March 13, 2018
Emphasizes Importance of Legislative Efforts to Improve the Quality of Housing in Downtowns and Villages
Joined by legislators and "Downtown Day" advocates at the State House on Tuesday, Governor Phil Scott and leaders from National Life Group Foundation, the Vermont Community Foundation and the Preservation Trust of Vermont announced seven winners of the inaugural Main Street Grants.
In total, $85,500 in grants were awarded to Barre, Bennington, Montpelier, St. Albans, St. Johnsbury, Waterbury and Wilmington. The National Life Group Foundation provided $70,500 of the funding and the Vermont Community Foundation provided $15,000.
"Strong, dynamic downtowns and villages, coupled with housing working families and young professionals can afford are critical to my Administration's work to strengthen and grow Vermont’s economy," said Scott. "The work to revitalize Vermont's downtowns and villages is a team sport, so I truly appreciate the growing number of state, local, public and private partners who are working to build stronger, more vibrant communities."
In January, Scott proposed several initiatives that build upon the successful $37 million housing bond (http://governor.vermont.gov/press-release/governor-phil-scott-and-vhfa-announce-37-million-raised-bond-sale-create-homes-workers) proposed and passed last year, aimed at introducing more affordable workforce housing throughout the state. These initiatives are currently included in H. 766 (https://legislature.vermont.gov/bill/status/2018/H.766).
Key provisions of H. 766 include:
* Allocates $625,000 to pilot a new homeowner tax credit to improve the quality and quantity of housing in and around Vermont's designated downtowns and villages;
* Increases investment in the downtown and village center tax credit program by $250,000; and
* Invests an additional $125,000 for the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA) tax credit to fund its Down Payment Assistance Program for first-time homebuyers.
"I appreciate the Legislature's work to advance my housing proposals, which invest $1 million in tax credits to attract and house the young families Vermont’s economy needs to thrive," added Scott. "Representatives Fred Baser, William Botzow and Michael Marcotte have helped lead the charge, and my Administration looks forward to our continued collaboration on this work."
At his press conference, the Governor also showcased the contributions of the 23 state-designated downtown communities. In the past year, the 23 state-designated downtown communities have documented nearly $59 million in public and private investment, 127 new housing units, 47 new and expanded businesses, and more than 200 new jobs have been created within the downtown districts.
The Agency of Commerce and Community Development (http://accd.vermont.gov/) administers the state designation programs (http://accd.vermont.gov/community-development/designation-programs), which target investments to build strong communities and promote the efficient use of land, infrastructure and resources. Nearly 170 community centers are designated (downtowns and villages [http://smartgrowth.vermont.gov/]), allowing them to receive priority consideration for state grants and access to state tax incentives.
For additional information on the proposed tax credits, visit: http://accd.vermont.gov/sites/accdnew/files/documents/CD/CPR/180314_DowntownDay-handouts.pdf.
Media Contacts: Chris Cochran, Department of Housing and Community Development, 802-595-5410, Chris.Cochran@vermont.gov; Rebecca Kelley, Office of the Governor, 802-828-6403, Rebecca.Kelley@vermont.gov
Source: Office of the Governor
Last Updated at: March 13, 2018 14:29:54