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Joint Center for Housing Studies releases housing recovery report

Posted July 12, 2013

Reposted from the Joint Center for Housing Studies, June 26, 2013.

A Housing Recovery, but Not For All Americans
Harvard Research Center Releases The State of the Nation’s Housing 2013

CAMBRIDGE, MA – Driven by rising home prices and growing demand, the U.S. housing recovery is well underway, concludes The State of the Nation’s Housing report released today by the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. While still at historically low levels, housing construction has finally turned the corner, giving the economy a much-needed boost. But even as the recovery gains momentum, millions of homeowners are still delinquent on their mortgages or owe more than their homes are worth, and severe housing cost burdens have set a new record…”

View Full JCHS Press Release


Register today for the 2013 National Conference on Ending Homelessness

Posted June 13, 2013

Due to overwhelming response, the National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) now anticipates that registration for the 2013 National Conference on Ending Homelessness in Washington, DC, originally scheduled to run to July 10, will reach capacity at some point this month. If you have not yet registered for the conference, we encourage you to register as soon as possible. The regular registration rate of $550 per person is scheduled to run until 3 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 26, but will close early if the event reaches capacity before that date. Register today to ensure your spot and to take advantage of the regular rate.

For the latest information about conference workshops, track options, and the conference schedule, please visit the Conference Agenda page of the conference website.


May 1 – Joint House & Senate Hearing with Nan Roman

Posted April 16, 2013

Nan Roman, the Commissioner of the Bipartisan Policy Center Housing Commission and the President and CEO of the National Alliance to End Homelessness, will be presenting at a joint House and Senate Hearing at the Vermont State House on May 1, 2013.

The meeting will be held from 9:30am – 10:30am, followed by a press conference at 11:00am in the Cedar Creek Room.

The Bipartisan Policy Center’s report Housing America’s Future: New Directions for National Policy offers key recommendations for federal housing policy and national housing reform.

View BPC Flyer

Link to Full Summary of Commission Report
Link to Executive Summary of Commission Report

View PowerPoint of Bipartisan Policy Center Report, which provides background on the formation of the Commission and outlines their plans. 


The National Alliance to End Homelessness hosts webinar on homelessness in America

Posted April 3, 2013

The National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) is hosting a webinar to announce the release of their new report, The State of Homelessness in America 2013. Samantha Batko, director of the Alliance’s Homelessness Research Institute, will explain the latest data in The State of Homelessness 2013 and why it matters for communities working to prevent and end homelessness. The webinar will also cover media engagement and advocacy efforts around the report.

When: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 @ 3:00pm ET

Register for State of Homelessness in America 2013 Webinar 


Affordable housing is out of reach in Vermont

Posted March 14, 2013

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released it’s report, Out of Reach 2013, earlier this week. The national study highlights the growing gap between minimum wage and the cost of a basic apartment. Specifically, the report focuses on barriers to finding and maintaining an affordable home nationwide. Since it’s release, affordable housing has been spotlighted in local media:

Barre Montpelier Times Argus
Renting in Vermont: Gap remains between income and affordability
View PDF of Times Argus article

Vermont Public Radio News
Reports Paint Different Pictures Of Affordable Housing
View PDF of VPR News article 


Link to Out of Reach 2013 report



High Rents Make Housing Unaffordable for Many in Vermont

Posted March 11, 2013

Vermont Rents Out of Reach for Working Families

The National Low Income Housing Coalition (NLIHC) released the Out of Reach 2013 report this afternoon, which highlights affordable housing needs in Vermont and across the country. To check out the report, click HERE.

To see how Vermont ranks nationally, view Out of Reach – Vermont


WASHINGTON, D.C. – Renters in Vermont need to earn $18.53 per hour in order to afford a basic apartment here, according to a report released today that compares the cost of rental housing with what renters can really afford. This works out to an annual income of $38,541.

The report, Out of Reach 2013, was jointly released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, a Washington, DC-based research and advocacy organization, and the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition. The report provides the Housing Wage and other housing affordability data for every state, metropolitan area, combined non metropolitan area, and county in the country. The Housing Wage is the hourly wage a family must earn, working 40 hours a week, 52 weeks a year, to be able to afford the rent and utilities for a safe and modest home in the private housing market.

“Vermont has been and still is one of the states with the least affordable rental housing,” says Ted Wimpey, Director of the Fair Housing Project at the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity and Chairperson of the Vermont Coalition. “It is extremely difficult now for even moderate income people in Vermont to find affordable rental housing, and the situation has many serious consequences including increased homelessness and suppressed economic development in Vermont.”

Working at the minimum wage in Vermont, a family must have 2.2 wage earners working full-time, or one full-time earner working 86 hours per week at $8.60 an hour, the state’s minimum wage, to afford a modest two-bedroom apartment at $964 a month, the Fair Market Rent for a two-bedroom apartment in Vermont.

