Brattleboro Working on Public Housing Post-Irene

Brattleboro, Vt. (ap) — The Brattleboro Housing Authority is planning 55 new apartments to replace public housing damaged in 2011 due to Tropical Storm Irene.

The new development, called Red Clover Commons, will partially replace the 80 units at Melrose Terrace. The complex, whose residents are elderly or disabled, had to be evacuated during the storm.

Vermont Public Radio reports tenants were allowed back temporarily, but the complex is in a flood hazard area.

Melrose Terrace was built in 1965 and was subsidized by the federal Department of Housing and Urban Affairs. But Brattleboro Housing Director Christine Hart says these days, HUD wants housing authorities to use other sources of funds, such as low-income housing tax credits.

Hart said the changed government stance means that 25 of the 80 apartments will not be replaced.

“And they loved this site,” Hart said. “I can’t tell you how many people said to me, ‘This is where we need to be.’”

Red Clover Commons is expected to cost $13 million. And the 55-unit project leaves 25 Melrose residents still in need of replacement housing.