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The VAHC/VCEH Annual Joint Meeting was a Success!

Thank you to all those who attended the 2019 Joint VAHC/VCEH Annual Meeting!

Materials from the meeting are available here.

The meeting was held on Tuesday, September 17th in the house chamber of the State House. Thank you to House Speaker Mitzi Johnson for allowing us to use this wonderful space!

Before the meeting, we invited State Treasurer Beth Pierce for an early-bird discussion and listening session. She gathered input for her legislatively mandated report on financing an additional 1,000 affordable homes over the next five years.

The joint meeting kicked off with introductions and brief announcements before the two coalitions voted to approve last year’s joint meeting minutes. After the vote, we received federal updates from the offices of Senators Leahy and Sanders as well as that of Congressman Welch:

  1. Pollaidh Major, from Senator Leahy’s office talked about the Senate appropriations process, the Trump administration proposal to eliminate SNAP benefits for 3 million Americans, and a $1.7 billion gap in the HUD budget.

  2. Haley Pero from the office of Senator Sanders told us that the Senator’s focus will be “to preserve and expand the Housing Trust Fund, protect affordable housing goals, and ensure that all lenders have equal access to mortgages guarantees.”

  3. Thifeen Deen from Congressman Welch’s office discussed bills to improve housing fairness and to help rural areas gain equitable access to PATH benefits (“Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness”). Congressman Welch is also a co-sponsor on two separate housing bills to increase federal housing tax credits.

After federal policy updates, we heard from Alison Harte from the Agency of Human Services’ Secretary’s office and Renee Weeks from the Upper Valley Haven, who updated the coalitions on the Specialized Voucher & Supportive Services Work Group. Their group is looking into why Vermont is having to return certain kinds of specialized housing vouchers that require supportive services and proposing possible solutions.

After lunch, the two coalitions had separate annual/monthly meetings. The Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition elected a new slate of Steering Committee Members! We would like to warmly thank Ray Brewster as he retires after years of service as a Steering Committee member. As he departs, we are grateful to have 8 members continuing to serve on the committee, some of them in new roles:

  1. Vice Chair Alison Friedkin, Director of Real Estate Development, Downstreet Housing & Community Development

  2. Secretary Anna Herman, Community Relations Specialist, Champlain Housing Trust

  3. Member At-Large Kerrie Lohr, Public Relations Manager, Lamoille Housing Partnership

The meeting wrapped up with a presentation on recovery housing from Eileen Peltier of Downstreet Housing.

Thank you again to everyone who attended!

Further information about the meeting is available on our website


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