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Housing and the Economy: The Statewide Ripple Effect

A new paper was released this week highlighting the link between housing and Vermont’s economy. Housing and the Economy: The Statewide Ripple Effect, is the fifth and final paper in a series that is designed to demonstrate the value of affordable housing for people and communities across the State of Vermont. From the paper:

In 2008, the bottom fell out of the economy, and the much‐touted housing bubble burst. As happened with firms around the country, at Naylor & Breen Builders, a Brandon‐based construction company founded in 1978, business took a hit. Until that time, says president and co‐founder Rob Naylor, close to 85 percent of their business was negotiated work, but in 2008, “it was like someone turned the spigot off,” and those jobs plummeted to zero. Yet the company managed to stay afloat, thanks in large part to the affordable housing renovation and new build projects with which they had long been involved, work whose funding sources—grants and tax credits—were unchanged.   “The jobs that pulled us through were the ones in the pipeline for these affordable housing projects,” says Naylor. “They didn’t get shut off, which helped tremendously.” And with some 80 carpenters, demolition professionals, finishers, and field technicians on staff, Naylor & Breen is a significant area employer, with a hand in some 50 affordable housing projects since the early 1990s, when it was the contractor for a scattered site project coordinated by Housing Vermont in Rutland. Construction is perhaps most visibly affected by the housing industry, but many other sectors are as well: real estate; law; architecture; lumber mills; lighting, heating and plumbing equipment manufacturing and installation; and brokerage firms, to name but a few. Indeed, the overall economy is affected, from the local on up to the national level. Both new construction and rehabs mean increased tax revenues for local and state government. Thanks to an ongoing ripple effect, area businesses—grocery stores, bars and restaurants, auto repair shops and gas stations—along with public transportation providers will also be impacted directly. It’s significant, given that the effect is greater for every dollar spent on housing than for just about any other spending category.

To read the full paper click here (PDF file). For more information, contact Chris Donnelly at the Champlain Housing Trust by calling (802) 861-7305 or Kenn Sassorossi at Housing Vermont at (802) 863-8284.

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Please visit our new Housing & Homelessness Alliance of Vermont website at www.hhav.org!

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