Money Alone Cannot Fix Vermont’s Housing Problem

The Senate Economic Development, Housing and General Affairs Committee continued to discuss the Omnibus Housing Bill. The latest version excludes priority housing projects from the definition of development and does not require a permit for these projects. It also invests in a program providing matching funds for the creation of workforce housing. The Vermont Chamber is advocating for creative solutions to encourage workforce housing development without increasing the tax burden on Vermonters. Most of the policy areas outlined by the Vermont Chamber to make progress this year have been addressed by proposals in the Omnibus Housing Bill. 

The Vermont Chamber is advocating for: 

  • Shaping the Missing Middle Rental Housing Program to allow employers to invest in housing solutions for their workers via a revolving loan fund to provide lower rates to developers. 
  • Strategic investment to incentivize the conversion of commercial property to housing units. 
  • Continued funding for the Missing Middle Development Program and the Vermont Housing Investment Program. 
  • Breaking down barriers by modernizing local zoning and eliminating Act 250 restrictions to encourage residential development. In areas with municipal sewer and water service, ensure communities cannot limit dwellings to single-family homes, allow the creation of housing with less than four units, and remove mandatory parking spaces per unit of housing. 

The Vermont Chamber is collecting stories of businesses that have lost employees or prospective employees because of housing. If you are an employer who has experienced this, please complete this brief survey.