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Squeeze: High rents, low wages

Posted April 29, 2010

By Lisa McCormack

Source: StoweToday, April 29, 2010

“Even in an economic downturn, when rents could normally be expected to decline, decent affordable housing has remained out of reach for many Vermonters, including low and moderate-income workers in Lamoille and Washington counties. [More …]

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USDA Rural Development is now accepting applications under its Section 533, Housing Preservation Grant (HPG) Program.


An announcement appeared in the Federal Register on Tuesday, April 27, 2010, that Rural Housing Service would begin accepting applications.  A total of $10,146,815.03 is available nationwide for the HPG Program for Fiscal Year 2010.  Decisions on funding will be based on pre-applications.   PRE-APPLICATIONS MUST BE RECEIVED BY 5:00 P.M. ON MONDAY, JUNE 28, 2010.  States generally receive up to $100,000 each to fund grant applications. [More …]

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HUD and Treasury Seek Input on the Future of the Housing Finance System

Posted April 26, 2010

Source: NLIHC Memo to Members, April 26, 2010

“On April 22, the U.S. Department of the Treasury and HUD formally published a notice seeking comments on how a more stable and sound housing finance system can be established. This notice was announced by Secretary Shaun Donovan on April 14 at a House Committee on Financial Services hearing on the housing finance system (see Memo, 4/16). [More …]

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HUD Considers Introduction of Small Area Fair Market Rents


Source: NLIHC Memo to Members, April 26, 2010

“Under reforms being considered at HUD, Fair Market Rents (FMRs) may, beginning in 2012, be changed so that they are set at the Zip Code level in metropolitan areas, and updated annually using data from the American Community Survey.  Public housing agencies may have the opportunity to pilot the new policy in 2011. [More …]

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HUD Seeking Input on FY11 Research Agenda


Source: NLIHC Memo to Members, April 26, 2010

“The Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R) at HUD is seeking suggestions for research to be funded in FY11 or in the coming years.

A new page on, the website that PD&R uses to distribute its research, provides links to current research and to HUD’s strategic plan, which lays out the department’s goals that PD&R’s research is intended to serve. HUD then asks for public suggestions in one or more of 12 ‘primary categories’ of research: [More …]

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NLIHC Preservation Guide Now Available


Source: NLIHC Memo to Members, April 26, 2010

“NLIHC has published The Preservation Guide, Federal Housing and Homeless Plans: Potential Tools in the Affordable Housing Preservation Toolbox to help residents and advocates of affordable housing issues learn how to work locally to help save federally assisted and public housing units that would otherwise be demolished or converted to market-rate housing. [More …]

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Rural Americans Strained by Transportation Costs

Posted April 22, 2010

Source: Center for Neighborhood Technology, March 2010

“The unique transportation needs of small town and rural Americans are clear: longer distances between job opportunities, volatile energy prices, and shifting demographics are all impacting the continued prosperity of these communities. While these are similar to the challenges facing metropolitan areas, rural and small-town residents throughout the country are seeking more transportation options and want to ensure that they’re not left behind. [More …]

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2011 Budget: Cutting the Commitment to Vermonters


By Jack Hoffman

Source: Public Assets Institute, April 2010

“As they wrestle with the recession, Vermont’s elected leaders are backing away from their commitment to citizens. This change in public policy is reflected in their language and in their budgets. [More …]



EPA lead paint laws take effect today


Source:, April 22, 2010

“New federal rules to reduce lead paint exposure take effect today, and it’s expected to have a major impact in this region.

Contractors will now be required to post warning signs, restrict occupants from job sites and contain work areas to prevent the spread of dust and debris. The new rules extend to builders, painters, plumbers and electricians working in all rental housing built before 1978 as well as older homes where young children or pregnant women live.

Many smaller contractors are worried that the requirements will put them out of business since so many of the region’s homes were built before 1978 and the rules will add to the cost of the jobs.”

Link to story: EPA lead paint laws take effect today

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Vt. ranks low in rent affordability


By Bruce Edwards

Source: Rutland Herald, April 22, 2010

” Vermont continues to rank in the bottom third of states in the country for renters, according to a report released Wednesday by the National Low Income Housing Coalition and the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition.

The report, “Out of Reach 2010,” ranked Vermont as the 15th least affordable state in the country, with a renter needing to earn $17.70 an hour to afford a two-bedroom apartment in the state at a fair market rent of $920 per month. [More …]

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