FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 16, 2022

CONTACT: Lisa Patlis, (802) 861-3814

[West Burke, VT]  Evernorth and RuralEdge were joined by community members, funders and local elected officials on Friday afternoon to celebrate newly renovated buildings and significant progress to a newly constructed building on Burkeland Lane.

Burkeland Lane (formerly known as West Burke Housing and Pilgrim Manor) is a mixed-generation affordable housing property located in the heart of West Burke. West Burke village is a small, but thriving community fueled by tourism. The local rental market, like much of Vermont, has been affected by significant rent increases and the conversion of rental units into short-term rentals. These market realities make Burkeland Lane, which will remain permanently affordable, a critical community resource.  

RuralEdge will continue to provide onsite SASH services to the residents. Support and Services at Home (SASH) is a unique wellness initiative that provides services and support to Medicare recipients living independently at home. The property is close to convenient amenities including a small general store, auto repair, post office and recreational areas while additional services and amenities can be easily accessed in nearby Lyndonville.

When complete, Burkeland Lane will be comprised of 23 apartments in 5 buildings – 3 duplexes, a newly constructed building and a senior building. Of the 23 apartments, 15 will be preserved and rehabilitated apartments in the 3 duplexes and senior building and there will be 8 newly constructed homes in the new apartment building. There will be 4 studio apartments, 9 one-bedrooms, 5 two-bedrooms, 4 three-bedrooms and one 4-bedroom apartment.

“We are so glad to be preserving and creating homes that will remain a community asset in West Burke forever,” said Kathy Beyer, Evernorth’s Senior Vice President for Real Estate Development. “Like your investment in roads, sewers, schools and municipal buildings, this housing will remain in West Burke to serve the community as infrastructure you can rely on.”

Funding totaling $7.5 million from a mix of private and public sources was raised to cover total development costs. Community National Bank provided $2.6 million of Low Income Housing Tax Credit Equity, which is allocated by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency. Community National Bank also provided $500,000 through the Federal Home Loan Bank of Boston’s Affordable Housing Program. The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board contributed over $1.8 million, including $545,000 in HOME funds and over $453,000 from the National Housing Trust Fund. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development program committed $1.75 million through its RD 515 Funds. Vermont’s Community Development Program provided $350,000 through the Town of West Burke. Union Bank purchased $405,000 in VT State Tax Credits. Energy incentives were provided by 3E Thermal, Efficiency Vermont and the Northeast Employment and Training Organization. The property is benefited by an existing rental subsidy contract for the original 15 units, and the Vermont State Housing Authority has committed 8 new project based vouchers to serve the new building.

“We are grateful to our funders and partners for supporting these much-needed affordable homes,” said Patrick Shattuck, Executive Director of RuralEdge. “Burkeland Lane is a great example of what is possible in our communities through successful collaboration between housing advocates, community leaders, towns, and strong state and federal resources.”

Co-owners and co-developers RuralEdge and Evernorth partnered to purchase and preserve Burkeland Lane Apartments, allowing it to remain permanently affordable. Steve Schenker of S2 Architecture is the project architect. Spates Construction is the General Contractor.

The project is expected to be complete in July 2023.