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Legislation

Legislation to expand federal tax credit program gains bipartisan support

The federal Low Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) has had an enormous impact in Vermont. Since 1986, federal housing tax credits allocated through Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) have helped build over 7,400 homes for low-income families. The program also benefits the Vermont economy, supporting over 8,000 jobs per year and leveraging millions of dollars in private investment for affordable rental housing.

Act 48 stakeholder meeting to be held on December 16

In 2019, the Vermont Legislature passed Act 48, which included asking the State Treasurer to evaluate and report on options for funding and financing affordable housing in the state.  This report is due on January 15, 2020.

Governor approves down payment assistance increase

Last week, the state increased funding for affordable homeownership when Governor Phil Scott signed a bill passed by the Legislature which will add over a million dollars for homeowners in Vermont.

Impact of federal government shutdown on Vermont housing programs

As the federal government shutdown continues into its third week, many in the affordable housing community have expressed concern about what it might mean for their programs. Vermont Housing Finance Agency will remain open throughout the shutdown. However, some of the federal program funding that VHFA and its partners administer may be affected if the shutdown persists. 

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)

State accepting proposals for local weatherization projects

The Vermont State Treasurer’s Office is now accepting local investment financing proposals in the areas of weatherization and housing improvement. Agencies, authorities, non-profits, municipalities, and housing organizations are eligible to apply.

Congressional report highlights housing crisis

A task force convened by the New Democrat Coalition, a group of moderate Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives, has found that housing is becoming increasingly unaffordable and unavailable for many Americans. In the report, Missing Millions of Homes, the Coalition linked the lack of affordable housing to a combination of wage stagnation and decreased construction.

Vermont House approves expanding popular VHFA down payment assistance program

Last week the Vermont House approved H. 922 which includes provisions from an earlier bill (H.766) that expands VHFA’s Down Payment Assistance Program. The bill is now passed over to the Senate and earlier this week was read and referred to the Senate Committee on Finance. Since the DPA program started in 2015, demand among qualified first-time home buyers has been twice what can be funded through the Vermont Affordable Housing Tax Credit, the program’s designated funding source. 

Federal spending bill increases funding for housing

Last week, the federal government passed an omnibus bill funding the government for FY 2018.  Funding for housing and homeless assistance programs exceeded what housing advocates had anticipated. Among the spending is a substantial boost to the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, which will see an increase of 12.5% to the annual state per capita credit allocation for the next four years. In addition, the bill contains $11.15 billion for project-based rental assistance, an increase of $50 million from FY 2017.

Vermont mayors call for tax credit increase for Down Payment Assistance Program

The Vermont Mayors Coalition (VMC) met at the State House yesterday to announce their legislative priorities for 2018. One of their primary goals was to increase the availability and quality of affordable housing.  To that end, VMC supports a $125,000 tax credit increase for the Vermont Down Payment Assistance Program, which is administered by Vermont Housing Finance Agency.

Legislature holds hearings on rental housing safety

The Vermont House Committee on General, Housing and Military Affairs is holding hearings on rental housing health and safety issues. The Committee will hear from tenants, advocates, and health and housing experts on their concerns regarding unsafe rental conditions and gaps in health code enforcement.  

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