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Mickenberg Report Finalized and supports existing housing agency structure

The Vermont Commission on Financing and Delivery of Affordable Housing and Conservation has finalized its report to the Legislature.  The Commission was charged to “review and assess the work of the four Statewide Entities…and to determine the impact of a merger or consolidation of the Statewide Entities on the production of permanently affordable housing, land conservation, and historic preservation.” The Commissions charge followed an executive order calling for a review of the statewide housing agencies, which lead to the conclusion of consolidation from a Texas-based consulting firm, Weidner, Inc. It was their job to review this previous report and to also conduct their own investigation into the work of the Statewide Entities. In doing so they met six times, heard from 50 witnesses, and reviewed several reports on Vermont’s housing system. The overall conclusion of the Commission’s report is that “Vermont’s housing delivery system is efficient and produces desirable results that can be a model for other states.” The report does not recommend merger of the four statewide entitites: VHCB, VHFA, VSHA, and DEHCD. As far as their charge to review the Weidner report;  “the Commission found the Weidner Report to be of little value due to its flawed methodology and narrow scope, and because its recommendations lacked empirical support.”  It states that each of the Statewkde entities has a different defined role and mission. They found that not only does the Vermont housing delivery system work, it works well and it is very competitive nationally: – Vermont’s 2010 ranking in the HOME program which serves people with extremely low incomes was fourth in the nation – Vermont is the highest among the 50 states in terms of contributions to reserves for replacement (critical for ensuring the quality of the housing over the long ter – 53% of low-income housing tax credit units in Vermont serve households with incomes below 30% of the county median. The national average is 11%. Vermont ranks second highest in the nation. – Vermont is one of only 11 States with low income housing tax credit extended use restrictions of greater than 50 years. – Vermont’s rental assistance voucher utilization rate is consistently 98% or better In terms of controlling costs, building quality housing and obtaining resources, Vermont does very well. For example, Erhard Mahnke testified that on a per capita basis, Vermont is second in the nation in having Low Income Housing Tax Credit projects benefit people at or below 30% of area median income. Background information:For more on Weidner and their report, click here.  For more on the Commission, click here. The report and its appendices are available in three places (available only in electronic form):

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