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Expanding federal housing credits would help more Vermonters find affordable housing

By: Leslie Black-Plumeau on 5/2/2016

Faced with increasing numbers of low-income renters who lack affordable housing, VHFA and our counterparts from other states are working together to support a bill developed by Washington State Senator Maria Cantwell. The bill calls for a substantial expansion of the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit—the primary financing mechanism for affordable rental housing for the last 30 years.  

The need for housing credits consistently exceeds Vermont’s supply. When allocating Vermont’s 2016 credits last month, VHFA lacked sufficient credits to fund four projects that could have provided an additional 157 much-needed affordable apartments.  Nearly all affordable rentals built in Vermont in the last decade have relied on the housing tax credit for development funding. (Only 6 of 79 affordable rental complexes developed in Vermont since 2006 did not use the credit.)

About 7,000 Vermont renters live in decent, affordable apartments thanks to the housing tax credit. Unfortunately, 18,000 primarily low-income Vermont households remain in extremely unaffordable homes, spending more than half of their income for rent.

If you have a personal story about the struggle to afford housing, please consider sharing it so that Senator Cantwell can help demonstrate the urgent need and impact of affordable housing created by the housing tax credit.

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