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Greater Burlington area among most expensive housing markets in the U.S.

Posted August 15, 2013

By Leslie Black-Plumeau, reposted from Housing Matters, August 15, 2013:

“For workers in certain industries, especially tourism and service jobs, the cost of renting or buying a home in the Burlington metropolitan area is out of reach given average wages paid in these fields.

According to the Center for Housing Policy’s “Paycheck to Paycheck, 2013” report released yesterday, Burlington is the 21st most expensive rental market among 207 metropolitan areas studied. For homeowners, the Burlington area ranked 42nd most expensive.

Check out today’s Rutland Herald article (subscription required) for local responses to the report.”

See also: Center for Housing Policy – Travel and Tourism Workers Struggle to Cover Housing Costs in Many U.S. Metros (PDF)

Rutland Hearld Report: Hospitality workers face housing crunch (PDF)


Rehabilitation efforts create energy-efficient rental housing in Brandon

Posted August 1, 2013

By Leslie Black-Plumeau. Reposted from Housing Matters, August 1, 2013.

“State-of-the-art energy improvements and renovations to two buildings in Brandon have created 27 affordable apartments for low and moderate income Vermonters, thanks to the expertise of the Housing Trust of Rutland County and financing from VHFA through the federal low-income housing tax credit program.

Unused since 1993, the Brandon Training school’s former administration building was repurposed and upgraded with solar panels and a biomass boiler.  The Erastus Thayer House on Conant Square, originally built in the late 1800s as a rooming house, received much-needed energy improvements as well as new siding, windows, and solar panels.

Twenty-five of the households moving into the renovated buildings will use monthly rental subsidies through the federal Rural Development  and Section 8 programs.  Eighteen of the apartments have two bedrooms and the remaining nine have one bedroom.”



June marks second Birthday of Ready, Set, Rent!

Posted June 17, 2013

By Leslie Black-Plumeau, June 11, 2013

“In June 2011 Champlain Housing Trust (CHT) introduced a program aimed at helping Vermonters whose rental applications were denied due to a poor credit history or a lack of sufficient credit history. Ready, Set, Rent! turns two years old this month.

According CHT, the program has ‘exceeded expectations and brought about some unanticipated positive results for program participants’.  The program includes credit and money management education, along with direct work with CHT counseling resources that help participants develop a strong financial foundation. Budgeting, financial planning, developing positive money habits, and building methods and systems to support solid financial behavior are all covered as part of the program.

Ready, Set, Rent! has helped 122 participants access affordable rental units so far. The report notes that many of the participants were previously reliant on alternative housing through shelters, motels, or family members.  Others were homeless. The report goes on to detail some of the specific populations the program reached, along with data on both the participants and results.”

Link to Ready, Set, Rent Full Report  


Fair Market Rents revised upward by 24% for Burlington-S. Burlington metro area

Posted May 3, 2013

By Leslie Black-Plumeau. Reposted from Housing Matters, April 30, 2013.

“HUD announced…that a recent in-depth survey revealed that rents for modest units in the greater Burlington area are 24% higher than originally estimated.  In October 2013, HUD set the monthly fair market rent for a one bedroom apartment in the greater Burlington area at $788, a surprising drop of more than $100 from the prior year’s level.

Since this decline was inconsistent with local data indicating rising–not declining–rents, VHFA and partner housing agencies encouraged HUD to conduct an intensive rent survey of the area.

This revision affects Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle counties…”


Emergency housing requests rise amidst news of continued high Vermont rents

Posted March 25, 2013

By Leslie Black-Plumeau. Reposted from Housing Matters, March 18th, 2013.

“Calls fielded by Vermont 2-1-1 operators for emergency housing increased dramatically during January and February 2013.  Calls for housing and shelter assistance exceeded all other types of calls in February.

Meanwhile, Vermont found itself ranked among the 2013 most expensive jurisdictions in the country by the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s annual “Out of Reach” report.  Vermont was among the nation’s top 10 states with the highest non-metro area rents.

Read more on the Vermont 2-1-1 and the National Low Income Housing Coalition‘s websites.”

Link to Housing Matters blog 


Bipartisan Policy Center recommends broad changes for U.S. housing policy

Posted February 28, 2013

By Leslie Black-Plumeau. Reposted from Housing Matters blog, February 27, 2013.

