The housing crisis in Vermont continues to make headlines. As the start of the new biennium draws near, state legislators are considering more aggressive reforms to zoning, just cause eviction, and Act 250. Housing is high on the local agenda for Select Boards and City Councils as well.
It's no mystery as to why. With housing costs up a staggering 20% since the start of the pandemic and federal relief starting to run dry, more and more Vermonters are experiencing the crisis first hand. Seniors can't afford to downsize, leading to gridlock in the housing market. The situation is particularly dire for those facing eviction and homelessness, and for Vermonters with disabilities. Solutions have been slow to arrive, with the Burlington Pods delayed until long after frigid winter temps set in. Moving beyond shelter to permanent housing is critical but also a long-term project that will take years to catch up with demand, even as Vermont works to encourage more workers to take up building trades. In the meantime, more Vermonters are turning to Homeshare as a way to bring down their housing costs.
ACCT is working hard to increase the supply of affordable housing, preserve our existing permanently affordable housing stock, and ensure residents have the supports they need to be successful tenants and owners. You can help right here in our own community by donating on Giving Tuesday at bit.ly/GivingRoofsday. Thank you for your support!
ACCT is excited to announce that Summit Properties is generously matching the first $1,500 ACCT raises on Giving Tuesday (11/29/22), or as we like to call it, Giving Roofsday.
This isn't the first time ACCT and Summit have worked together to ensure Addison County residents have access to affordable housing. In 2016, ACCT sponsored a grant application on behalf of Summit to preserve 12 permanently affordable apartments at Sugarwood, which includes vital rental assistance from the Vermont State Housing Authority. We also hope to partner with them on the development of Seminary St Ext. with more affordable, workforce, and middle-income housing. Join us with your gift on Giving Tuesday!
At its September meeting, ACCT's Board of Directors approved a preliminary Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Plan--the first ever for the organization. The plan focuses on four goals for the coming year:
Please join Addison County Community Trust (ACCT) and Evernorth
Wednesday, October 26 at 1:30 p.m.
to celebrate the start of construction at
We’ll gather across the road in the Bristol Fire Department’s community room.
When complete, 20 newly-constructed affordable apartments will be open to families in Bristol.
Thanks, and we hope to see you there!
Recent legislative changes at the state level have aimed to ease restrictions on Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) development in Vermont. ADUs are gaining interest from local groups seeking to increase the supply of affordable housing in their communities. With their capacity for affordable housing development and management, Affordable Housing Trusts like Addison County Community Trust (ACCT) are potentially poised to help in this effort.
This report is the second in the series of reports produced by ACCT's Privilege and Poverty intern, Ella Jones from Middlebury College. Ella explored various program models to determine the feasibility of ACCT creating a similar program in Addison County. Through her research and interviews with various program officials, she determined that in the current construction environment, the amount of support ACCT would need to provide, both for up-front costs and ongoing property management, makes ADU development unlikely to be an effective tool for stimulating affordable housing development.
While our exploration of this topic did not yield promising results for ACCT, there are several avenues that Addison County might consider moving forward:
Thanks to Middlebury College student Ella Jones, who interned with ACCT this summer through the Privilege and Poverty Program, ACCT has new resources to offer for helping residents in our mobile home parks upgrade their homes.
According to an analysis conducted by Ella, more than 10% of homes in ACCT parks likely pre-date the HUD Code for Manufactured Housing which was created in 1976. Moreover, nearly two-thirds are likely to pre-date important updates that occurred in 1994. All told, over 200 homes in ACCT parks are likely to be in need of replacement.
In 2022, the legislature increased funding for a Champlain Housing Trust program that provides a "silent second" mortgage--essentially a grant--for mobile home replacements. In order to better help residents take advantage of this program, Ella created this Guide for Mobile Home Replacement. The graphic below provides an overview for residents to help determine whether replacement might be an affordable option for them.
Ella also wrote a final report for ACCT to help us better understand the challenges and opportunities pertaining to mobile home replacement in our parks. A summary of the report is available here.
Ella helped ACCT with a host of projects, touching on issues related to upgrading the state's old manufactured housing stock, increasing the supply of affordable housing through Accessory Dwelling Units, and identifying barriers to creating child care near affordable housing. We are so thankful to have had her on the ACCT Team this summer and look forward to continuing to share and build on the valuable work she did during her time here.
For over 30 years, Addison County Community Trust (ACCT) has been working to provide affordable housing in our community. During that time, our organization has grown, changed, and evolved. To best fulfill our current mission, we are exploring a new name and logo to better represent the work we do.
We invite you to share your thoughts and opinions on how we can most effectively represent ourselves to our community and beyond. Completing our survey only takes 8-12 minutes to complete and would make a world of difference in our efforts. Participants who complete the survey before Monday, September 5, will be entered to win 1 of 2 $100 Visa gift cards!
Thanks so much for helping us become the best organization we can be for Addison County. We look forward to hearing your thoughts!
Addison County Community Trust (ACCT) would like to share the exciting opportunity for a passionate community member to serve on the Fundraising Committee in a volunteer capacity. This committee is comprised of Board Members, Staff, and community members. The Committee is primarily responsible for implementing ACCT’s Annual Giving campaign in support of our mission to enrich the lives of low- and moderate-income people of Addison County by ensuring the development, management, and maintenance of safe, quality, affordable homes and related supports for families, seniors, and individuals. The ideal candidate would be a resident of Addison County, or has strong ties to the area, and is an advocate and supporter of affordable housing.
The work (and fun!) includes:
To apply, email Hillary Desilets at email@example.com to request an interview. ACCT strongly encourages persons with disabilities, persons of color, women, and LGBTQIA+ persons to apply.
ACCT staff members share news and information about upcoming events.