From the Vermont Housing Finance Agency:
On October 1, 2016, the Fair Market Rents in every Vermont county will go up. Fair Market Rents are intended to represent the dollar amount below which 40 percent of the standard-quality rental housing units in an area are rented. They are used in HUD rental assistance programs, including the Section 8 and HOME programs.
Fair Market Rents are set for each geographic area in the state, based on Census Bureau estimates and occasionally on local rent surveys. They are set at different levels depending on the number of bedrooms in the apartment. You can view a breakdown of Fair Market Rents across Vermont by clicking here.
The Vermont Community Development Association will be holding its Fall Conference and Annual Meeting on Tuesday, October 18 from 9am to 3pm at the Castleton University Campus Center in Castleton, Vermont.
Both major gubernatorial candidates will be in attendance to discuss their strategies for community and economic development. The conference will also offer a number of workshops on community leadership and engagement strategies that can help you to establish your priorities and ensure that local leadership lines up behind a project.
You can find the agenda here and the registration materials here. Hope to see you there!
The New England Housing Network Federal Forum will take place on Friday, December 16 from 9:30am to 12pm at the Federal Reserve bank of Boston, 600 Atlantic Avenue. Breakfast and Registration begin at 9am.
What will the next Administration and Congress do about the unmet need for affordable housing in our country? At this forum, we’ll hear from national experts about what they predict will happen, and we’ll hear reactions from New England speakers about what the impact will be on our states. We’ll also consider what we can do proactively to encourage a robust federal affordable housing agenda as we begin 2017. National speakers will include:
- Chris Estes, President and CEO, National Housing Conference
- Benson “Buzz” Roberts, President and CEO, National Association of Affordable Housing Lenders
- Barbara Sard, Vice President for Housing Policy, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
- Diane Yentel, President and CEO, National Low Income Housing Coalition
National speakers will be joined by a panel of speakers from the New England states. Sponsorship opportunities are available. contact Karen Wiener at email@example.com. For more information about the conference, contact CHAPA at 617-742-0820.
Please joing Addison County Community Trust and Cathedral Square at the McKnight Lane Celebration on Wednesday, October 19th at 1pm. Help to celebrate their progress in transforming a “blighted mobile home park into Vermont’s first net-zero energy, affordable rental housing community!”
The event will being with Rep. Peter Welch showcasing the new neighborhood. Senators Leahy and Sanders have both been invited as well. Please RSVP by October 5th by calling (902) 877-2626 ext. 104 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
McKnight Lane is located on Maple Street Extension in Waltham, one mile from Main Street in Vergennes. Carpooling is encouraged. Hope to see you there!
It has come to our attention that the links to the videos of candidates’ remarks as well as the meeting as a whole were not circulated with the RSS feed. The links are included below.
On September 20, the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition and the Coalition to End Homelessness hosted their joint annual meeting at the Old Labor Hall in Barre, VT. We were lucky to have both major gubernatorial candidates Sue Minter and Phil Scott in attendance to offer their remarks on the state of affordable housing in Vermont and what they would do to address Vermont’s housing crisis and help end homelessness if they are elected Governor.
The candidates were asked to discuss what they plan to do about the state’s affordable housing shortage, how they intend to encourage community development, and what they will do to reduce homelessness across the state. Each candidate was given 45 minutes to meet with the two coalitions, make their presentation, and answer any questions from VCEH and VAHC members in attendance. We would like to thank both candidates for their participation and commitment to ensuring that Vermonters have access to safe and affordable housing.
The Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition and the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness held their annual joint meeting on September 20, 2016 at the Old Labor Hall in Barre, VT. The Coalitions were honored to have both gubernatorial candidates on hand to offer their own remarks about the state of Affordable Housing in Vermont and their respective plans to ameliorate the problems facing homelessness and affordable housing in our state. Congressional staff were also in attendance to report on what Sens. Leahy and Sanders and Congressman Welch have been doing in Washington to support housing and homelessness needs in Vermont. You can watch the full meeting by viewing the video below.
In an Op-Ed on VTDigger.org, Sen. Patrick Leahy makes the forceful argument that housing should not be a political bargaining chip, but in fact, a basic human right:
Last week President Obama’s chief housing officer, Secretary Julián Castro of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, accepted my invitation to visit Vermont. In his first visit to the Green Mountain State since he took office in 2014, he remarked how surprised he was “to see so much green.”
In fact our uniquely rural nature is why I had invited him to our state and why I had gathered a panel of Vermont’s housing partners and homelessness advocates to discuss the array of successes and challenges of achieving affordable housing in our state and rural America. Vermont is a state where affordable housing is not a slogan, but a real priority.
Vermont’s rural nature means that for many the greatest challenge is isolation. Housing costs continue to rise, and for years Vermont has maintained a 1 percent vacancy rate. Our rural communities remain challenged with meeting the complex needs of our most vulnerable citizens, but we continue to make significant gains. For instance, with the help of federal HUD investments, Vermont saw a 25 percent decrease in chronic homelessness last year. This is an impressive achievement, and a result of ingenuity and collaboration at every level.
Yet even with these gains, we will not be able to meet our goals of eradicating homelessness – just as we will not overcome inequality, advance education or build a stronger economy – unless we invest in housing.
To read the rest of this article, click here.
From the Burlington Free Press: Vermont domestic violence shelters are facing an inability to meet demand for their services, causing more people to rely on hotels and motels that cost the state and taxpayers a higher amount:
Domestic violence is forcing more Vermonters to seek emergency housing at the state’s expense, turning hotels and motels into a major piece of the statewide safety net for victims.
The number jumped last year by 10 percent, far surpassing capacity at shelters designed for people fleeing domestic and sexual violence.
“We know we’re not meeting the need,” said Auburn Watersong, associate director of public policy for the Vermont Network Against Domestic and Sexual Violence, in an interview earlier this year. “They’re ending up in hotels and motels or staying longer in our shelters. We have more bed nights this year than we’ve ever had before.”
The state houses a large portion of domestic violence victims through the emergency housing system, which is perhaps best-known for bringing people off the streets into motels on the coldest winter days. State government also uses the system to provide hotel and motel rooms for domestic violence victims year-round when shelters are full.
Those motel rooms cost an average of $73 per night, and rooms for domestic violence victims cost the state $1.6 million last year alone.
To read the rest of this article, click here.