This morning the Building Homes Together campaign launched its second five year targets for making Chittenden County’s housing market healthier, more equitable, and more affordable. Supported by over 125 local leaders, the campaign’s goals include creating 5,000 new homes, with 1,250 permanently affordable, over the next five years. The new homes would include a combination of new rental and homeownership development.
The campaign, led by the Champlain Housing Trust, Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission, and Evernorth, garnered the support of dozens of legislators and local officials alike, as well as business, race and equity, social service, and community leaders. Several financial institutions and housing developers backed the goals. To add your name in support of the campaign, click here.
“We are thankful for the support of all the community leaders getting behind this bold new goal,” said Nancy Owens, Co- President of Evernorth. “Pulling together and addressing barriers, securing and directing once-in-a-generation resources smartly, and undoing systemic barriers to housing for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color, all combine to provide us with a transformational opportunity right now.”
“For the communities and economy of Chittenden County to truly succeed, we need housing of all types to be developed,” said Michael Monte, CEO of the Champlain Housing Trust “But we heard loud and clear from our conversations that affordable options for lower and middle income households are virtually non-existent and we need to do all we can to double-down on ensuring everyone has housing they can afford.”
The first five year campaign met its target of developing more than 3,500 homes (just over 3,600), but failed to keep pace on affordable housing targets – and the pandemic and slower economic recovery for low wage workers has only worsened the affordability gaps in the market.
“Our communities are seeking answers and are looking to be part of the solution to our housing challenges,” added Charlie Baker, Executive Director of Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission. “This is going to take an historic investment and policy changes to see success both in the short term and to make a lasting impact.”
The campaign makes a series of policy and financing recommendations, including:
- Local and state regulatory reforms
- Investing in existing homes and infrastructure
- Take advantage of this historic moment with the availability of federal and state resources
- Support local housing trust funds, and fully fund the Vermont Housing & Conservation Board
- Connect philanthropy, social investment, businesses and families to create housing for the workforce
Additional background information and a full set of recommendations can be found here: http://www.ecosproject.com/building-homes-together.