My husband and I moved to Bennington permanently in 2008, purchased a home on Silver Street and have loved living here ever since. We have had the opportunity to move 18 times, live in 16 different states and purchase 12 homes over the years. Having lived in large cities, medium-sized suburbs and small towns, we love Bennington the most of all the places we’ve lived.

Over the years we have seen the American dream of home ownership become harder and harder to obtain for many first-time home buyers. The price of homes is only part of the equation. Stagnant wages, high rent, huge student loan debt, and the rising cost of living makes it almost impossible for low to moderate earners to save money for a down payment and qualify for a bank loan. Banks have tightened up lending rules to the point it is extremely difficult to qualify without perfect credit and a large down payment. Low to moderate earners struggle keep up with the financial demands of daily life.

Affordable housing, exactly what Shires Housing rental properties offer, gives hardworking, low to moderate earners the opportunity to do more than keep their heads above water. It allows them to pay rent they can afford, keep up with their bills, save a little money, improve credit scores, and build a future to achieve the American Dream of home ownership.

As for the impact on the neighborhood, it will be positive. Attractive, well-maintained properties are always a benefit to a neighborhood.


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Shires Housing has proven to be an excellent landlord in Bennington, building and rehabbing properties anyone would be proud to live in. Being proud of where you live extends to pride in ownership after purchasing a home. Many property owners in Bennington could take a lesson from Shires Housing.

There are several houses on Silver Street that are eyesores and could benefit from a little pride of ownership. Having been landlords, we maintained our properties as if they were our home, thus creating an atmosphere of higher expectations for our tenants. Shires Housing does the same by conducting extensive screening for quality tenants and requiring them to abide by rules of tenancy.

We hope our neighbors will keep their minds open, be welcoming to the new residents and provide a positive example of what a good old fashioned neighborhood can be.

STACEY NEW
and ROBERT ARNOLD

Bennington In honor of Independence Day

As a member of American Legion Auxiliary Post #69, located in Arlington, Vermont and serving our surrounding communities, I want to personally thank all service members of the Armed Forces of the United States of America for their innumerable contributions to protecting our freedoms and keeping our nation safe. I also want to thank the families of deployed service members for their strength and their sacrifice.

Our country is great because of you. In your honor, I want to invite everyone in the Arlington and surrounding communities to take a moment with me today and pause in honor of those who have fought and those who continue to fight for our freedom.

American Legion Auxiliary members have dedicated themselves for nearly a century to meeting the needs of our nation’s veterans, military and their families both here and abroad. They volunteer millions of hours yearly, with a value of nearly $2 billion. As part of the world’s largest women’s patriotic service organization, Auxiliary volunteers across the country also step up to honor veterans and military through annual scholarships and with ALA Girls State programs, teaching high school juniors to be leaders grounded in patriotism and Americanism. To learn more about the Auxiliary’s mission or to volunteer, donate or join, visit www.ALAforVeterans.org.

May God bless you all.

DENISE COLETY

President
American Legion Auxiliary, Post #69

Arlington