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Renters, young people flock to Burlington, Winooski

Source: Burlington FreePress, May 26, 2011, by Matt Sutkoski “Winooski and Burlington are unlike the rest of Vermont in at least two key respects, according to U.S. Census data released today.The two Chittenden County cities are much younger and have far more people renting their homes than owning them, compared with the rest of Vermont, the data show. Nearly two-thirds of Winooski’s households are renter-occupied, as are about 60 percent of Burlington’s households. Less than a third of households are renter-occupied in Vermont as a whole. At the same time, the median age of people living in Winooski and Burlington is younger than in Vermont overall. Burlington’s median age is 26.5, and Winooski’s is 31.3, compared with Vermont’s median age of 41.5. Much of that has to do with a high population of college students living in both cities, officials in Burlington and Winooski said. But there might be other factors at work, too. Kenn Sassorossi of Housing Vermont said younger people have been gravitating toward rental units because of the costs of home-ownership and the appeal of living in urban areas, which tend to have a larger supply of rental housing than suburbs do. “This is just my speculation, but young folks are finding it more difficult to enter home-ownership because of down-payment requirements,” he said. “It may be they are staying in rentals longer.” The recession and housing crisis in the past few years might have helped drive people toward rental housing. “Home ownership is not for everybody,” Sassorossi said. “I hope we’re learning that renting is a very viable option. Rentals shouldn’t be seen as a poor cousin to home-ownership…” Full Story: Renters, young people flock to Burlington, Winooski PDF of Story: Renters, young people flock to Burlington, Winooski

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