BARRE, Vermont — 

WHO: TD Bank leadership, Norwich University’s School of Architecture + Art’s Design+Build Collaborative leadership, professors and students along with Downstreet Housing & Community Development (Downstreet) leadership, Washington County Mental Health Services (WCMHS) leadership, and Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) leadership.

WHAT: Partners will celebrate the design, construction and siting of LIFT House in Barre, through brief presentations and a chance to see the house’s exterior at its site.

WHERE: Downstreet Housing & Community Development offices, 22 Keith Ave., Barre.

WHEN: 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2020

WHY: Funded through TD Charitable Foundation, Norwich’s Design+Build Collaborative partnered with Downstreet and WCMHS to devise a way to reduce the financial cost of new housing while creating safe, healthy, and sustainable homes for vulnerable Vermonters. Students in Norwich’s Design+Build Collaborative, in collaboration with Downstreet, planned and built two new, custom-designed energy-efficient small homes (approximately 300 square feet) that promote both contemporary and authentic architectural values. The houses will soon be on a vacant lot once inhabited by blighted, deteriorating housing in downtown Barre City. This is the first of the two houses to get completed and moved to the site. Housing vouchers will be paired with the dwellings in order to serve individuals who have mental illness and/or are at high risk of homelessness or are currently homeless. With a Washington County Mental Health Services clinic less than a mile away, this initiative is well-positioned to address a real and growing need in our community while reducing preventative instances of homelessness, all with a financial approach that makes sense.tiny

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About Norwich University’s Design+Build Collaborative

As the only university in northern New England to offer integrated professionally accredited programs in Architecture, Business, Engineering, Construction, and Nursing, Norwich’s Design+Build Collaborative calls on students to “act as well as conceive” and create solutions for local, regional, and global challenges. For over 20 years, our students have been addressing Vermont community needs through the construction of full-scale projects. Building on the seven different affordable housing prototypes Norwich has developed since 2011, the Collaborative not only continues to design and prototype regionally informed, resilient housing, but also organizes and coordinates related research and programs between the schools that make up the College of Professional Schools and partners with community organizations. Norwich University announced in February 2019 a $200,000 grant from TD Charitable Foundation, the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, to fund the development of a collaborative in the College of Professional Schools dedicated to producing affordable homes.

About Downstreet Housing & Community Development

Downstreet Housing & Community Development exists to eradicate the systemic housing challenges that affect Central Vermont citizens and communities. As Central Vermont’s leading affordable housing provider, Downstreet’s mission is to strengthen the communities of Central Vermont by engaging with people, providing affordable homes, and connecting people to the resources and services they need to thrive. Since 1987, Downstreet has served Lamoille, Washington, and Orange counties through programs and services that include: developing and providing affordable apartment rentals; home-repair loans; down-payment assistance for homebuyers; financial wellness education; at-home support services for elderly and disabled adults; and real estate development consulting services. Downstreet constantly seeks to create new solutions and opportunities that will uplift our most vulnerable Vermonters and desperately close the housing gaps that exist today. Downstreet is part of the NeighborWorks network seeking to create opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their

About Washington County Mental Health Services
WCMHS is a comprehensive community mental health center providing mental health and developmental services throughout the Washington County community. Over 8,000 individuals are served annually by this private, non-profit organization with main offices in South Barre, Vermont. In 2018, WCMHS was recognized as a Center of Excellence by Vermont Care Partners, a statewide advocacy and practice improvement organization. WCMHS is a major employer in central Vermont, with over 800 full and part time staff.

About the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board
VHCB funds the development of affordable housing and the conservation of agricultural and recreational land, forestland, natural areas, and historic properties. Since 1987, VHCB has awarded more than $275 million to fund more than 13,000 homes for Vermonters and to support the conservation of 430,000 acres of land.

About the TD Charitable Foundation
The TD Charitable Foundation is the charitable giving arm of TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, one of the 10 largest commercial banking organizations in the United States. Since its inception in 2002, the Foundation has distributed over $222 million through nearly 21,000 grants through donations to local nonprofits from Maine to Florida. More information on the TD Charitable Foundation, including the online grant application, is available at

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About Norwich University

Norwich University is a diversified academic institution that educates traditional-age students and adults in a Corps of Cadets and as civilians. Norwich offers a broad selection of traditional and distance-learning programs culminating in Baccalaureate and Graduate Degrees. Norwich University was founded in 1819 by Captain Alden Partridge of the U.S. Army and is the oldest private military college in the United States of America. Norwich is one of our nation's six senior military colleges and the birthplace of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC).

Media contact

Daphne Larkin
Office of Communications
Norwich University
Northfield, Vt.
(802) 485-2886
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