Housing and Conservation Needs YOUR Help
Vermont’s housing and conservation programs were facing severe reductions even before the Governor’s most recent budget proposal. While routing one-time stimulus investments through the VHCB agency from sources for special affordable housing related purposes (i.e. weatherization and accessibility funds), the Legislature had already reduced ongoing core funding by about 50%, or $7 million.
Governor Douglas’ budget effectively ends Vermont’s 22 year policy of investment into the construction of permanently affordable housing and land conservation. Please encourage your representatives to reject further cuts to VHCB. Otherwise, the result:
- At best, it would reduce affordable housing construction to a trickle, and at worst would mean the loss of hundreds of jobs in the construction industry.
- A loss of $5 million of federal farmland support.
- The termination of the successful farm viability technical assistance program.
- The elimination of investment into community-based groups working to develop affordable housing and support local conservation efforts.
- A loss of $1 million of federal funding for lead paint removal.
- The elimination of 40 Americorps workers, and weaken services delivered by our Homeownership Centers and homeless centers.
WHAT YOU CAN DO!
1. Phone or write a letter to your local Representative and Senator. Tell them that during their June 2nd budget discussion, VHCB funding should not be cut further. Let them know that VHCB funding:
- Is a critical investment to the core values of the state
- Leverages millions of dollars in federal and private investment
- Provides much needed affordable housing
- Protects farmers that are producing local food
- Ensures construction jobs in these difficult economic times
2. Generate a letter to the editor
3. Encourage your friends, family and colleagues to do the same
For More Information, please contact one of the co-chairs of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Coalition:
Elise Annes, Vermont Land Trust. (802) 223-5234. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kenn Sassarossi, Housing Vermont. (802) 863-8424. email@example.com.
Elisabeth Kulas, Rutland County Community Land Trust. (802) 775-3139. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emily Boedecker, The Nature Conservancy. (802) 229-4425 x112. email@example.com.