Establish Designated Growth Areas- Encourage greater utilization of land in designated areas by allowing higher densities for residential and non-residential development. Ideally these areas are within or close to existing village centers or along major transportation corridors.
Apply for VT Neighborhood Development (NDA) Designation– State Designation that helps reduce the time and cost of state permitting in areas within easy walking distance of state designated centers. Neighborhood development area designation goes to municipalities with adopted plans, policies and regulations that support housing and compact development.
Create Density Bonuses– A zoning exception granted by a municipality to allow for more housing units to be built on a given site if the developer includes a fair share of affordable units within the site.
Enact Inclusionary zoning – A policy that creates dedicated affordable housing units by requiring developers to include a specified share of below-market units as part of market-rate rental or homeowner developments.
Accommodate Tiny Homes and ADUs in Local Bylaws– Help to facilitate the development of lower-cost housing types and promote density by revising zoning policies to encourage development of these types of units.
Dedicate Publicly Owned Property for Affordable Housing- Make publicly owned land and buildings available for the development of affordable housing to help ensure there is adequate opportunity to develop lower-cost homes.
Impact Fees to Fund Housing Trust Fund– Charge a fee on new, market-rate development to generate revenue to support the creation of affordable housing.
Consider Regulating Short-Term Rentals– Enact regulations that protect public interests including health and safety, housing affordability, neighborhood quality, and municipal revenues, but still allow reasonable latitude for residents to host and earn money from short-term guests.
Local Lodging Tax or Fee on Short Term Rentals to Fund Housing Trust Fund- A municipality may choose to levy a local option tax in addition to the state business taxes. This could also take the form of an annual fee.
Reduce or Waive Permitting Fees for Qualifying Projects- Municipalities can encourage the development of new affordable housing by reducing or waiving fees for affordable housing projects.
Tax Incentives for Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Affordable Properties – In exchange for weatherizing, bringing buildings up to code or upgrading building systems in rental properties, municipalities can offer property tax incentives that hold the taxable assessed value of the property at pre-improvement levels for a set period of time, or otherwise reduce or limit the amount of taxes owed.
Support for Employer Assisted Housing Programs– Municipalities can provide incentives or other support to encourage private employers to offer Employer Assisted Housing (EAH) programs to their employees. This often entails providing monetary incentives such as matching the EAH funds dedicated by the employer or offering the employer a credit against property taxes. Establish a Housing Fund - Creates a flexible source of funding that can be used to support a variety of affordable housing activities designed specifically to address local priorities and needs.
Increase Wastewater Capacity; Provision of Free or Discounted Connection to Municipal Water– Lack of space or funds to accommodate wastewater and potable water systems can prevent the creation of new housing, expansion of existing housing, and infill in designated growth areas. Public systems reduce development costs and allow for development in otherwise undevelopable areas.
Resources & Capital
Housing Fund - Distinct fund that receives ongoing public revenues that can only be spent on affordable housing initiatives.
Down payment and Closing cost assistance – This monetary assistance removes one of the most common barriers for low- and moderate-income families attaining homeownership: sufficient savings to make a down payment and pay for closing costs on a mortgage.
Energy-efficient retrofits & Weatherization – These programs provide low-income families with funds for home modifications that increase energy efficiency, reduce energy costs, and ensure that their homes remain habitable throughout the year.
Grants for Certified Affordable Housing Developments – Municipalities can offer a dedicated number of dollars per affordable unit created in the form of a grant.
Operating subsidies for Affordable Housing Developments – Scheduled payments made to owners of affordable housing developments that cover a portion of the ongoing costs of operating the development.
Security Deposit assistance for rentals – Municipalities can assist low-income households that lack the accumulated savings needed to cover a security deposit and any required prepaid rent through grants paid directly to the landlord or as no-interest loans that the tenant must repay.
Rental Assistance Programs - Provide short-term emergency assistance to households at risk of eviction or homelessness. Programs may also require that eligible housing units meet certain quality standards.
Employer Assisted Housing Programs - Programs through which employers can help their employees with the cost of owning or renting a home close to their workplace. Assistance may be provided in the form of grants or loans that are forgiven over a period of employment. They can include down payment assistance, rental subsidies, and direct investment in the construction of rental housing.
Non-Profits & Community Members Educate, Advocate, Act
Community Land Trusts – Mechanism to maintain affordability through non-profit ownership of land that requires the homebuyer to purchase only the home that is situated on the land.
Limited Equity Cooperatives– Mechanism for creating affordable homeownership in which residents purchase a share in a development (rather than an individual unit) and commit to resell their share at a restricted price pre-determined by a formula.
Deed Restricted Homeownership- Mechanism to safeguard the long-term value of an investment in affordable homeownership by limiting any subsequent sales of the home to income-eligible borrowers at an affordable price.
Low Income Housing Tax Credits- Federal program that encourages private investment in affordable rental housing by providing a dollar-for-dollar reduction in federal income tax liability in exchange for investment in qualifying new construction and rehabilitation projects.
Promote/build Accessory Dwelling Units– Since they cost less to develop than a new single-family home on a separate lot, ADUs are an affordable housing option for many low- and moderate-income residents.
Adaptive reuse of appropriate structures for housing- Earmark older, vacant and or dilapidated buildings for renovation to repurpose them into new, affordable residences for seniors and families. This preserves historic fabric of town while providing new housing opportunities.
Organize volunteer network– Organize volunteer network to assist low to moderate-income renters and homeowners with weatherization or other small housing related projects.
The Housing Studies seek to analyze the circumstances that create barriers to affordable housing in the MRV through a needs assessment, summary of types of housing needed & options, barriers to creation, and strategies to creation.