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October 3: RACDC’s 20th Anniversary Annual Meeting

Posted September 26, 2013

Next Thursday, October 3, Randolph Area Community Development Corporation (RACDC) will be celebrating their 20th Anniversary at their annual meeting.  The festivities will be held at the Chandler Center for the Arts and will feature Noelle MacKey, Commissioner of the Department of Housing and Community Development, and Sue Minter, Deputy Secretary of the Vermont Agency of Transportation.  Check out the agenda:

  • 6:00 p.m.  Hors d’oeuvres-Desserts-Entertainment
  • 7:00 p.m.  Brief Business Meeting
  • 7:30 p.m.  Hutchinson Award Presentation
  • 7:45 p.m.  Speakers & Discussion
    • Good Neighbors Make Good Bridges
    • Lessons in Resiliency
    • Sue Minter, Deputy Secretary, VT Agency of Transporation
    • Noelle MacKay, Commissioner, Economic, Housing & Community Development
    • Leaders on the State’s Irene Recovery Team share what distinguished the communities that responded best, and what we can learn from them.

Bring a friend – all are welcome to attend!  For more information, or to volunteer to get involved, call 728-4305, email, or visit online at


Latest Data from Census Bureau’s American Community Survey

Posted September 25, 2013

The latest American Community Survey (ACS) data was released by the U.S. Census Bureau on September 19.  Here’s a brief rundown on what the newest data shows from a few places across the web.

The Vermont Housing Finance Agency’s Housing Matters blog post on the estimates:

The median annual income level among all Vermont households in 2012 was $53,840, according to Census Bureau American Community Survey estimates released last week.  This income level is not different in a statistically significant way from the state’s 2011 estimate, when expressed in 2012 dollars.   Looking back further to compare 2012 with 2000 shows the same stagnancy, in terms of real median household income in Vermont.   By comparison, the nationwide median has declined by 6.6% since 2000.

These income estimates are part of last week’s release of the “1-year” results from 2012 American Community Survey.   In Vermont, this means that 2012 estimates are now available at the statewide level, for Chittenden County, and for the Burlington-South Burlington metropolitan statistical area.   Rolling averages comprised of 3 years of survey results for 2010-2012 will be released on October 24, 2013 which will cover several additional Vermont locations.

Estimates for all Vermont towns and counties will be released on December 5, 2013 when the ACS “5-year” estimates are released  which consist of averages of five years (2008-2012) worth of survey results.

VTDigger on the latest numbers from the Census and what some of those numbers reveal for the most challenged populations in the state:

Poverty in Vermont remains a challenge since the economic recession, despite persistent improvements in the overall unemployment rate. The disparity is replicated nationwide, according to new data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

Poverty rates are estimates based on surveys of sample population. They’re not hard and fast numbers, so they come with margins of error. Technically, Vermont’s overall poverty rate in 2012, according to the American Community Survey’s one-year estimates, could have been anywhere between 11 and 12.6 percent.

The ACS Data shows continued growth in the rental sector.  Nationally, one out of four renters are spending more than 50 percent of their income on housing costs.  The National Low Income Housing Coalition has more:

According to the data, renters make up 36.1% of all households in the country, up from 35.4% in 2011 and 32.7% in 2006. This surge in the number of renters has caused rental vacancy rates to fall from 7.4% in 2011 to 6.8% in 2012. There was no statistically significant change in either median gross rent or median household income from 2011. In 2012, median gross rent was at $884. The median household income was at $51,371; however, the median household income for renters was just $31,888.

For renters earning less than the median household income, the cost of housing remains a major obstacle. There were 13.5 million renter households earning less than $20,000 annually in 2012, and 76% of these households paid more than 30% of their income towards their housing costs. Overall, 48% of renters experienced this level of unaffordable cost burden, and one out of every four renters paid more than half of their income towards rent and utilities.

For more information:

Housing Matters: Vermont Median Household Income Remained Unchanged in 2012

VTDigger: Latest Poverty Numbers Reveal the Most Challenged Populations

NLIHC: Newest ACS Data Shows Continued Growth in Rental Sector


Become a Friend of Rural America

Posted September 24, 2013

Rural America needs friends in small towns and cities across this country, individuals who are willing to speak up for rural people and places, and ask their family, friends and co-workers to speak up too.  Check out this campaign from Rural America working to increase awareness of the needs of those in rural areas:

Rural people and places don’t get the attention and respect they deserve from our nation’s private and public leaders and it’s getting worse. Ten thousand voices speaking together could change that. Won’t you add yours?

10,000 Friends of Rural America is sponsored by a coalition of 25 rural nonprofits and supporters. It is designed to mobilize as many individuals and organizations as possible–at least 10,000– willing to speak up for the real Rural America; what its communities contribute to the country and why it makes sense for corporations, foundations and government to invest in Rural America’s future.

