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Necessary_Cat_4801 t1_jeebxsy wrote

Vermont is never going to be affordable and has no interest in being affordable. The sooner people realize that, the better. The word is out, the gentrification is on, there's no going back to 2019. Does anyone actually believe Vermont is going to build another Burlington (40k housing units) in the next seven years? For Vermont to be affordable it would need to look very different and we all know that's not happening.


I_producethis t1_jegbrxm wrote

You think VT was affordable in 2019? Or exponentially more so than now?


Necessary_Cat_4801 t1_jegfpsn wrote

Definitely not affordable but more so than now.


I_producethis t1_jeggnza wrote

Yeah I mean I'll give you that, I've lived here my whole life, and the real estate market has always been somewhat of a bubble. Maybe you saw the article that was posted in this sub last week, explaining that most of our housing shortage issues are the result of people owning second homes, or that is at least the highest percentage of vacant homes and apartments.


Necessary_Cat_4801 t1_jegw2u2 wrote

I think they're a lot of causes for the shortage. Not building for many years didn't help. Second homes don't help. Gentrification doesn't help.


-Motor- t1_jeeoe9y wrote

>Local builder A.J. Shinners poured a little cold water on the dream of a dense and affordable village, however. With the expense of materials and labor along with the sale of million-dollar condos on Mountain Road, he found it difficult to justify building affordable housing on his lower-village property and intentionally refuse that kind of windfall.
>“How do you look at a piece of property and say, ‘I’m going to build affordable housing that’s going to cut myself off from the potential income I could earn?’” he said.

And I got downvoted like crazy a while ago for suggesting that the main reason is that it's more profitable to build higher value for the investment cost properties.


Unique-Public-8594 t1_jecoron wrote

Morrisville, next door to Stowe, is booming with affordable housing.


0fficerGeorgeGreen t1_jef2a6v wrote

But apparently not affordable rentals. I work in the area but may have to find something else because every apartment is almost Burlington priced, run down, small, and no pets.

My assumption is all the would be apartments are air bnbs instead.


No-Ganache7168 OP t1_jecwj1o wrote

There are more apartments but it’s not affordable. There’s a very large new development underway but given the cost of new housing I’m sure the rent will be market rate. Why would a private developer opt to lose profits? Makes no business sense.

The local affordable housing organization purchased 25 of the new apartments with a few million in grant money, which will add to the affordable housing pool but we need more. Here’s a link to one of the larger rental companies if you want an idea of what’s available on the open market


ChocolateDiligent t1_jee5t2i wrote

You have to think outside the profit motive to understand why developers would provide affordable housing.


Traditional_Bank_311 t1_jed6hwu wrote

Affordable housing is market rate housing, it’s just a low rate.


ChocolateDiligent t1_jee5yez wrote

Yes it is, by the real question is why would it be lower if not profitable? Answer: Good regulation. Of course this logic assumes that you agree housing is a human right.


HeadPen5724 t1_jeehz5i wrote

Current regulations are what dissuades people from building more affordable housing. When you need to put up 6 figures just to get to the permitting proc as with no guarantee of actually getting those permits that has to be added on to what you charge for the development. The state caused the problem, expecting them to fix it with more regulations is a bit silly IMO.


ChocolateDiligent t1_jeeq3bh wrote

Simply saying it ‘Dissuades people’ doesn’t speak to the motivations of why people would build affordable housing do in the first place, which is profits. As long as there is a profit motive, housing will remain a privilege to those who can afford it and this it not a unique problem to our state and our regulations.


HeadPen5724 t1_jeermtc wrote

People aren’t going to build houses just to lose money???


ChocolateDiligent t1_jefskwc wrote

It’s not losing money if there is a subsidy and regulations for rent control. Maybe not as profitable and I am fine with that, we need to stop treating housing as an investment made to profit developers and investors. There are plenty of models for this type of public housing where standards of living are much higher than ours, and where housing is guaranteed as a human right.


Necessary_Cat_4801 t1_jefkssk wrote

Market rate is now not at all tied to wages in the area, so "market rate" in Morrisville probably looks a lot like "market rate" in suburban San Francisco. It's affordable for the work from home crowd but no one else. The destruction of Vermont's workforce continues.


1DollarOr1Million t1_jegmbv1 wrote

You forgot the /s. My mom had to move out of her 500 square foot apartment because they wanted 1650/month for it and when she did it went up to 2,000/month. For 500 square feet!!! IN MORRISVILLE!


blue_river_ventures t1_jeco1fa wrote

Towns and municipalities need to provide economic incentives for developers to opt for affordable housing development vs anything else. Could be density waivers, could be offsetting impact fees, could be tax abatements, whatever. This point has been made week after week. It’s tired.


Nutmegdog1959 t1_jed29sp wrote

>Towns and municipalities need to provide economic incentives

What makes you think they have those funds available?

