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Island Insights: Conversations with CIDER

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Conversations with CIDER

The town of South Hero has seen several developments in the last five years from the Community Health Center, Wally’s Place, Worthen Library, Champlain Islands Candy Lab, Viva Marketplace and more to come. The next big thing to come to South Hero will be an affordable senior housing facility. CIDER (Champlain Islands Developing Essential Resources) has partnered with Cathedral Square (a leading creator of affordable housing with services for older adults and people with special needs) to bring this multi million dollar project to the Champlain Islands.

Over the last 15 years CIDER and Cathedral Square have been working hard to come up with an affordable senior housing solution for the Grand Isle County community. Introducing Bayview Crossing. It will house 30 apartments for older adults, a variety of amenities and services for residents, and an office space for CIDER. It is planned to be a mixed-income community, with apartments at both market-rate and subsidized rents. 

Robin Way pointing at field where construction will take place After years of searching for a site, septic tests, and archaeological studies, they have settled on a site behind the Community Health Center and plan to break ground in late 2021. One of the main criteria for creating this development was to be close to services. This location is within walking distance to the Community Health Center, the Worthen Library and local eateries making it an ideal location. 

Grand Isle County is the oldest county in the state of Vermont and one of the only counties without any type of senior housing. This makes it difficult for residents who need care and most end up leaving the Champlain Islands to find services. Since the early 90’s there has been an expressed need for senior housing in our area.



Cathedral Square is a local nonprofit and they have 25 affordable housing communities in Vermont but none in an area quite like the Champlain Islands. Due to Grand Isle County’s unique demographic makeup, it is a great opportunity for Cathedral Square to bring affordable senior housing to this rural area. They are currently in the fundraising phase of the project. If you or someone you know is interested in more information about donating visit their website.


Learn more about CIDER

The mission of CIDER is to help people with special needs continue to live independently at home. This non-profit is run by executive director, Robin Way, as well as their team of staff, board of directors, and their dedicated army volunteers (they have between 100-150 volunteers in a year!). 

Their services range from ride services, meal programs, community events and classes, wheelchair ramp construction, medical equipment and so much more. All of these resources are free and they depend on their members and fundraisers to continue to provide these services.

Image of the CIDER sign and logoRobin Way in front of the new site that will become Bayview Crossing senior housing

“We see more kindness and generosity in any given day. People stepping up to help out each other. Neighbors helping neighbors. That's what it takes.” 

- Robin Way, CIDER Executive Director


In our December Issue...Chocolate from Champlain Islands Candy Lab

Keep an eye out for a local gift guide that will help you get your holiday shopping done this season without having to leave the Champlain Islands!


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