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

By: Mia Watson on 1/25/2018

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.

The Vermont Down Payment Assistance Program was established by the Legislature in 2015. The program is funded investors in the Vermont Affordable Housing Tax Credit. The program provides first-time homebuyers with up to $5,000 in 0% interest loans to help with down payment and closing costs. Although the program has been very successful in lowering barriers to homeownership, demand for the program has exceeded initial projections. To meet this need, VMC has recommend an increase of $125,000 in State housing tax credits.

“Continued investments in housing and economic development will ensure we are a state where our residents love to live, our businesses are able to grow, and our communities thrive,” said Winooski Mayor Seth Leonard.

Vermont mayors’ attention to housing mirrors concerns of mayors nationwide, the majority of whom rated the price of housing as the main driver of people out of their cities.

Other housing recommendations from VMC include a $250,000 increase in downtown and village center tax credits to fund rehabilitation of downtown buildings and a $625,000 Homeowner Tax Credit pilot program to improve the quality and quantity of housing in and around downtowns and village centers.