INVESTING IN AFFORDABLE HOUSING &
EXPANDING HOME OWNERSHIP TO MORE VERMONTERS
The Vermont House today, during a roll call vote of 93-51, granted preliminary approval to a broad-ranging housing bill, S.79, which protects renters and landlords. The legislation ensures healthy, safe housing for tenants and helps owners rehabilitate rental units to bring more affordable housing stock online.
This bill establishes important initiatives that have been in discussion since 2010:
– Moves the responsibility for the enforcement of the State Rental Housing Health Code from volunteer town health officers to the Division of Fire Safety.
– Establishes a registry of long- and short-term rental housing units with a small fee to support housing safety.
– Establishes the Vermont Housing Investment Program to provide grants or loans of up to $30,000 to property owners to bring non-compliant, vacant and blighted housing online quickly.
– Establishes a revolving loan fund that would provide no-interest loans of up to $50,000 to increase access to homeownership, especially for BIPOC Vermonters.
– Modifies the current eviction moratorium to allow for emergency actions in situations involving criminal activity, risks to health and safety, need for a landlord to occupy the premises, or other situations causing immediate loss or damage to persons or property.
S.79 is one of a series of bills passed this session to create an equitable recovery plan that leaves no Vermonter behind and rebuilds the economy in all 14 counties.
This action is especially needed as the temporary homeless housing in area motels draws to a close.
Rep. Peter Anthony, Barre City