The Need for Housing
We often take for granted what it means to have a roof over our head. However, Vermonters face a real crisis in finding safe, affordable housing. The COVID-19 Pandemic caused unprecedented changes to Vermont's housing market. Apartments have been harder to find, resulting in a dramatic increase in homelessness and significant rent increases to tenants and a growing affordability gap. Many are wondering how long they can stay in their housing as costs continue to rise.
(Courtesy: National Low-Income Housing Coalition)
The increase in demand for apartments is driven, in part, by the skyrocketing price of real estate. Potential homebuyers face few houses to choose from at much higher prices. Recent increases to interest rates have widened the affordability gap homebuyers, particularity first-time homebuyers, face in trying to find their dream home. Many are wondering if that dream will ever become a reality.
(Courtesy: Vermont Association of Realtors)
The lack of housing stock, both homeownership and rental, has led to a dramatic increase in homelessness in our area. We have seen well over 100 households experiencing homelessness in the Northeast Kingdom at any given point, and there are no permanent shelters in the area. With the expanded motel housing program rapidly ending, many are faced with the reality none of us want to face: "where am I going to sleep tonight?"
(Courtesy: Vermont Business Magazine)
How RuralEdge Makes a Difference
RuralEdge envisions Northeast Kingdom communities where every individual can live in stable, affordable housing with access to the services they need to live a healthy and prosperous life.
Since 1986, RuralEdge has worked hard to provide safe, quality, affordable housing for all income levels, stabilize households to keep their housing, all while providing supportive services to assist renters and homeowners like to stay in their housing safely as long as possible. Even in the face of a dramatic housing crisis, our staff work hard every day to make a difference. Whether it is helping a household sign a lease to come out of homelessness, working with someone to stabilize their budget for long-term success, or providing households with food from Veggie Van Go, all of our services are geared towards our mission of strengthening Northeast Kingdom communities, one home at a time!
Developing New Housing
Perhaps the most commonly thought solution to a housing shortage is to build more housing. One of the greatest undertakings of RuralEdge is the implementation of new construction and rehabilitation projects across the Northeast Kingdom to improve and expand our portfolio. The goal of our real estate development team is to provide safe, affordable, and quality housing to households of varying incomes and backgrounds. Along with the physical quality of buildings, these developments bring economic benefits to the broader community in the form of employment, expanded tax base, and strengthening further development in the towns we serve.
Operating a Portfolio of Quality, Affordable Housing
RuralEdge prides itself on providing 655 residential and some commercial rental units across the Northeast Kingdom, including: developments for senior populations, developments with both market-rate units and units based on income. No matter the unit, the goal of our property management team is to provide quality, safe, and healthy living conditions in all of our properties.
Assisting Potential & Current Homeowners
As a Neighborworks Organization, RuralEdge has a Homeownership Center that provides empowerment through education to prospective and current homeowners. Pre-purchase and post-purchase counseling is provided through workshops for prospective homebuyers, and a home repair program to assist current homeowners to stay in their homes safely. The goal of our HOC team is to provide the education and support individuals need to realize their dream of owning a safe and reliable home.
Supporting our Residents & Communities
At RuralEdge, we pride ourselves on being more than a landlord. The business of affordable housing is about more than just buildings. At RuralEdge, we know that we are housing people! We house people that come from a diversity of backgrounds, with different skills and something to offer the communities they live in. We seek to provide the structures and opportunities for each of our residents to realize their full potential, no matter their state or conditions in life. We do this primarily through our Support and Services at Home (SASH), Community Building and Engagement efforts, and Eviction Prevention work.
How YOU can Make a Difference
We know that a crisis as significant as housing cannot be solved by one organization. It truly takes a village, and we value the many partnerships we have established, both with organizations and community members, that make our work possible. Can you envision Northeast Kingdom communities where every individual can live in stable, affordable housing with access to the services they need to live a healthy and prosperous life? Can you help us strengthen Northeast Kingdom Communities, one home at a time? Your contribution of time, talent, or treasure will go a long way to continuing this life-changing work in Northeast Kingdom communities!