By Kara Herlihy

Applications for tenants to occupy Warren's first affordable housing complex are now being accepted by Housing Vermont. The 18-unit complex called Wheeler Brook is located on a nine-acre parcel (formerly the Blue Tooth) on the Sugarbush Access Road.

The project features three buildings around one common green space. Bill Maclay of William Maclay Architects and Planners said that the goal is to use trees and vegetation to shield the development from the access road and restore a more "rural" feel to the location.

Building one has a total of six units, building two has five units, and building three has seven units. In total there is one three-bedroom unit, nine two-bedroom units, and eight one-bedroom units. The two-bedroom units are townhouse style, while the one-bedrooms are all flats. The complex also has one on-site coin-operated laundry facility.

The Wheeler Brook project "has a high level of energy efficiency," according to Central Vermont Community Land Trust real estate project coordinator Allison Friedkin. The units will also have Energy Recovery Ventilators (ERVs) to facilitate good air quality and circulation and are very well insulated, according to Friedkin. 

Plans call for 16 units to be rented at rates affordable to residents making no more than 60 percent of the median income for the county. Two units will be rented at market rates. Housing Vermont developers are planning for a March 1 completion date.

In April 2007, Housing Vermont and the Central Vermont Community Land Trust received $475,000 in funding for the project through the Vermont Community Development program.

A combination of federal tax credits, low-interest loans and other funding sources allow the organizations to keep the development costs low and rent the units at less than market rates. Wheeler Brook will not be subsidized.

Applicants for the apartments will be required to meet income requirements based on a federal formula that takes into account the median income of the county, family size and other considerations.

CVCLT is now accepting applications for tenants and expects that the units will be move-in ready on April 1. Information and applications for potential tenants is available at www.CVCLT.org or by calling the office.