Leahy Leadership Award: Brenda Torpy

Posted On October 29, 2014 By | No Comments on Leahy Leadership Award: Brenda Torpy

Executive Director Rita Markley with Brenda Torpy

The Leahy Leadership Award was created in honor of Sen. Patrick Leahy to acknowledge advocacy and leadership on behalf of Vermonters who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless.

We are delighted to bestow this high honor on Brenda Torpy.

Brenda has more than 30 years of experience in the affordable housing field starting with community organizing, rural community development and affordable housing advocacy in northern Vermont.

As the Community and Economic Development Office’s first housing Director for the City of Burlington, Brenda worked on the development of the Burlington Community Land Trust, now Champlain Housing Trust, and served as its first board president. In 1991, she joined the staff as Executive Director.

Under Brenda’s leadership, CHT was selected as the 2008 winner of the UN World Habitat Award for the Global North for its leadership in the development of the Community Land Trust model of permanently affordable and community-controlled housing.

Brenda also has worked for the Vermont Housing Finance Agency as Development Director, and coordinated the $21 million tenant-led buyout of Northgate Apartments, 336 apartments that needed extensive rehabilitation and reinvestment to assure continued affordability.

Brenda also serves on the Board of the National Community Land Trust Network, the National Risk Mitigation Corporation and on Vermont’s Governor’s Housing Council.

COTS is honored to partner with Brenda and Champlain Housing Trust, along with Howard Center, on the Family Supportive Housing program, which provides transitional housing for families.

And, Champlain Housing Trust works particularly closely with COTS’ Housing Resource Center – partnering on Security Deposit Guaranties, collaborating on our COMPASS program, which is a risk- guarantee fund for those who are particularly difficult to house, and working with COTS to house those with bad or no credit history, poor or non-existent landlord references, as well as straightening out rental arrearages and security deposit issues. We are thankful for Brenda’s advocacy and efforts to create affordable housing in our community.

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