Woolson Block apartments ready to accept applications

Construction on the Woolson Block storefronts is set to be completed in early 2021.
Construction on the Woolson Block storefronts is set to be completed in early 2021. Photo by Joe Milliken

SPRINGFIELD, Vt. – The newly renovated Woolson Block, an efficiency, one, and two-bedroom unit apartment and “youth in transition program” building located on Main Street in downtown Springfield, is now accepting applications for the late fall and winter.

“The Woolson Block can now officially accept tenants,” said Bill Morlock. Morlock is the executive director of the Springfield Housing Authority. “The first tenant is due to move in the first week of December, and we hope to have all the units leased by the end of the year.”

The construction of this renovation project, managed by co-partners Springfield Housing Unlimited and Housing Vermont, began in April of 2019 as part of a $37 million “affordable apartments” development project throughout Vermont.

The project was supported by federal low-income credits and Vermont Affordable Housing credits through the Vermont Housing Finance Agency. The funds for 11 projects throughout the state were generated from the sale of tax credits to investors, which covered over half of the overall renovation costs.

The Springfield housing project was sponsored by the Springfield Housing Authority, which raised funds through a combination of the sale of tax credits, as well as additional state, historic, and downtown tax credits and the Community Development Block Grant program.

The historic Woolson Block is a beautiful, three-story brick building overlooking the Black River falls in downtown Springfield. The structure is unique, featuring a 5,000-plus square foot commercial space on the street level floor, and two floors of residential space – 12,000 square feet – offering 15 one and two-bedroom rental apartments for people with incomes at or below 60% of the area’s median income. The apartments feature high ceilings, modern fixtures, and elevator access. The renovation of the commercial spaces is nearly complete.

“The commercial spaces will be completed sometime in early January of 2021,” Morlock added. “Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, we have not yet been able to secure tenants for those spaces, but when the construction is completely done, this building will be a beautiful addition to downtown Springfield.”

There are also four single-room, “service-enriched” apartments for homeless and at-risk youths between the ages of 18-24. This program is designed to provide a structured environment for those at-risk youths to help them develop the skills necessary to be able to live independently.

Rent will include heat, hot water, and trash removal, and a subsidy may be available for qualified applicants. All applicants will have to pass a credit and criminal background check.

For more information, visit www.springfieldhousingauthorityvt.org.

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