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Opportunity for Strategic Housing Investment in the Budget Adjustment Act
This year, the annual task of adjusting the budget based on additional available funding, changes in program costs, and needs, will be different than in recent legislative sessions. With federal pandemic aid no longer in excess, discussions regarding the Budget Adjustment Act are subject to increased scrutiny and must be strategic. Funding must meet the greatest needs of Vermonters, and workforce housing is top of mind. The severe workforce shortages are exacerbated by the housing crisis and lead to recruitment and retention challenges that hinder Vermont’s economic growth. To address this, the Vermont Chamber is advocating in support of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency’s request for $25 million for the Middle-Income Homeownership Development Program.
More needs to be done to engage with the private development community to increase the overall amount of homeownership opportunities for middle-income Vermonters. Specifically, by addressing the barriers that exist for building homes that the market can afford. The Middle-Income Homeownership Development Program has existed as a pilot program over the last two years and has successfully increased housing stock across the state. It has proven to be a prudent use of funding, making the most of programmatic dollars to create homes for 136 families to date. Support for this funding in the FY24 Budget Adjustment Act would ensure that the program continues to spur the critical work of building more middle-income housing.