Workforce Housing Bill Introduced

A proposal to allow employers to invest in workforce housing opportunities was included in the Workforce Housing Bill introduced yesterday by Rep. Katherine Sims. The Missing Middle Rental Housing Program would, in part, create a revolving loan fund to provide lower rates to developers to build housing that employers can invest in. Details of this proposal are not yet clear, but the Vermont Chamber will continue to be actively engaged in shaping the initiative to ensure that employers looking for a way to be actively involved in a solution to the housing shortage have a mechanism to do so.  

Earlier in the week, Rep. Seth Bongartz walked through the details and rationale behind important local zoning changes that are also included in the Senate’s Omnibus Housing Bill led by Senator Kesha Ram Hinsdale. He has spent months negotiating with a coalition of advocates on this issue. The bill also includes important common-sense measures to incentivize housing by removing outdated Act 250 and wastewater provisions that constrain housing development in smart growth areas. Additionally, it proposes investments in other housing and development programs with proven demand such as the Missing Middle-Income Development Program, the Vermont Housing Investment Program, and municipal planning grants. It is likely a new draft of the Senate’s bill will be released soon with the current language around the Project Based TIF program removed into a stand-alone bill.