FAQs about St. Albans City’s new housing proposal, written by Dominic Cloud, City Manger.

Early concept plan for apartments and parking.  Click image to view in larger size.
Early concept plan for apartments and parking. Click image to view in larger size.
The City of St. Albans is assembling a public / private partnership to construct market rate or “workforce housing” units in back of City Hall and the former Bellevue property. This article answers some frequently asked questions.
 
Why is the City involved in housing development?
 
To solve the problem of the “missing middle” where units serving people earning median wages in the community are not profitable enough to be built unless it is a public / private partnership.
 
What are the income targets for this project?
 
The median income for our area is $74,200 per year for a two-person household. Households earning a little less and a little more than the median are the target for this project.
 
How many units are proposed?
 
Preliminary designs indicate the potential for around 90 units with parking underneath and on adjacent land. As the project advances, the unit count and parking allocations will be finalized.
 
What is the City’s role in the project?
 
The City’s role is to assemble the parcels, complete the environmental remediation, and construct the parking that will serve the project and the public. This is similar to the role the City played for Congress and Main and the Hampton Inn / State Office Building project.
 
Is the City building the new apartments?
 
No. A private developer will build the apartment buildings.
 
Where will the funding come from?
 
The City is proposing tax increment financing for this project. TIF allows the City to issue bonds to pay for the project and pay off the bonds from the tax revenues (the increment) generated by the new project.
 
How did the City determine workforce housing should be a priority?
 
The City follows a “Housing for All” approach to housing development. There are two other projects serving lower income households coming online in the next 18 -24 months. The best way to support the missing middle or workforce housing need is using tax increment financing. The City’s TIF program expires in April so March is the last opportunity to use this transformative program to create new housing.
 
Has the City done this before?
 
Yes, over the last ten years, the City has issued over $20 million in bonds that has generated over $60 million in new taxable properties, a three to one return.
 
How does new housing benefit me if I already own a home?
 
New housing benefits all in three ways. It grows our population and creates foot traffic downtown to support downtown businesses. It creates an additional tax base to distribute City services over a larger base. It allows new employers and employees to come to the region because they will have a place to live.
 
Where can I get more information?
 
City Manager Dominic Cloud can be reached at d.cloud@stalbansvt.com or (802) 309-1775.
Official website of the City of Saint Albans, Vermont | (802) 524-1500 |