A kick-off celebration is being held for the partnership on Sept. 8. At this event, attendees will hear from either Senator Sanders or one of his representatives regarding the significance of this project. Other state and local government officials will speak as well. Refreshments will be served, followed by a tour of the property.
In early 2020, the United Church of Underhill was approached by an adjoining property owner to purchase land. In July of 2023, after three years of fundraising and research, the land was purchased by the Church.
“If not us, who will?” said Jen Mihok, pastor at the United Church of Underhill. The Church felt that the best use of this property would be to use this land to bring affordable housing to Underhill.
The United Church of Underhill plans to create infrastructure on the property, including utilities and roads, and then they will sell the property to Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity at face value. Green Mountain plans to construct eight units consisting of six single family homes and one duplex.
The Church has purchased 9 acres of land, 7 of which will be used for the housing development. Two acres of the land will be reserved for recreation and community events.
“We’re really pleased to be partnering on the Harvest Crossing project with the United Church of Underhill,” said David Mullin, CEO of Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity.
The planning team consists of ten church members and two staff members from Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity. Grant funding was secured from state and federal agencies to assist with zoning regulations, environmental assessments, and other permits to prepare for the homes.
A grant from Senator Sanders is anticipated by the Church to fund the project.
According to the Vermont Housing Finance Agency, 6% of households in Underhill are severely cost-burdened by their housing costs, which means that these households are paying over 50% of their income on housing. 19% of households in Underhill are paying between 30-49% of their income for housing. For housing to be considered affordable, a household should not spend more than 30% of their income on housing costs.
“It’ll be an ideal opportunity for local families – working families – to have an opportunity to have a home of their own,” said Mullin.