Guilford Apartments Wins National Award at EPA Brownfields Conference!
The Phoenix Awards Institute, Inc. presented Algiers Village Housing, a 17-unit affordable housing development in Guilford, with an award for outstanding achievement in the redevelopment of a Brownfield site. The award was presented on September 3 in Chicago as part of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's major national Brownfields conference on environmental revitalization and economic development.
A group of concerned residents formed the Friends of Algiers Village (FOAV) in 2004 to preserve the village and steer future development. In 2005, they purchased three properties in the village. FOAV's first step, in collaboration with Windham & Windsor Housing Trust (WWHT), was to develop a Village Master Plan. The vision for the village center, developed with participation from the community, integrated commercial and residential uses with emphasis on pedestrian-friendly amenities, including walkways and green space. As part of implementing this vision, the historic Tontine building was renovated into seven units of affordable housing, and an historic general store was rehabbed and revitalized. WWHT and Housing Vermont partnered to implement the final phase of the plan and redeveloped the "warehouse site" into 17 new apartments.
WRC used EPA brownfields funds for an environmental assessment of the site and the VT Agency of Commerce and Community Development funded remediation to remove 985 tons of contaminated soil and weathered bedrock and demolish and remove an old tractor repair garage. Senator Patrick Leahy helped secure an EPA grant to fund a .6 mile extension of the Town of Brattleboro's water line to the Village of Algiers, which was crucial to the project moving forward.
"We were able to re-use a brownfield to create attractive in-fill housing in the village center while helping to extend town water," said Connie Snow, Executive Director of the (WWHT). "The award is especially appreciated because it recognizes what we can achieve when community organizations, nonprofits, and state and local organizations work together." Susan McMahon, WRC, accepted the award on behalf of all of the organizations, which worked on this community development project. Visit our website for more information about the WRC Brownfields program.