The state needs to get on the stick and seek out these funds and help distribute them to said Towns that are willing to work for livable, affordable housing.


ManOfDrinks t1_jedk2we wrote

None of what he listed amounts to directly providing funds, they're all tax incentives to make building homes a feasible business venture where they otherwise wouldn't be.


Nutmegdog1959 t1_jedlou2 wrote

Tax incentives are a waste of time.

Last time an actual good tax incentive program was established it was erased by the Tax Reform Act of '86 (?). That was a 25% tax CREDIT against income.

Trouble was, mostly historic properties that would have been renovated anyway, got renovated. And projects that were so-so didn't get done.

What's needed is for the Towns to select property that they believe would make good affordable housing sites. Do the planning, approvals, preliminary proposed designs, infrastructure and land acquisition. The Towns could finance these 'mini municipal developments' with loans from a State established loan fund or development bank.

Put the projects out for bid or RFP. Build it, then sell it with or without tax incentives such as reduced property taxes for a few years.

This 'completion backwards' principal takes the risk away from the builder or developer.

Developers shy away from Affordable Housing because of the risk. Time from proposal to completion can be years. Price of materials can vary wildly. Interest rate fluctuations. Scarce capital gets tied up, nothing gets done.

It's not that complex. Sitting around, wringing hands, waiting for the 'private sector' to step up is a fool's bargain.


sound_of_apocalypto t1_jeg0b76 wrote

I like this idea. There should also be protections in place to keep it as affordable housing.


Nutmegdog1959 t1_jeg9a2l wrote

Restrictive covenants in the deed and mortgages with a "silent second" mortgage that needn't be paid back as long as property remains 'affordable housing'.


huskers2468 t1_jecrggf wrote

I'm not sure Stowe will ever be affordable. I wouldn't want much of the space filled in to increase the city density.


ChocolateDiligent t1_jee2k18 wrote

Not sure? It won’t ever be, that is the effect of decades of large amounts of out of state money’s influence on a town, they have to protect their investment.


huskers2468 t1_jee41fm wrote

The citizens of the small area are voting in their own interests, that doesn't sound malicious to me.

Does Stowe need to expand and become affordable to all?


Formal_Coyote_5004 t1_jee613n wrote

Well, Stowe has a lot of restaurants and 75% of restaurant staff commute at least a half an hour to get to work. This is probably true for people who work in hotels too. I commute an hour every day because i moved out of morrisville (I live up north now) and there are zero restaurants around me where I’d actually make money. So it’d be nice if the people who worked in Stowe could live in Stowe. Another commenter said Morrisville is an option, which is true, but most of my coworkers live in Johnson, Jeff, Eden, etc.

Edit: added on, and this was a response to the question “does Stowe need to be affordable to all?”


huskers2468 t1_jee7qmm wrote

I agree that there needs to be housing for the workers, but I don't agree it necessarily all needs to fall inside that town. I believe, with the expanding resort and local businesses, that housing needs to be built to support the workers.

The only focus is on the town itself, which is an option, but there is plenty of space between Morrisville and Stowe. My favorite spot would be to expand Waterbury center. That area has the infrastructure to support expansion. It has the larger grocery store, hardware store, gas stations, land, proximity to interstates, and more.

People want Stowe to do everything, it's just not the optimal with current infrastructure.


Formal_Coyote_5004 t1_jee9k3a wrote

That makes sense to me. I know very little about the actual politics of what we’re talking about… all I know is my own experience of working in the same restaurant for 9 years. Over the last few years I’ve noticed that workers are being forced further away, which sucks, and at the same time, the amount of people who visit Stowe is becoming overwhelming. This town simply wasn’t built to accommodate this many people. Like I remember at least two times when cell phone service straight up crashed because there were too many people in town. And we’ve all been stuck on the mountain road for at least two hours. It’s nuts. I know I’m contradicting myself here (workers should have housing but Stowe is beyond its capacity) so I think what you’re saying makes a lot of sense!


huskers2468 t1_jeebeqq wrote

I think there is give and take to both of our points. I'm not set in stone on my opinions. It's just that Stowe is a lightning rod for these articles due to the ski resort. To me, that means that actual solutions are being overlooked, and it just charges the conversation.

Please install another cellphone tower lol. It's incredible that a place with that much traffic has the worst cell reception I've seen in a decade.

>And we’ve all been stuck on the mountain road for at least two hours. It’s nuts.

I've turned around 3 times in 2 years...

At least this year felt better with the new parking limitations. However, I don't like that it's just another added cost for skiers. I'm a proponent for 2-3 bus specific parking lots near the restaurants and town. Ones that do not make 10 stops along the way. That way it promotes the businesses of the town that are away from the resort, and it provides a clear spot for free efficient public transport.


