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“There is something permanent, and extremely profound, in owning a home.”

~Kenny Guinn
Before we get started...
Remember that we have a list of resources on our website that we think may be helpful during these uncertain times. Please visit our website and look around for anything that might help you and your loved ones get through this difficult time. As always, feel free to reach out to Kira, Cheryl, or Pattie if you have any questions about how we are continuing our work during the COVID-19 outbreak.

It’s time to button up before the snow flies – The Farmer’s Almanac gives New England the “wild card” status noting “…we can expect a rather intense weather system. This weather system will keep the storms active, delivering a wintry mix of rainy, icy and/or snowy weather throughout the season.”
Here’s a checklist to help keep this season’s winter wonderland outside…
The Furnace
  • Move materials away from the furnace, especially flammable materials.
  • Check your pilot light. If it isn’t burning, follow the instructions for relighting which are typically printed on access doors. You can also find information on the manufacturer’s website—that’s where you should go to learn about maintenance requirements for your equipment. If you have difficulty, call a qualified heating contractor for advice.
  • Vacuum out any dust or debris in and around the unit, especially the blower. Replace the filter if needed.
  • We recommend that you have your furnace professionally inspected each year by a qualified professional. These are some things they might do:
    • Lubricate the blower motor with a non-detergent motor oil.
    • Remove the flame shield and check the burner for corrosion.
    • Check the flue for gaps or dents and make sure it is venting properly to the outdoors.
Around the House
  • Set your programmable thermostat for winter! Click here to see recommended settings from ENERGY STAR.
  • Create a clear area around the heat registers by moving furniture, rugs, drapes, etc. Vacuum out dust in registers.
  • Test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Be sure to keep extra batteries on hand.
  • Check that your fire extinguisher is fully charged; replace if needed.
  • Check windows and doors for drafts, and install weather stripping where it’s needed. A qualified contractor can also help you test for leaks and seal them, and can also add insulation to your attic and walls if needed.
  • Check your fireplace for soot or creosote build-up. Schedule a visit from a reputable chimney sweep if needed.
Outside the House
Shut off valves to outdoor faucets. Open spigots and drain and store hoses.
  • Make sure furnace intakes and outputs are clear (nothing is crowding them) and keep snow away from them.
  • Take advantage of the sun’s warmth; trim back bushes and trees around your windows.
  • Clear downspouts and gutters, and visually inspect the roof (if you’re comfortable doing this yourself). This is also something that a qualified company can help you do. If you do it yourself, remember to always keep yourself and any tool or equipment you may be using at least 10-feet away from overhead lines, and not to use ladders or get on your roof if it’s wet or icy.
Don’t forget that your utility has cold weather rebates to help you keep your house cozy and warm this winter! and
Shared Equity Homeowners Take Note!

New Coupon Booklets and Annual Occupancy Certifications coming soon, so keep an eye out in November!

COVID-19 Mortgage Assistance is Available

The Vermont COVID Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program is being administrated by the Vermont Housing Finance Authority.
There are program updates that open up this opportunity for assistance to more homeowners!

Visit to learn more.

Are you in need of assistance?
Are you unsure if you are eligible for mortgage relief programs? Need help completing the application? Want to talk through your options with someone? Give us a call! We would be more than happy to help you navigate these opportunities.
Please direct all inquiries to Pattie Dupuis, Downstreet's Director of Homeownership Services.
Phone: 802-477-1343
Please direct all inquiries to Pattie Dupuis, Downstreet's Director of Homeownership Services: or (802) 477-1343


Green Mountain Power Customers

Is their Energy Assistance Program a good fit for you?

GMP's Energy Assistance helps lower-income Vermonters afford energy for their homes — regardless of how they heat their homes.
Q: What assistance is available?
A: If GMP determines that you're eligible, you:
  • Will get a 25% discount off the monthly charges for the energy you use
  • May qualify for arrears forgiveness if you're new to the program and owe on a past bill

Q: Am I eligible for energy assistance?
A: To be eligible, you must:

Q: How do I apply?
A: Print and complete this application form. Or call 1-800-775-0516 to ask that one be mailed to you. Attach a copy of your most recent electric bill. Don't send an original.

Sign the application and submit it to:

DCF – Economic Services Division, Application & Document Processing Center
280 State Drive
Waterbury VT  05671-1500

You must reapply each year to keep getting the discount!

Q: Who can I call if I have questions or need help applying?
A: Call the Economic Services Division at 1-800-775-0516

Q: What if I have questions about my bill?
A: Call Green Mountain Power at 1-888-835-4672 or contact them online at

Q: Is there anything else I need to know?
A: Once you're enrolled in the program, you must call 1-800-775-0516 to report any changes to your household income or household members — within 10 business days. Failing to report changes will make you ineligible for the program and may result in legal action against you for discounts improperly received.
For more information on the Green Mountain Power Energy Assistance Program and to learn about other helpful assistance programs go to:
Tomato Soup with Parmesan Croutons
By Ree Drummond


12 Servings
Prep Time: 10 min
Cook Time: 30 min
Total Time: 40 min

  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced fine or grated
  • 1 whole onion, finely diced
  • 3 whole large carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 2 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 3 cans (28 ounces each) whole tomatoes
  • 32 oz. fluid vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 c. water
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. minced fresh parsley
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 whole baguette, sliced into rounds
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • 1/2 c. freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
  • Fresh basil for garnish
  1. In a large pot, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat, then add onion, garlic, and carrots. Stir and cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add tomato paste and stir it in, cooking for another 2-3 minutes. Add canned tomatoes with their juice, broth, and water. Stir together and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover the pot, and simmer for 15-20 minutes, longer if you have time.
  3. Use an immersion blender to puree, still leaving some texture to the tomatoes. Add cream, salt, pepper, parsley, and basil, and simmer for another 5 minutes.
  4. To make the croutons: drizzle crostini rounds lightly with olive oil. Place little piles of Parmesan in a nonstick skillet. Place a crostini round on top of each pile. Turn on the heat to medium. Press with a spatula as you melt the cheese into each round. When set, flip to the other side to toast.

Serve soup with one or two croutons on top and a little bit of basil.

NOTE: recipe can easily be halved!
Download the Printable Version of This Recipe
Enjoy this Halloween-themed fall crossword puzzle!

(To print the word search, right-click on the image and click "Save Image As"; save to your computer and print on a printer.)

Keep in Touch!!

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