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South Burlington City Council Approves Housing Trust Fund

South Burlington City Council has recently voted to approve the creation of a new housing trust fund. This fund will allow the city to work with developers such as the Champlain Housing Trust to create more permanently affordable housing for residents. Below is a report from My Champlain Valley FOX44 & ABC22 with more information on the housing trust fund:

In Housing Matters, it’s no secret the cost of living in Chittenden County is one of the steepest in the state. Paying rent or a mortgage can be a challenge for many low and moderate income families. But one Northwest Vermont community is looking to help its residents. “We want to make sure everyone has an opportunity to live and enjoy the quality of life that we have here, regardless of their income or resources,” said South Burlington City Manager Kevin Dorn. To help folks deal with the high cost of living in Chittenden County, the South Burlington City Council is considering approval of a new housing trust fund. “We need to have homes at all levels of affordability. This trust fund will help at the lower level of affordability,” added Dorn. The Housing Trust Fund would provide gaps in funding projects by developers who want to build in Vermont’s 2nd largest city. The money ensures these projects will always be made affordable. “It’s very difficult to {live} here when the vacancy rate on rental housing is down in the 1 to 2 percent range,” stated Dorn. Developers including the Champlain Housing Trust would be able to work with the city to create more affordable housing options for low to moderate incomes. “We find 200 people coming to our door every month and we have maybe 20 apartments that might be available. We are turning away so many folks who are in need,” said Michael Monte, Chief Operating Officer for Champlain Housing Trust If passed by the City Council, South Burlington would become just the 4th municipality in Vermont to have a Housing Trust Fund. Leaders say it’s about working together to help residents. Fifty thousand dollars from the general fund has been put in place to help get the housing trust fund off the ground. “We’ve got to make sure they know the opportunities that may exist here for land and for partnership, and that the demand exists here for this type of product,” added Dorn. No long term funding sources for the trust have been chosen yet, but some ideas being floated include a one cent increase to the property tax rate, or a change to the city’s meals and room tax. a price many says is worth it. “It’s their friends, and their neighbors and their mothers and fathers and children who are looking for this housing,” sated Monte. Monday night’s City Council meeting was set to start at 7:30. City Manager Kevin Dorn expects the Council to approve the creation of the Housing Trust Fund. UPDATE: South Burlington City Council Chair Pat Nowak says after a short discussion, the Council unanimously approved the Housing Trust Fund.

To view the full report, including video coverage, click here.

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