How to solve the housing crunch

DUMMERSTON — In 1960, there were about 300 houses in Dummerston. Today, there are about 800. Almost all of those new houses were single-family houses built in remote areas of farmland and forestland, far from other houses. Similar “development” has happened throughout Windham County.

A better alternative would be to protect farmland and forest land and build multi-family housing in and near downtown Brattleboro, like the new apartments upstairs from the Brattleboro Food Co-op. Old, drafty single-family houses in Brattleboro could be renovated or replaced with energy-efficient homes with two or three apartments.

The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board is a state program that funds land protection and the creation of this kind of housing. Unfortunately, it is underfunded - it gets around $12 million a year out of a more-than-$5-billion state budget.

If you would like to add your name to a petition to Governor Shumlin and Windham County's state legislators asking them to raise taxes on millionaires, to use the money to triple VHCB's budget, and to make sure Windham County gets its fair share of this money, please email me or call me at 802-254-2531.

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