Community Development

Shannon BarsottiCommunity Development

With approximately 16,000 residents, the Bennington community provides a diverse cross-section of the socio-economic make-up of the region. Likewise, diverse cultures and interests drive the community forward towards a sustainable vision.

Whether living, working or just visiting Bennington, this close-knit community is what keeps people coming back. Our safe and friendly environment encourages interaction and social debates that are on the forefront of the conversation across the nation.

four views of BenningtonThe Office of Community Development provides oversight of the municipality’s efforts related to the advancement of the Bennington community in the areas of public health, recreation, the arts, housing, and economic vitality.

The Community Development Director administers the Town’s Revolving Loan Programs and Marketing Program, identifies grant opportunities, manages the Community Development Block Grant funding, and is the Town’s liaison to state and federal agencies related to community and economic development. 

Bennington Revolving Loan Program
The Town’s Revolving Loan Fund was created in the 1970’s with remaining funds from grants from the Federal Department of Housing and Urban Development that the town received for infrastructure projects and housing rehabilitations. 

The Town created the revolving loan program to encourage business and job growth within the community, particularly in our designated downtown. The program was designed to aid in the rehabilitation of historic downtown structures, and in the expansion, construction, and equipment needs for local businesses that were finding it difficult to acquire the necessary funding through the bank. 

Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program
The Housing Rehabilitation Loan Program is administered by this office, with funds previously provided to the municipality for housing revitalization efforts.  The purpose of this financial assis¬tance is to 1) ensure quality living conditions, 2) maintain or improve housing infrastructure, and 3) guarantee safe, decent, and sanitary housing conditions for low- and moderate-income residents in Bennington. All rehabilitation efforts must comply with all locally adopted housing codes, state statutes, the Vermont Energy Code, and in certain cases HUD Housing Quality Standards of the Section 8 Rental Assistance Program. Projects must provide housing to low- and moderate-income eligible individuals and families (defined as earning 80% or below the median income for the County).

Interest bearing loans are to be made both to qualified owner occupied and non-owner occupied property owners for projects suitable for rehabilitation and improvement as determined by the Town of Bennington’s Community Development Office.