The typical renter in Vermont earns $11.67 an hour which is $6.86 less than the hourly wage needed to afford a modest unit.  Someone living on Social Security Income (SSI) of $750 a month can’t afford to pay more than $225 a month, leaving a gap of $739.

According to Jeanne Montross, Executive Director of Helping Overcome Poverty’s Effects (HOPE) and Chairperson of the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness, “The economic difficulty in recent years has caused a real housing crisis for many Vermonters. With scarcer housing subsidies and reduced funding for the creation of new affordable housing, this is creating a wave of distress that we will be dealing with for years to come.”

Sheila Crowley, President and CEO of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, says that there is a role the federal government can play in easing the financial strain faced by low-income renters. “The federal government has used the tax code to make homeownership easier. In reality, the benefits are largely going to higher income people with million-dollar homes. It’s time to make housing policy work better for middle and lower income people by reforming mortgage interest tax breaks and directing the savings to the National Housing Trust Fund to build and preserve homes affordable to the lowest income Americans.”

The new report comes at a time when federal housing resources are being further cut as a result of sequestration.  The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington-based policy research organization, estimates that Vermont will lose over 300 federal rental assistance vouchers and another $500,000 in housing and community development funds.  This comes on top of $3.2 million in housing and community development cuts over the last three years.

An estimated 63% of renters in Vermont do not earn enough to afford a two-bedroom unit at the Fair Market Rent.  This year, Vermont is the 15th most expensive state in the nation for renters overall and the ninth most expensive for non-metropolitan areas.

For additional information, visit


Please note: In May 2013, the NLIHC revised the Out of Reach 2013 information to reflect increases in Vermont’s statewide Fair Market Rent (FMR) and Housing Wage. The updates show an increase in the FMR for a two-bedroom apartment from $964 to $1,054. This means a household working 40 hours a week would have to earn $20.27/hr in order to make their housing affordable. Link to VAHC’s updated OOR 2013 post 


HUD Reports Record Increase in Housing Unaffordability for Low Income Renters

Posted February 26, 2013

By Amy Clark, NLIHC. From the National Low Income Housing Coalition’s Press Release, February 25, 2013.

Low income renters in the United States are experiencing record rates of unaffordable housing costs, according to a new report from HUD. The report, Worst Case Housing Needs 2011, shows 8.48 million renter households experiencing ‘worst case housing needs,’ a 19% increase since 2009 and a 43.5% increase since 2007.

Worst case housing needs are experienced by very low income renters who pay more than half of their income for housing or living in severely inadequate housing conditions or both…”

View PDF of Full Press Release


Measuring the need: Count of Vermont’s homeless helps refine services

Posted February 11, 2013

The Point-in-Time Count took place during the last Wednesday in January. The objective of the HUD-required count is to assess the number of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals on one night.

By: Matt Ryan, Free Press Staff Writer. Reposted from the Burlington Free Press, February 10, 2013. 

“Clipboard in hand, Stefanie Comstock called out to the folks lining the narrow, pale green corridor. They had come to the Salvation Army for dinner and she had come to count them. Specifically the people unlikely to be documented elsewhere during the annual point in time homeless count; the people she expected to spend the night outdoors, perhaps in a tent, or a car or an abandoned building.

While the guests chowed down on lasagna, Comstock and two colleagues from Burlington’s Safe Harbor Clinic went table to table. They didn’t take names, but they did take initials and birth dates, so as to avoid duplication in the final tally.

By dinner’s end, they had counted 41 people.

“A good number don’t know where they are staying tonight…”

Link to Full Burlington Free Press Article 

View PDF of Full Burlington Free Press Article


CBPP Webinar, Tuesday, January 29: What does the next stage of the federal budget battle mean for low-income housing and community development?

Posted January 28, 2013

Reposted from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

With the recent “fiscal cliff” budget deal and the agreement to “suspend” the debt ceiling until mid-May, the President and Congress are now moving to the next stage of the fight over federal budget priorities and deficit reduction: the deep, across-the-board cuts in federal programs (“sequestration”) that are now scheduled to occur on March 1 and the extension of fiscal year 2013 funding for low-income housing and other discretionary (i.e., annually funded) programs, which will otherwise expire on March 27.

To help advocates and other stakeholders to better understand the current state of play and what’s at stake for low-income housing and community development, CBPP will hold a free webinar.

When: 3:00 pm (EST), Tuesday, January 29.
To register for this webinar, click HERE


In case you missed it: CCTV’s Housing & Communities Show: Host Mike McNamara

Posted December 27, 2012

Erhard Mahnke, Executive Director of the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition appeared on the December 5th episode of CCTV’s Housing & Communities Show, hosted by HUD Field Officer, Mike McNamara. Mahnke and McNamara discuss federal and state housing policy and advocacy, and the Vermont housing network of service providers, state agencies, and non-profits.

Future airtimes for the show:

Saturday, December 29, 5:00 PM
Monday, December 31, 3:00 PM

To watch online, click HERE.

Visit the CCTV Channel 17 website.


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