HOUSING CHOICE AND AFFORDABILITY IN NORTHWEST VERMONT

Understanding and Reducing Regulatory Barriers at the Local Level

A project funded by the Agency of Commerce and Community Development’s Bylaw Modernization Grant Program, with a grant made to St. Albans Town (lead), Enosburgh, Highgate, Montgomery, and Sheldon.

In fiscal year 2022, the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) made $500,000 available to grant to municipalities for land use, development, and zoning bylaw updates in support of pedestrian-oriented development patterns that increase housing choice and affordability within smart growth areas, and in accordance with Vermont’s smart growth principles (24 V.S.A. §2791).  This funding is intended to help communities confront the State’s housing shortage and ready areas for new homes through bylaw modernization.  The Town of St. Albans was awarded a bylaw modernization grant with the towns of Enosburgh, Highgate, Montgomery, and Sheldon.  The Town of St. Albans has contracted with the Northwest Regional Planning Commission to complete the project.

The Northwest Vermont Housing Choice and Affordability Project includes the following components:

  • Assess. Communicate the results of a regional housing needs analysis funded by the Working Community Challenge Housing for All project.

  • Audit. Audit zoning regulations and identify potential changes that will allow for infill and new housing opportunities. 

  • Educate. Educate local planners and other community members about "missing middle" housing types and how to enable new housing options in downtowns, village centers and neighborhoods to meet planning goals and housing needs. 

  • Engage. Engage communities in discussions on issues relative to housing, such as short-term rentals, gentile infill, density, affordability and/or others that may be identified.

  • Implement. Develop zoning bylaw language that allows for new housing opportunities and is responsive to each community’s unique context and needs.

The Northwest Regional Planning Commission will complete this project in tandem with the Northwest Vermont Working Communities Challenges project in addressing housing as a foundational challenge to workforce development from the specific lens of local development regulations.  NRPC will work with the planning commissions of the consortium communities to complete this work from April 2022 to January 2024.

Zoning for Housing Choice and Affordability - coming soon

Community Zoning Audits and Recommendations - coming soon

News and Events - coming soon

Resources - coming soon

Participating Towns

St. Albans Town (lead)

Enosburgh

Highgate

Montgomery

Sheldon