guidelines, as well as any other items that may need to be addressed. The property owner must select the contractor.

The maximum grant amount is up to $30,000 per unit. Property owners can apply for up to 15 eligible units.

Units will be selected on a first-come first-serve basis, as long as the following requirements are met:

  1. The property is not delinquent on any property taxes, mortgage payments, or has any other adverse lien(s) and/or is not in foreclosure.

  2. The property owner must contribute a 10% match (up to $3,000 of his or her own funds).

  3. Written agreement that the property owner will review applicants from the Continua of Care when the unit is ready to be leased up.

  4. Written agreement that the property owner will agree to lease their rehabbed units at or below the HUD Fair Market rents for at least five years.

  5. Units are vacant and eligible (see question 1)

  6. The project is shovel ready and can reasonably be completed by 12/20/20. Verification and or a contract documenting that from your contractor would be helpful.

Property owners are required to match at least 10% of their own funds. If the project is estimated at $20,000, a match of $2,000 is required. Downstreet asks that the property owner pay their funds first to the contractor (i.e. initial deposit) and provide Downstreet with a receipt.

After your initial 10% match contribution, you will be paid in progress payments. You can receive up to 25% at the start of the project, another 25% when the project is halfway completed, and 40% when construction is done. The final 10% will be paid when the unit is leased up

Please include contact information for all the property owners on the application. They all must agree to and sign a Housing Subsidy Covenant, which will be recorded in the land records.

All owners must agree to sign a Housing Subsidy Covenant, which will require compliance with keeping rents at or below HUD Fair market rents. Each year, a landlord certificate must be sent to the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development.

They usually change once a year, but the current rental limits are:

 

It’s a provision of the CARES Act funding that Vermont got from the Federal Government in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Unfortunately, Downstreet has no control over this deadline and we understand the challenges associated with it

Unit should be completed construction and ready for occupancy by 12/20/2020. A lease should be signed by that date as well.

If construction is not completed by the deadline, you will forfeit the un-disbursed remainder of the grant funds, and may incur a penalty.

This is a statewide effort to help end homelessness in Vermont. Each community has a lead agency Capstone is our lead agency in Lamoille, Washington and Orange County where there is a coordinated entry system to connect homeless households with housing and services. By enrolling your unit in this program, it is requested that you review referrals from the Continuum of Care to fill these rehabbed units. However, you can maintain your usual qualifications in screening these applicants.

Yes, you are allowed to maintain your standard qualifying factors in selecting tenants. However, Downstreet asks that you accept the Vermont Common Rental Application, as well as review at least three referrals of homeless families that are connected to the services offered by the Continuum of Care to help connect them to these vacant units.

If you have further questions, please contact us.