Voices from Home: Housing Affordability in Northwest Vermont

The Northwest Regional Planning Commission (NRPC) is one of eleven commissions serving Vermont municipalities that’s uniquely positioned to coordinate and guide community development activities and issues between state and local governments. The NRPC serves 23 municipalities (19 towns, 3 incorporated villages, and 1 city) located in Franklin and Grand Isle Counties.

Housing is one area of focus and Champlain Housing Trust is part of Housing For All, a multi-sector housing collaborative based at the NRPC that supports creating and improving housing for healthy, inclusive, and prosperous communities. Two goals of Housing for All is to share knowledge of the region’s housing needs and to ensure everyone has access to a safe home.

When Alexis Dougherty moved back to Vermont for her new job, she was hard-pressed to find a place to rent. She finally was successful, ultimately using social media to connect with a colleague who had a place to rent.

While she rented, she started the search for a home to buy. “I took the Champlain Housing Trust Homebuyer Education program, and recently qualified for a first-time homebuyer grant which helps with down payment and closing costs. Now I’m just hoping to find something in my budget to buy locally.”

Dougherty’s story is featured in Voices From Home, a new series of videos developed by Housing for All that highlights how people in Northwest Vermont have been navigating the housing crisis, and where people can find housing resources.

“Our 2022 Northwest Housing Needs Assessment provided us with the data that clearly shows the region’s housing needs, but many people need to hear the stories,” says Barry Lampke, Project Manager of Housing For All. “The housing needed is not just for others, it’s for our sons and daughters, fathers and mothers, friends and employees.”

Northwest Region Housing Needs Infographic 2024