Burlington, VT – The Vermont Mayors Coalition today announced strong support for Governor Phil Scott’s $35 million Housing Revenue Bond, which is currently under consideration by the legislature.
“Our enthusiasm for the bond and the other elements of the housing proposal (including the downtown tax credits) is rooted in the different needs that exist in our communities,” the Mayors Coalition stated in a letter addressed to Governor Scott, President Pro-Tem Tim Ashe, and House Speaker Mitzi Johnson. “Some of our cities need reinvestment and revitalization of deteriorated properties, while other communities need new housing to serve our workforce. In all parts of the state we need more housing to protect the most vulnerable Vermonters as well as our senior citizens.”
The Vermont Mayors Coalition urged the legislature to take action on the Housing Revenue Bill during this session rather than in small increments, in order to make a substantive change to the State’s affordable housing stock while interest rates and construction costs remain low.
The Coalition noted that many Vermont communities are working to address Vermont’s housing crisis through changes in zoning bylaws, partnerships with nonprofit and private developers, supporting local housing trust funds, promoting the revitalization of downtowns and neighborhood revitalization efforts, and investing in infrastructure improvements. Action at the state level will help these communities bridge the gap between the cost of building housing and what Vermonters can afford.
“We believe this bond will bring short and long term benefits to the state,” the letter stated. “It will help us expand the opportunity to revitalize and reinvest in our communities, expand our grand list, create construction jobs and leverage both public investment, while it is still available from the federal government, and private investment through mechanisms such as the low income housing tax credit.
“There is a broad and strong consensus in support of this proposal, and the time to act is now.”
The Vermont Mayors Coalition is a non-partisan group that is dedicated to promoting policies that improve the health and vitality of Vermont’s cities. The Vermont Mayors Coalition was created in 2013 by Vermont’s eight mayors and includes:
· Dave Allaire, Rutland
· Mike Daniels, Vergennes
· Liz Gamache, St. Albans
· John Hollar, Montpelier
· Thom Lauzon, Barre
· Seth Leonard, Winooski
· Paul Monette, Newport
· Miro Weinberger, Burlington