Mad River Valley Housing Coalition

The Mad River Valley Housing Coalition (MRVHC) was created in 1989 to support a variety of housing options within the Mad River watershed through education,information, advocacy, and endorsement; to serve as a source for developers, individuals, municipalities and nonprofits; and to create and administer possible funding resources for revolving or subsidy loan programs.

The Housing Coalition serves the Towns of Fayston, Warren, Waitsfield, Moretown and Duxbury, and generally meets the second Tuesday of the month, 7:30 am at the General Wait House, 4061 Main Street in Waitsfield. Everyone is welcome, but please confirm meeting with the MRVPD office at 496-7173.

MRVHC is a registered 501(c)(3) organization.

Affordable Land Initiatve

 Purpose of Initiative

In order to help satisfy the need for affordable workforce housing in the Mad River Valley, the Mad River Valley Housing Coalition, Inc. (MRVHC) has established an Affordable Land Initiative. The MRVHC will attempt to acquire parcels of land for free or at well below market rates. These parcels will then be resold to qualified individuals or affordable housing developers, who will be responsible to build the home. The MRVHC will resell the parcels for as little as possible – only trying to recover its expenses. The intent of the Initiative is to help facilitate affordable home ownership for first time homeowners who live or work in the Mad River Valley by greatly minimizing the cost of buying land.  In addition to the land, the MRVHC will be able to offer other benefits. It has obtained numerous house plans for modest sized, energy efficient homes that can be used at no cost. The plans were contributed by John Connell, Joan Heaton, Bill Maclay, and Habitat for Humanity. The plans can be viewed at the Mad River Valley Planning District office in the General Wait House

 Details of Current Property Offering (4/6/12 Application Deadline)

The property is a flat, wooded 1.5-acre lot in a prime location in Fayston on the east side of German Flats Road. There is an approved, permitted septic design for a three-bedroom house. The MRVHC will sell this property, which is worth $60,000 or more, for $5,000. This is the amount needed to recoup the costs incurred for subdivision, permit and septic expenses.

 Application Process

Affordable Land Initiative Application (PDF)

Individuals or families interested in acquiring one of the Affordable Land Initiative parcels will need to submit an application for consideration. Applications are available here or at the Mad River Valley Planning District office. Applicants will be subject to a credit check, employment verification, income verification, credit references / reporting, landlord references, and other procedures. A committee of the MRVHC will interview applicants. The MRVHC will require assurances from the applicant of their financial ability to pay closing costs, home construction costs, and on-going housing costs, and that they will be able to complete house construction within a two year time frame. Applicants may be required to attend the Homebuyer Education Workshop provided by the Central Vermont Community Land Trust. The final successful applicant will be approved by a majority of the Board of the MRVHC. The MRVHC will have sole discretion to make decisions on the selection process and applicants may be refused for any reason. 

Successful applicants will enter into a property sale agreement with the MRVHC. The MRVHC may be able to refer applicants to a local lawyer who will provide services on a pro bono or reduced fee basis. Certain covenants and restrictions will be part of the property sale agreement. For example, affordability covenants, like shared equity, to insure long term affordability of the parcel and any subsequent related housing will be required. Other covenants may include maintenance and /or neatness requirements. House design criteria, energy efficiency requirements, and other details to fulfill the requirements of the land donor may be required.

Application deadline is April 6th, 2012.

 Eligibility Criteria

Applicants will be considered if they meet the following criteria:

  • The Project will only consider applicants who would be first time homeowners, except people who lost their homes as a result of Tropical Storm Irene.
  • Applicants should already live or work in the Mad River Valley.
  • Applicants’ household income should be no more than 100% of the county median income, and preferably no more than 80% of the county median income*
  • Applicants can demonstrate they have the means to pay for closing costs, house construction costs and monthly carrying / operating costs.

* Currently, the Washington county median income is $49,700 for a one person household, $56,800 for a two person household, $63,900 for a three person household, and $70,900 for a four person household.

Please return completed application by 4/6/12 to:

Mad River Valley Housing Coalition, Inc.

c/o  Mad River Valley Planning District

P.O. Box  471

Waitsfield, VT 05673

 Information for Potential Donors

Affordable Land Initiative Guide to Donors (PDF)

The Housing Coalition is looking for other donations of land to use in the Affordable Land Initiative. Please review the information contained in the Guide to Donors for a detailed description of the donation process and tax and other benefits available to the donor.

For questions or additional information contact John Donaldson at 583-4504 (donaldson@gmavt.net) or Joshua Schwartz at 496-7173 (mrvpd@madriver.com). Copies of all documents can be found here.

Accessory Apartment Booklet

In fall 2009 the Mad River Valley Housing Coalition developed Open a New Door: A Guide to Creating & Renting Accessory Apartments in the Mad River Valley. Click here to download a pdf version of the booklet.

Mad River Valley Housing Study - June, 2006

The Housing Study seeks to analyze the circumstances that create barriers to affordable housing in the MRV through a needs assessment, summary of types of housing needed & options, barriers to creation, and strategies to creation. Funded through grants from the Vermont Community Foundation and the Vermont Land Trust, the 2006 MRV Housing Study was developed by the Central Vermont Community Land Trust and consultant Karen Winchell. Click here to download a Word version of the study.

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