Housing for All

The population of Vermont has grown by less than 3% per year over the past three years, but the number of homeless people has more than tripled. The biggest problem is that incomes have not increased as much as the cost of housing has. The cost of buying a house has risen more in Vermont in the past four years than in any other state and rents have risen proportionately. We can change it.

We can address this problem by reducing the cost of home ownership and establishing state wide rent control. We need to work proactively to prevent people from becoming homeless and this can be done through community care teams. Starting a state bank and instituting no profit loans would allow low and middle income people to purchase homes and make them safe and welcoming. Increasing taxes on homes that are left vacant for extended periods of time could raise money for a housing fund and allow for more full use of the current housing stock. Providing state housing subsidies for people who have low incomes and are unable to get federal subsidies would also help alleviate the problem.

During the pandemic Vermont paid $3954.16 per room every month for four years, which was necessary initially but didn’t transition to creating long term solutions for people who can not afford housing. 

The state did little toward creating stable housing over the past four years because of the belief that everything has to be done through the private sector and this didn’t work well. Rents and home prices have soared, making housing unaffordable for more and more people. We missed and opportunity to use federal funding to creating a state bank that could invest in buying, rehabbing and building housing that could be sold to families and coop housing groups at a rate the was affordable. We can create this system in the future using state funds and grants.  Some of the money would come back into the bank as people paid off affordable no profit loans.

People who have stable housing need less help from the state in the long run. Stable housing improves health and education outcomes and reduces crime. It allows people to become active community members because they don’t have to to struggle so much to get through each day.  Having everyone housed contributes dramatically to public safety. We can make sure everyone is housed through fair taxation and changing priorities.  Everyone needs housing. Every Person Matters.