Amid Vermont housing crisis, leaders invest $20 million to fix dilapidated homes

With residents in many New England communities struggling with a lack of available housing and exorbitant prices – for both rental and ownership options – Vermont has a new tool in its multi-pronged approach. to ease the pain of what many have called housing The program aims to create more affordable housing across the state by transforming crumbling buildings. “There are dilapidated and vacant homes everywhere,” observed landlord Ryan Walton, owner of a dilapidated property in Rutland that will soon have a second life. The Walton property on Route 7, which has two three-bedroom apartments, is currently being refreshed with dramatic upgrades inside and out, thanks to the Vermont Home Improvement Program. “Programs like these make America the best country in the world,” Walton said Wednesday. “They also make Vermont the best state in the country.” Calling the lack of housing one of Vermont’s most pressing problems and a drag on economic growth, lawmakers have earmarked $20 million to provide grants to homeowners to fix substandard spaces that could go back to normal. habitable with some repairs. The state also obliges owners to pay money. Josh Hanford, commissioner of the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development, said the program provides an average grant of $30,000 to bring crumbling units back online. As a condition of receiving the grant, the properties become affordable housing, Hanford pointed out. Walton predicted that the repairs needed to bring his apartments online will be completed by late winter or spring 2023.Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont, called the program a potential game changer, especially for low-income people and those at risk of homelessness. “Yes, we have to build new houses,” Scott acknowledged. “But we also recognize that there’s a lot of existing, vacant housing because it’s not up to code or takes up a lot of time and money that people don’t have.” The governor’s challenger in November, Democrat Brenda Siegel, has promised to focus on housing issues. Siegel also emphasizes the overdose crisis and reproductive freedom in his campaign platform. “It doesn’t matter who you are in this state right now, if you need to sell your house, if you need to buy a house, if you want to become a homeowner, you have problems, because there is no just not the vacancy rates and the costs are extremely high.” Incumbent said he was proud of the work of his administration and lawmakers in the Vermont Legislative Assembly to aggressively improve access to a range of housing options, including earmarking a quarter of a billion dollars for the US bailout. funds to Vermont’s housing sector. “This is the type of initiative that will move the needle forward,” Scott said of the Vermont Housing Improvement Program, adding that he sees it as a complement to other initiatives in the approach. of Vermont to improve access to housing. Scott said improving access to a range of housing options will remain a priority if he is re-elected in November.

With residents in many New England communities struggling with a lack of available housing and exorbitant prices – for both rental and ownership options – Vermont has a new tool in its multi-pronged approach. to ease the pain of what many have called a housing crisis.

The program aims to create more affordable housing across the state by transforming crumbling buildings.

“There are dilapidated and vacant homes everywhere,” observed landlord Ryan Walton, owner of a dilapidated property in Rutland that will soon have a second life.

Walton’s property on Route 7, which has two three-bedroom apartments, is currently being refreshed with dramatic upgrades inside and out, thanks to the Vermont Housing Improvement Program.

“Programs like these make America the best country in the world,” Walton said Wednesday. “They also make Vermont the best state in the country.”

Calling the lack of housing one of Vermont’s most pressing problems and a drag on economic growth, lawmakers earmarked $20 million to provide grants to homeowners to fix unsanitary spaces that could become livable again. with some repairs. The state also obliges owners to pay money.

Josh Hanford, the commissioner of the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development, said the program awards an average grant of $30,000 to bring crumbling units back online. As a condition of receiving the grant, the properties become affordable housing, Hanford pointed out.

Walton predicted that the repairs needed to bring his apartments online will be completed by late winter or spring 2023.

Gov. Phil Scott, R-Vermont, called the program a potential game changer, especially for low-income people and those at risk of homelessness.

“Yes, we have to build new houses,” Scott acknowledged. “But we also recognize that there’s a lot of existing, vacant housing because it’s not up to code or takes up a lot of time and money that people don’t have.”

The governor’s challenger in November, Democrat Brenda Siegel, has promised to focus on housing issues. Siegel also emphasizes the overdose crisis and reproductive freedom in his campaign platform.

“What worries me right now is that what’s happening is disorganized and piecemeal,” Siegel said of Vermont’s response to the housing crisis. “It doesn’t matter who you are in this state right now, if you need to sell your house, if you need to buy a house, if you want to become a homeowner, you have problems, because there is no just not the vacancy rates and the costs are extremely high.”

Holder said he was proud of the work of his administration and lawmakers in the Vermont Legislative Assembly to aggressively improve access to a range of housing options, including by direct a quarter of a billion dollars in US bailout funds to Vermont’s housing sector.

“This is the type of initiative that will get things moving,” Scott said of Vermont’s housing improvement program, adding that he sees it as a complement to other initiatives in the government’s approach. Vermont to improve access to housing.

Scott said improving access to a range of housing options will remain a priority if he is re-elected in November.

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