A Housing Vacancy Problem vs. A Housing Availability Crisis

Vermont currently has the highest rate of vacant homes in the nation. This census data comes as we are facing a workforce housing crisis. Two important questions need to be answered this legislative session: why does Vermont have so many vacant housing units, and how do we guarantee that the millions being invested in housing by the State this year are safeguarded to ensure the funding goes towards solving the housing crisis for working Vermonters? Some of these safeguards are already in the Omnibus Housing bill’s Missing Middle Homeownership Development Program and the Vermont Rental Housing Incentive Program, an important part of the Vermont Chamber’s testimony to the Senate Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs Committee.

The Omnibus Housing bill was voted favorably out of the Senate Finance Committee and Senate Appropriations this week, after a change moved the Downtown Tax Credits into a bill where other tax credits will be under consideration. The Vermont Chamber will be advocating to keep the housing programs that focus on increasing the supply of workforce housing fully funded.