We have a chance to get S. 79, the long-awaited Rental Housing Safety Bill, across the finish line this session. We need your help!
Housing advocates have worked for years to pass a rental housing safety bill that will professionalize Vermont’s code inspection system, establish a rental housing registry, and create a program to fund repairs to code non-compliant housing. It is a crucial step to protecting tenants’ access to safe, adequate rental housing.
This bill, S. 79, made it closer to passage than ever before, but we ran out of time before it could get final approval. We have another chance to get it passed when the Legislature convenes for a veto session next week.
We are so close with this important bill. We need to make sure we have strong support from lawmakers and that the Governor does not veto it. VAHC encourages the housing community to step up with a strong, unified message: S. 79 will help improve Vermont’s aging housing stock, ensure that tenants receive an adequate response to health and safety complaints, and relieve Town Health Officers of complicated and burdensome inspection duties. S. 79 simply makes sense.
Here’s how you can help.
1. Contact Governor Phil Scott and let him know how important this legislation is to Vermont renters and Town Health Officers. Ask him not to veto S. 79.
2. Contact your legislators and let them know how important it is to get this legislation passed. You can find your legislators and their contact information here.
Prioritize Senators, especially Senate Republicans, for outreach. Ask them to support S. 79 when it comes before them during the veto session. (Click here to see which lawmakers voted for and against it on the last vote.)
Ask Representatives to support S. 79 if the Governor vetos it—especially House Republicans and Democrats who voted against the bill last time.
3. Contact Town Health Officers that you know or have worked with, particularly in towns where there is not a municipal inspection program, and ask them to let the Governor and legislators know how important this bill is to relieving Town Health Officers from responsibilities they do not like and often do not feel well-trained to do.
Details and Talking Points
Click here for a general guide to speaking to lawmakers about housing and homelessness issues.
Please reach out by Wednesday, June 23!