“Earlier this week, the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission released its vision for the future of housing policy in its report:  Housing America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy.  The recommendations include replacing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac with a government corporation to provide a limited catastrophic government guarantee, expanding the Housing Credit by 50 percent over current levels to increase housing supply, and targeting a reformed Housing Choice Voucher program to the most vulnerable households.

The report also recommends a more comprehensive focus on meeting the housing needs of our nation’s seniors that responds to their desire to age in place and recognizes the importance of integrating housing with health care and other services. Vermont’s statewide SASH (Support and Services at Home) program and Chittenden County-based Cathedral Square Corporation and are both identified as model approaches for providing services to elderly residents while integrating funding streams.”

Link to Housing Matters article 



Housing tax credit provisions survive fiscal cliff compromise

Posted January 13, 2013

By Leslie Black-Plumeau. Reposted from VHFA’s Housing Matters blog, January 2, 2013.

“With greater dissention than in the Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the fiscal cliff compromise bill last night.  Despite considerable debate among House members about a lack of spending cuts, the bill retains a provision fixing the 9% credit rate for Low Income Housing Tax Credit allocations made up to January 1, 2014, according to analysis by the Housing Advisory Group.

The compromise bill also extends the New Markets Tax Credit for two years.

Read more about the fiscal cliff compromise from the Housing Advisory Group.”

Link to Housing Matters website.




Housing cost burden identified as most pressing housing need in South Burlington


By Leslie Black-Plumeau. Reposted from VHFA’s Housing Matters, January 9, 2013.

‘”An estimated 1,000 households living in South Burlington pay more than half of their incomes for housing, according to VHFA’s recently completed housing needs assessment for the City of South Burlington. Nearly 600 of these households are renter households, while the other 400 households own their homes.

In addition to increasing the supply of affordable rental and owner housing, the report also identified a growing need for small units to accommodate the 1 and 2-person households that dominate the city’s population.

The housing needs analysis was prepared at the request of the South Burlington Affordable Housing Committee, funded through a grant from the Chittenden County ECOS project, and conducted by VHFA’s Leslie Black-Plumeau. The South Burlington Affordable Housing Committee was charged by the city council with helping to increase the availability of safe and affordable rental and owner-occupied housing. More information about this work is located on the City of South Burlington website.

The Chittenden County ECOS project is a process and a plan for managing sustainable growth in Chittenden County that is being managed by the Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission with support from HUD.

Read the full South Burlington housing needs report or watch CCTV’s coverage of the November Housing Summit which includes a review of South Burlington’s housing needs data.”


Hundreds collaborate about housing finance issues at statewide conference

Posted November 19, 2012

The Vermont Statewide Housing Conference, put on by VHFA, was held last Thursday, November 15, at the Hilton in Burlington. The Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition served as a partner organization and  helped to plan several workshops for the conference. Ted Wimpey of CVOEO, pictured below with Kathy Luce of Maloney Properties, serves as the VAHC Steering Committee Chair.

“About 430 people packed the Burlington Hilton yesterday to listen, share, and address Vermont’s most pressing housing finance problems.  Governor Shumlin opened the conference by recounting the challenges the state has overcome since the unprecedented devastation of Tropical Storm Irene. Equipping our neighborhoods for the “climate change storms” of the future and rebuilding more durably is an absolute requirement, he explained.

He also congratulated the housing agency players in the audience, describing them as the “best housing coalition partnership in America,” in terms of developing and preserving the state’s affordable housing stock and contributing to the state’s economic health.  “We can’t grow jobs without affordable housing,” Shumlin acknowledged. ”

Link to Housing Matters article 

Full PDF of Housing Matters Article


Unlike rest of country, Vermont’s median income rose in 2011

Posted September 21, 2012

By: Leslie Black-Plumeau, Housing Matters, VHFA, September 20, 2012

“Vermont was the only state that showed in increase in real median income betweeen 2010 and 2011, according to estimates released today from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey. The median household income in Vermont was $52,776 in 2011, up 4% from $50,707 in 2012.

Rising incomes helped to bring down both the percentage and number of people in poverty in Vermont. The Vermont poverty rate declined from 12.7% to 11.5%, as an estimated 7,000 residents were lifted above the poverty line. Vermont was the only state to experience a decline in poverty in 2011…”

Link to Full Housing Matters Article

PDF of Full Article


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