By David Flemming
In EAI’s August survey asking “How do you anticipate housing shortage situation to progress?” 82% of respondents chose, “This is a long term, self-inflicted trend that is here to stay unless Vermont officials reform local zoning laws and Act 250 restrictions.”
3% believe “Factors like COVID-19, greater numbers of wealthy Boomers retiring, and a mass exodus from the New York metropolitan area are responsible. This trend will continue for the next 6-7 years as these new populations change the core demographic of Vermont.”
And just 5% think “This is a short-term, post-pandemic trend that will resolve itself in 1-2 years.”
Regardless of which option you chose, it is clear that housing is a major, hot button issue. The Vermont Housing Finance Agency defines “Severely cost-burdened households” as those paying at least 50% of their income on housing. 3 counties are especially badly off. 19% of Lamoille County households, 17% of Grand Isle and Windham county households fit this description. Overall throughout Vermont, this number stands at 15%, using US Census Bureau American Community Survey 5 year estimates. These households are at a high risk of eviction or foreclosure.
David Flemming is a policy analyst for the Ethan Allen Institute. Reprinted with permission from the Ethan Allen Institute Blog.