Resiliency Must be Central to Housing Development Policy

With Act 250 modernization on the table this upcoming legislative session, the Vermont Chamber is advocating for smart growth housing development in Vermont to have an emphasis on climate resiliency. Specifically, on the need to include resiliency efforts in downtown and village center development. Smart growth also needs to expand beyond existing high-density locations to include areas that are safe from floodplains and other high-risk land.

With major flooding events occurring more frequently in high-density areas, legislators must examine if smart growth means filling in the empty space in these areas, even if they are prone to flooding. Downtown and village center housing projects are often aimed at low and moderate-income Vermonters, those least likely to be able to rebound from a catastrophic loss. When the legislature examines housing and changes to Act 250 it will be paramount to reconsider what smart growth for housing in a resilient Vermont should look like.