Please visit, watch the video, read the message and join. It doesn’t cost anything and takes just a couple of minutes. It’s all available in Spanish too. Then reach out to your friends, family and co-workers from every corner of the country and ask them to join and recruit others.

Adding your name means you support our efforts to shine a light on the issues rural people and places face. Acting together, speaking in one voice, we can capture the attention of our nation’s leaders and motivate them to give Rural America a fair shake. So please act now. Ten thousand voices are difficult to ignore and Rural America needs Friends like you.

For more information, and to add your own name, visit Rural America’s website.


NYT: Having a Job, or 2, Doesn’t Mean Having a Home


The New York Times had an important article last week reminding us how many Americans and Vermonters are doing everything right and everything they possibly can and yet housing remains out of reach:

On many days, Alpha Manzueta gets off from one job at 7 a.m., only to start her second at noon. In between she goes to a place she’s called home for the last three years — a homeless shelter.

“I feel stuck,” said Ms. Manzueta, 37, who has a 2 ½-year-old daughter and who, on a recent Wednesday, looked crisp in her security guard uniform, waving traffic away from the curb at Kennedy International Airport. “You try, you try and you try and you’re getting nowhere. I’m still in the shelter.”

With New York City’s homeless population in shelters at a record high of 50,000, a growing number of New Yorkers punch out of work and then sign in to a shelter, city officials and advocates for the homeless say. More than one out of four families in shelters, 28 percent, include at least one employed adult, city figures show, and 16 percent of single adults in shelters hold jobs.

Mostly female, they are engaged in a variety of low-wage jobs as security guards, bank tellers, sales clerks, computer instructors, home health aides and office support staff members. At work they present an image of adult responsibility, while in the shelter they must obey curfews and show evidence that they are actively looking for housing and saving part of their paycheck.

Advocates of affordable housing say that the employed homeless are proof of the widening gap between wages and rents — which rose in the city even during the latest recession — and, given the shortage of subsidized housing, of just how difficult it is to escape the shelter system, even for people with jobs.

Read the full article online here.

PDF of the Article


ICYMI: Fair, Safe, Affordable – CVOEO Housing Support Programs


In case you missed it, last Friday on Channel 17 Pam Favreau, Director of Vermont Tenants Incorporated, spoke with Jan Demers, Executive Director of CVOEO, on the Housing Support Programs offered by the organization:

Click here to watch the program.


New Video from Housing Vermont

Posted September 19, 2013

Check out this new video from Housing Vermont describing Vermont’s affordable housing delivery system.  The video debuted at last week’s celebration of Housing Vermont’s 25th year:


An MPG Rating for your Home


A home energy score is kind of like an MPG rating for your home.  The folks over at Efficiency Vermont have put together some different options for how to present that score.  Take a minute to take a look at the draft designs:



To read more and to share your thoughts, click here.


GA Rules Hearings on Friday

Posted September 18, 2013

There are two hearings on Friday, September 20 in Waterbury on the General Assistance rules.  The first hearing will cover the GA Emergency Housing for Vulnerable Populations which will start at 10:00 AM.  The second hearing will cover General/Emergency Assistance Temporary Housing in Catastrophic Situations which will start at 11:00 AM.

Both hearings will be held at St. Andrews Church, 109 South Main Street, Waterbury, VT.

Contact Heidi Moreau of the Department for Children and Families, Agency of Human Services for more information by phone at 802-595-9639 or via email.

See also: Proposed Rules

***Update: The Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition submitted comments on the proposed GA rules after this meeting.  Read them here (PDF).***


Thursday, October 3: Lamoille View Ribbon Cutting


Housing Vermont and the Lamoille Housing Partnership will be presenting a special ribbon cutting event to celebrate the completion of the renovated Lamoille View Apartments:

The noise has subsided, the dust has settled, the contractors have moved on to their next job and the residents are settled in their renovated apartments. . .It’s time to celebrate the completion of extensive renovations and to thank our public and private partners, the community, and the residents.  Please join us for the ribbon cutting, see the results, and share our excitement.

The ribbon cutting will take place at 165 & 167 Park Street in Morrisville at 1:30 PM on Thursday, October 3, 2013.  We hope to see you there!



Point-in-Time Count of Homelessness in Vermont


The next Point-in-Time (PIT) count of Vermont’s homeless population will take place on January 29, 2014.  The PIT Count allows local communities and state policy makers to understand current problems of homelessness, target limited funding to appropriate housing and services, and track progress.  It also serves to highlight the need to ensure all Vermonters have safe, adequate, physically accessible, and affordable housing.

The Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness will be discussing preliminary planning of the 2014 Point-in-Time at their next monthly meeting on October 15 in Randolph.

See also: Summary by county of the 2013 Point-in-Time.


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