By: Leslie Black-Plumeau

November 17, 2011

Reports analyzing Chittenden County's housing needs, economic development, natural resources,  transportation, land use, education, public health and energy issues have been completed for the ECOS project.   All communities, organizations and residents are encouraged to review and comment on these reports by December 31 through the ECOS website.   VHFA prepared the housing needs report in collaboration with ECOS project partners.   

ECOS stands for Environment, Community, Opportunity and Sustainability and is a once-in-a generation opportunity to provide the framework for a more healthy, inclusive and prosperous community.  The project is funded by a $1 million Housing and Urban Development, Environmental Protection Agency and Federal Highway Administration grant whose ultimate intent is to steer limited financial resources toward sustainable growth.  The project builds on existing town and regional planning work.  The Chittenden County Regional Planning Commission is spearheading the project, along with over 60 diverse organizations representing the community, and is looking for your ideas and actions that will help shape the future of the region.   

What will be the most critical step in this ECOS project is not the planning, however. Once the planning and recommendations are completed, the implementation stage begins. As a part of the grant, there are implementation funds available to turn ideas into practice. As the ECOS project begins its larger outreach phase after the final reports in 2012, getting input and support from municipalities, organizations, employers and residents will be critical to realizing success.