State News

Pieciak announces $85M available for investment in housing, climate and social equity initiatives

On Monday, April 10, state treasurer Mike Pieciak stood with state and local leaders in Rutland to announce a substantial expansion of the “10% in Vermont” local investment program. The program authorizes the treasurer to invest up to 10% of the state’s average daily cash balance for economic development in Vermont.  

The state’s average daily cash balance has grown substantially in recent years due to increased state revenues allowing the program’s lending capacity to expand from $39 million to $100 million. In total, when combined with funds that were not committed from the original program, there is now $85 million available to support local economic development. 

The Treasurer’s Office and the Local Investment Advisory Committee (LIAC) have identified housing, the reduction of Vermont’s carbon footprint, and social equity as lending priorities under the expanded program. Projects in one, or multiple of these areas, will be given funding priority.  

“We plan to prioritize areas of need that will have the most significant impact on our economy,” said State Treasurer Mike Pieciak. “I’ve heard from businesses across Vermont that they are struggling to hire workers because prospective workers cannot find housing. The same is true for our hospitals, schools, fire departments and so many other critical community services and it is holding back the full potential of the Vermont economy. I am so pleased that we are able to do our part and bring these resources to help solve our housing crisis.”     

The Treasurer’s Office and the LIAC have published an investment policy detailing application guidelines, which is available now on the Treasurer’s website. 

To ensure that the program supports economic development, credit facilities will be available at favorable interest rates to nonprofits, instrumentalities of the state, municipalities, or similarly situated organizations.

Applications are due June 1, 2023 for the first round of loans. Treasurer Pieciak and the LIAC will evaluate applications and award investments this summer. The Treasurer plans to announce a timeline for a second round of applications in the fall.   

Treasurer Pieciak announced the program’s expansion at Bardwell House, a 75-unit apartment building in the heart of downtown Rutland that provides income-sensitive rental housing for Vermont senior citizens. The Bardwell House project benefited from previous financing through the “10% in Vermont” program.  

“Projects like Bardwell House show the power of keeping our money local for housing that increases the vitality of beautiful historic downtowns like Rutland’s,” said Treasurer Pieciak. “Our historically high cash balances, favorable interest rates, and our office’s history of prudent lending make it possible to substantially expand the 10% in Vermont program and really move the needle on housing in Vermont.” 

Pieciak was joined at Bardwell House by members of the LIAC and Heather Starzynski of NeighborWorks of Northwestern Vermont, which has also previously benefited from these local investment dollars as part of their Heat Squad and weatherization work. A large group of state legislators, community members, and representatives from the Agency of Commerce and Community Development were also on hand for the announcement.  

Treasurer’s Office staff will host a webinar on April 17 at 12 p.m. to provide information and answer questions about the new application process. Additional information, including a link to the webinar and application guidance, is available on the Treasurer’s website: vermonttreasurer.gov/content/cash/local-investment-advisory-committee.

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