Vermont doesn’t have a housing “demand” problem. We have a housing “supply” problem, driven by an overly burdensome regulatory process that creates uncertainty, raises costs, and delays and deters projects from becoming a reality.
If Vermont communities really wanted to add residential housing units to their existing stock, why haven’t such communities changed their zoning laws, approved timetables, and developed a welcoming attitude to provide for new housing opportunities?
Sadly, those with the power to make decisions don’t want modest home ownership, it’s that simple. It’s coming from the state down, too, make no mistake. People are making a ton of money building rental properties, subsidized by the state.
Inevitably, the banking and mortgage finance industry will pass down to the homeowner its requirements for meeting new loan standards intended to mitigate the impact of climate change.
The legislation, which was approved by the state Senate last week, would allow local governments to offer tax breaks for housing developments anywhere within their borders, if a third or more of the units qualify as affordable housing.
if a typical new home costs anywhere near what The Shires’ cost is, the potential homeowner would need $40,000 in cash for a down payment and closing costs and an annual family income of $87,000. Either of these amounts is beyond the ability of many Vermonters.
A new 30-unit Montpelier rental housing project built with private and government money cost $7.7 million — an average cost of $256,666 per unit. The building also includes a separately-funded, multi-million dollar mass transit center on the ground floor.
Tax breaks in the 2017 tax reform championed by President Donald Trump could help fund new affordable housing for low-income Vermonters. The law created “Opportunity Zones” for private capital to receive tax breaks by helping struggling Vermont communities.
One would think that with such a demand for rental housing, residential real estate developers would be jumping in to satisfy the demand, but they are not. If anything, they are conspicuously absent from any forums or discussions on the subject. Why?
With affordable housing properties in Vermont being developed for around $500 per square foot at taxpayer expense, the word “affordable” seems to have lost all meaning.
The House and Senate tax bills could be detrimental to an already struggling affordable housing situation in Vermont, according to estimates released by the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition.
Affordable housing borrowers in Vermont aren’t being expected to pay back loans, but that arrangement raises questions about IRS definitions of a bona fide loan in low-income tax credit projects.