The day's festivities included the grand opening of a newly rehabilitated home, a tree planting in the surrounding "greenbelts," the opening of a children's gardening workshop, and firing-up a community barbeque.
The celebration was held at the new home of Jean Waltz, a local teacher with two children. The three-bedroom home, a HUD REO sold to the Burlington Community Land Trust at a 50 percent discount, was significantly rehabilitated.
To become a homeowner, Waltz attended pre-purchase classes at the NeighborWorks Homeownership Center of Chittenden County, where she received individual financial counseling. Waltz received loans and down payment assistance through the Vermont Housing Finance Agency and the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board. The Family Self-Sufficiency Program at the Vermont State Housing Authority and the Section 8 Homeownership Program provided special assistance.
Waltz' home was rehabbed with help from the Vermont Community Loan Fund, the Burlington Housing Trust Fund, and a Burlington Community Land Trust loan. Work crews from WomenBuild and YouthBuild, organizations dedicated to restoring communities and enhancing job-training skills for women and youth, completed the construction.
|New homeowner Jean Waltz (far left) and Burlington Community Land Trust Executive Director Brenda Torpy share a laugh during a flurry of activity at the ceremonial tree planting in front of Waltz's new home.|
|A young gardener - and future homeowner - pitches in.|
|Mayor Peter Clavelle proclaimed June as National Homeownership Month in Burlington during the ceremony. Joining the mayor (from left to right) were HUD Burlington Field Office Director Mike McNamara, City Councilor Phil Fiermonte, WomenBuild Director Suzi Wizowaty, Mayor Clavelle, BCLT Executive Director Torpy, State Representative Steve Hingtgen, Vermont Housing & Conservation Boardmember Rick DeAngelis, and homeowner Waltz.|