Wednesday November 27, 2013
South Burlington could join Burlington, Charlotte, and Montpelier as home to an affordable housing trust fund. At the November 18 City Council meeting, Chair of the affordable housing committee, John Simson, presented a resolution to the Council that would allow the development of a committee to examine the feasibility of a trust fund in South Burlington.
Driving the push to establish a trust fund is the finding of the interim zoning affordable housing committee, in that the supply of housing affordable to middle and lower income residents in South Burlington is not meeting demand. If the development of the trust is found to be feasible, South Burlington will be able to increase its diversity by offering a range of housing types at myriad price points. Throughout the process, South Burlington will benefit from proximity to communities who have already established trust funds and can offer successful templates from which the committee will be able to work.
Simson says it will be important to engage non-profits in the building process and that this trust will put South Burlington in a competitive position. The development of a trust will also assist potential homebuyers by providing educational resources and help with down payments. “We want to do a lot of studies and put thought into this…we don’t want to just push something on the city” Simson said.
Committee members will be those who were part of the initial affordable housing interim zoning committee since they bring a body of knowledge to the table. The members will be John Simson, Sandy Dooley, James Knapp, Kenneth Schatz, Larry Michaels, Eric Farrell, and newcomer, Planning Commission member Gretchen Calcagni.
The Council unanimously approved the proposed resolution to establish this committee. The committee will report back to the Council with its recommendation by March 31, 2014, after which time the committee will sunset.
SOURCE: Corey Burdick, Correspondent