Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) financed the acquisition of 31 apartment units in 12 buildings with a $3.7 million acquisition loan from Community Housing Capital. The Ethan Allen Apartments, located in Essex, Vermont, was owned by the University of Vermont which had used the property to house its married and graduate students. The 12 buildings are historic brick duplexes, triplexes, and four plexes in the historic Fort Ethan Allen.
CHT’s plan is to renovate and then convert 19 units into affordable, for-sale condominiums available to the current tenants and employees of the University of Vermont and to low- and moderate-income buyers. The 12 remaining units will continue as rentals. The deeply affordable ownership units are similar to others that CHT has developed in the area to maintain affordable housing opportunities and to manage neighborhood gentrification.
While the buildings at Ethan Allen have been well-maintained, CHT will be undertaking some rehabilitation to get the units ready for sale, including maintenance of the slate roofs and wood trim, upgrading finishes including new flooring, paint, appliances, and countertops. CHT will also repave and stripe the back alleyway where unit parking is located, and apply basic air-sealing for improved energy efficiency of the buildings.
Founded in 1984, CHT is the largest community land trust in the country. Throughout Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle counties of Vermont, CHT manages 2,200 apartments, stewards 565 owner-occupied homes in its signature shared-equity program, offers homebuyer education and financial fitness counseling, provides services to five housing cooperatives, and offers affordable energy efficiency and rehab loans. In 2008, CHT won the prestigious United Nations World Habitat Award, recognizing its innovative, sustainable programs.