Making Homeownership More Possible

“This opportunity allows me to have affordable monthly expenses and security, to stay in our community.” – One House at a Time Homeowner

About

One House at a Time makes it possible for people with moderate incomes to own a home. The project buys a house, makes any necessary repairs and improvements before reselling the house with a down payment grant to qualified households. The project is a collaboration between Woodstock Community Trust and Twin Pines Housing.

The Challenge

Housing costs are high in Woodstock. People—from teachers, to bartenders to police officers—are leaving the area and taking jobs in locations where they can live within their means. This affects everyone as local businesses and organizations are unable to find employees locally or attract employees from outside the area who can find a place to live. 

Many factors influence the rising price of homes in Woodstock, but all have the same effect—they make it just about impossible for anyone earning a typical local salary to purchase a home or, increasingly, to rent a home. A major hurdle for people looking to buy their first home involves accumulating sufficient funds for the down payment, for legal and closing costs, and for necessary repairs since many homes in the area are old and in poor repair. While accumulating all these funds may be out of a potential buyer’s reach, that same buyer may be able to afford a reasonable monthly mortgage payment.  

The Solution

The One House at a Time project buys a house, makes any necessary repairs and energy efficiency improvements, and resells the house with a down payment grant to qualified households. This project is a one-at-a-time type of solution. It is not intended to be the only solution to Woodstock's housing needs, but to be one of many options for more affordable housing.

We make home ownership more possible for moderate income households by reducing the mortgage amount and the likelihood of non-routine maintenance in the first few years. In exchange, homebuyers agree to limit their profit should they sell the home. This profit cap ensures that the community’s investment in moderately priced housing will be preserved to serve another family in the future. A qualified buyer earns up to 175% of Windsor County’s median income. For example, the 2022 income limit for a three-person household is $138,775. Asset limits also apply. 

As our partner organization, Twin Pines Housing helps potential homeowners to navigate the application while learning about home buying and financial processes. If you are interested in home ownership, the first step is to contact Steve Usle, Homeownership Coordinator at Twin Pines Housing. He will provide you with an application form and help you through the process of becoming qualified for a home purchase.

The Impact

Since 2019, One House at a Time has purchased, refurbished and sold a single family house and a two-unit duplex. So far the project has created three homes for six people to become part of the community. You can read more about the program here.

Project Plans and Support

Donated funds are used to buy a house, refurbish it, and provide the down payment. The cash released by the sale of the house goes towards the funds needed to buy the next house.

  • Woodstock Community Trust's project sponsorship in our early stages was critical to launching our program.”

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    Seoka Salstrom, Equal Care Fund

  • Woodstock Community Trust enabled The HUB leadership to focus on the essential challenges of our work – without being unduly burdened by administrative tasks.”

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    Denise Lyons, The HUB

  • WARF's team could concentrate on raising money and distributing funds in just weeks thanks to Woodstock Community Trust.”

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    Liza Deignan, WARF

  • "Being a project in Woodstock Community Trust’s family is key to the success of the East End Park.  It’s a great partnership!"

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    Joby Thompson, Friends of East End Park

Woodstock Community Trust
PO Box 802
Woodstock VT 05091

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