No. The answer is no for a variety of reasons.
First, the vast majority of properties we purchase and renovate are occupied buildings. When we purchase a multifamily property with plans for renovations, we temporarily relocate all of the households residing in the building. After the rehabilitation is completed, the same residents are given priority and the first option to re-rent their original apartment. Therefore, WWHT’s renovation of buildings causes no change in the building’s population or in the neighborhood’s population. The only change is in the condition of the property—which is vastly improved.
Second, most of our residents have lived in the area long before they obtain housing through the Trust. Indeed, they are an integral part of our community, and among a sizable demographic group in need of housing opportunities that do not exist within the prevailing market.
Lastly, an analysis of trends over time shows that a significant percentage of Brattleboro’s renter population is consistently of very low income (nearly half of Brattleboro’s population rents rather than owns their home). In 2006, 43% of these renters were living at or below the poverty level (earning less than 50% of median income). By and large, the people we serve are your neighbors, friends, family, and co-workers.