At the February 15th Selectboard Meeting, during public comment, JAHC chair SJ Dube read a letter requesting the Selectboard add a Water and Wastewater Reserve Fund to the Jericho budget, consistent with the priorities set in the 2023 Housing Resolution and the 2024 Town Plan.
The Town of Jericho has effectively used reserve accounts for other long-term needs and to accumulate funds for coming projects. We do this to smooth the year-to-year impact for taxpayers and to ensure action is possible between budget votes. A reserve account also sends a signal of intent and commitment. We believe the Jericho Town Plan’s priority and timeline for water and wastewater infrastructure warrant the same approach as is used for the more than 10 existing town-maintained reserve funds.
Read the full letter, here.
On December 12th at 7:00 pm the Jericho Affordable Housing Committee will be welcoming Corinne Yonce, who is a Project Manager at CVOEO's Fair Housing Project. She will be introducing their Striving for Equity Project which aims to support local housing committees and promote avenues for citizen housing advocacy so that across the state, we increase the amount of inclusive, affordable housing and meet our local housing needs. You can learn more about her and the Striving for Equity Project here. The zoom link will be included when the agenda is posted.
The JAHC presented recommendations for the Town Plan to the Jericho Planning Commission on August 1st in response to the first draft of Volume 1. Read the document and see the presentation slides here.
The Town of Jericho needs to commit to:
Creating the conditions necessary for growing and diversifying our population by offering housing choices for all - to be affordable to and meet the needs of a wide range of individuals and household types in order to achieve Jericho’s Housing Target Resolution by:
- Land use regulations that support the creation of compact and diverse housing that is affordable to low- and middle-income households in all of Jericho, appropriate to the land use area priorities by June 2024
- Using Natural Resource and water/wastewater mapping to inform land use and identify areas appropriate for new housing, available by November 2023
- Ensuring our development regulations and review procedures are clear, predictable, sensible and timely to increase the rate of new dwelling unit construction to goal of 30 new housing units per year starting in 2024
- Investing in community infrastructure critical to support infill and denser development in compact mixed-use centers. Completing the first community wastewater project by 2028.
- Increase municipal capacity to facilitate and enable steps necessary to meet the above commitments for vote at 2024 Town Meeting.
At the JAHC May 2023 meeting, we invited Michael Oman and Bill Butler from Jericho's Wisdom House project to learn more about their vision and plans to develop a portion of the Riverside/Flats village center. A recording of the presentation and discussion can found here.
Senator Michael Sirotkin, Chittenden Senate District - Post to Front Porch Forum 12/17/2022
NEW VT PROGRAM PROMOTES ACCESSORY DWELLING UNITS WITH NECESSARY FREE PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT AND UP TO $50,000 GRANTS PER EACH SMALL UNIT CONSTRUCTED!
The following is a letter to the editor to appear in Seven Days, highlighting a little known new program/opportunity that our Senate Housing committee initiated this past session. I felt it important, that given our housing crisis, that word about this excellent opportunity get out to my Chittenden County constituent owning homes in a timely fashion. See contacts below for more details.
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Kudos to Seven Days on the completion of their investigatory series Locked Out– an amazing in depth, understandable and human portrayal of Vermont's housing crisis. As noted, the early articles were indeed referenced in support of our Senate Housing Committee's work during this legislative session.
Our committee had earlier traveled throughout Vermont, hearing from scores of witnesses on all aspects of Vermont's growing housing shortage. We quickly came to the same conclusion, so graphically articulated by Locked-Out, that money alone can't solve the problem.
While more financial resources are certainly essential, significant policy changes are equally important. This past biennium alone we not only invested hundreds of millions of dollars in housing, we also advanced policies that eased development, incentivized new housing and creatively expanded use of existing housing.
Examples include policies/programs to modernize zoning ordinances to create greater density, to control short term rentals, easing/removing unnecessary permitting, bridge resources to make construction of market rate homes more affordable, smart growth policies to encourage historic and compact settlements, preserving manufactured homes, renovating blighted homes, enhancing health and safety inspections, and creating new accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
Highlighting this last initiative, we found that many Vermonters, especially older Vermonters, are over housed. Many downsize, but many could convert their homes by adding a separate smaller ADU within the dwelling. This can be a win-win situation. Vermonters can bring in more income, stay in their own homes, and create an additional unit of housing without the expense of building a whole new house.
Governor Scott supported this concept and tells the story of creating an added housing unit when he was younger, at little cost, and providing needed additional income to his family.
Thankfully, we have now loosened ADU regulatory restrictions. More importantly, we recognized that homeowners are not developers and need essential technical help with financing, permitting, construction, renting, etc., similar to the challenges highlighted in Locked Out.
As a result, Vermont will now provide this critical technical support and also grant up to $50,000/unit for the construction of an ADU, thereby successfully combining policy and money to create new housing in a highly cost-effective manner.
Contact VT Department of Housing and Community Development, email@example.com, to learn more and thank you again Seven Days.
Senator Michael Sirotkin
Chair, Senate Economic Development , Housing and General Affairs Committee
Seth Leonard, currently Managing Director of Community Development at Vermont Housing Finance Agency, was invited to speak at a joint meeting of the Affordable Housing Committee, Planning Commission, and Jericho Community Development Corporation on November 28, 2022. His talk described the status of housing, past and present, in Jericho and within the state. The focus of the presentation and meeting was on opportunities and next steps for affordable housing in Jericho. Click here to review his slide deck.
At the JAHC November 2022 meeting we invited a representative from Underhill's Harvest Crossing to learn more about the United Church of Underhill's plans to purchase 9 acres, develop the infrastructure, and then sell several 1-acre improved lots to Green Mountain Habitat for Humanity to build homes for purchase by working families. The slides from their presentation can be found here, a recording of the presentation and discussion by MMCTV can be found here, and you can find out more about this project at https://www.harvestcrossing.org/.
At the October 2022 Jericho AHC meeting Ms. Curtin described how municipalities and interested developers can partner with Champlain Housing Trust to build affordable homes. She described the shared equity program and how CHT ensures homes remain affordable in perpetuity. Slides from the presentation can be found here, on the JAHC webpage, and a recording of the presentation and discussion by MMCTV can be watched here.