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Vermont's Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice

From the Dept. of Economic, Housing & Community Development Dear colleagues: We are pleased to let you know that the 2012 State of Vermont Analysis of Impediments to Fair Housing Choice (AI) has been completed and is available for download on the Agency’s NEW website. The AI was developed by the consultant selected for the project, Mullin and Lonergan Associates, with input from more than a dozen stakeholder groups and numerous one on one and group interviews, and results of six focus groups conducted by the Fair Housing Project of CVOEO during 2011. Thank you to everyone who participated either in a focus group or interview or submitted comments. Many Fair Housing Achievements have been made in Vermont but there is still more work to do.  The AI identifies 12 public sector and two private sector Impediments to Fair Housing Choice and suggests a total of nearly 40 Proposed Actions the State can undertake to ameliorate or remove these barriers.  We plan to work hard on these with your help, to continue our progress in eliminating to the fullest extent possible, housing discrimination in Vermont. Some general fair housing observations from the AI:

  1. The most rapidly growing population is non-white and Hispanic residents

  2. Many areas of minority concentration are in Burlington, but there are 77 such areas throughout the state

  3. Persons with disabilities, female-headed households, and minorities are more likely to have lower income or live in poverty

  4. Minority households are more likely to have housing problems

  5. Minimum wage worker and single wage households can’t afford the HUD fair market rent

  6. Individuals whose income comes only from SSI can’t afford a zero bedroom apartment at the HUD fair market rent

  7. Regardless of race or ethnicity, households earning the median household income can’t afford a home selling for the median price

Some of the Impediments to Fair Housing Choice identified in the AI and suggested Actions:

  1. Minority households have greater difficulty becoming homeowners; expand sustainable homeownership opportunities through education and counseling, provide lending and banking in LMI and minority areas, marketing affordable mortgage products

  2. The state’s supply of decent, affordable housing remains inadequate; continue to balance CDBG and HOME investments between areas, when possible reduce or waive local impact fees for affordable housing development

  3. The State’s policies for allocating and reporting CDGG and HOME funds could be improved from a Fair Housing perspective; continue current requirements for municipalities to attend fair housing training, mapping new affordable housing development relative to impacted areas, initiate a fair housing log, create a unified database for annual reporting

  4. The majority of fair housing complaints involve disability and familial status; continue funding the Fair Housing Project, outreach to landlords and property management companies

  5. Public transit is largely limited to higher density areas, and does not accommodate second or third shift workers; collaborate with VTrans and public transportation providers, continue the “Go Vermont” program

Please read the full report for a complete list and detailed explanation of the impediments and the recommended actions!

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