Get $50K and more for adding an ADU to your Home

Senator Michael Sirotkin, Chittenden Senate District - Post to Front Porch Forum 12/17/2022


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,, to learn more and thank you again Seven Days.

Senator Michael Sirotkin
Chair, Senate Economic Development , Housing and General Affairs Committee

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