ChocolateDiligent t1_jee4ys4 wrote

It crosses the line from looking out for your own self interest to malicious when it displaces others who can’t afford to find a home or live there.


huskers2468 t1_jee5pp4 wrote

I agree that as of late, STRs have become a higher percentage than typical, but I disagree that it's malicious in an area that was built with second homes and "vacation rentals." The houses were propose built and expanded for that market for 50+ years; this is not a new phenomenon for a ski town.


ChocolateDiligent t1_jee69g4 wrote

Sure, but people still gotta live somewhere, especially those who work in those areas. What you are describing is gentrification. Just because the town was built as a resort area doesn’t mean it’s immune to criticism and good housing regulation.


huskers2468 t1_jee70ml wrote

>What you are describing is gentrification.

You are describing gentrification, and you are calling it malicious. I'm just stating the town was built up for many decades as a vacation destination, many of which were initially purpose built as second homes/vacation rentals, not displacing the locals. A fair few of locals typically profited on their homes through the years.

>Just because the town was built as a resort area doesn’t mean it’s immune to criticism and good housing regulation.

No, it just makes it the focus of the criticism. Waterbury Center would be a great place to expand housing, but you don't see multiple articles on that. Everyone just focuses on the town with the resort.


ChocolateDiligent t1_jee7ya3 wrote

A fair few who could afford to live there in the first place, that doesn’t equate to affordable. Its like saying stock holders of a company profited because the saw their stocks rise and sold when the time was right. Well if you can’t afford to buy stock in the first place it’s a moot point in the larger discussion of affordability. Stowe is the closest thing Vermont has to a gated community, its cool if you want to defend this, I’m just not going to.


huskers2468 t1_jeeacl3 wrote

>its cool if you want to defend this, I’m just not going to.

Yeah. I get that. You are doing the exact opposite. You are calling them malicious, a gate community, and soloing them out.

>Well if you can’t afford to buy stock in the first place it’s a moot point in the larger discussion of affordability.

Who says that every stock needs to be affordable? I can't afford Berkshire Hathaway, should I call that company malicious for not dividing their stock to my level of affordability?

You are attacking one town, that frankly doesn't have the infrastructure to support a massive increase in size. In another comment I pointed out that Waterbury center is a much better candidate for expansion with the infrastructure already in place. However, everyone only wants to focus on the ski town with the resort.


ChocolateDiligent t1_jeecps2 wrote

The stock analogy, is what most people subscribe to when it comes to housing, which in my opinion is sinply wrong. The main difference is that housing is an essential human right, stocks are not.

Stowe was brought up in discussion, hence the ‘soloing’ them out. This is a larger systemic issue and many other towns are challenged with the same issue, to that read, we need to fix the larger problem. But it seems your solution is a NIMBY approach, which is telling about where you land in the social economic spectrum or you are merely a hopeful projecting this life. Gotta work today, so back to the salt mine for me, truly insightful conversation though!


huskers2468 t1_jef0ckg wrote

I wouldn't necessarily state it's NIMBY, as I agreed they some housing needs to be built to accommodate the increasing workforce of the area, I just believe that there is a better spot for the majority of the housing.

Imo NIMBY would be to refuse the optimal location for the housing just to not have it in your area. I don't agree that it's optimal in a crowded tourist town that doesn't have proper traffic flow, a large grocery store, or other needed items.

Have a great Friday! Good talk.


Necessary_Cat_4801 t1_jeefra6 wrote

Stowe is such a gross, exclusive town full of rich white people from Long Island, Jersey, Massachusetts... I have no idea why anyone would want to protect that. Why those places appeal to anyone is beyond me. I understand the desire to live in a safe place but if the trade off is being surrounded by wealthy Americans, not worth it. The amount of entitlement and the lack of any diversity at all would be hell for me.


VTMike1029 t1_jeenqdn wrote

Wealthy people you mean wealthy assholes who don't care about anyone but themselves. Stowe will always be their playground and for real Vermonters who live and work there are just their servants.


suzi-r t1_jefg2od wrote

About it. Stowe used to be a beautiful village w farms. People generally respected each other


[deleted] t1_jefiz00 wrote



suzi-r t1_jeft0in wrote

Yep. If kids at all, they left after their folks passed. Like almost everywhere, it seems. I’m sure they didn’t sell ‘em for their true value…


smokeythemechanic t1_jeete74 wrote

Considering the number of people that don't want to work that are here but want to live here, it seems like an impasse to me. I'm gonna work till the day I die but I'm also able to afford to live here because I work


Necessary_Cat_4801 t1_jef0nwd wrote

I think there are a lot of people here with family money, but that isn't new. The people moving here now are working, they're working from home making in an hour what Vermonters make in a week. The workforce within the state is dead, the state will be unable to provide basic services in the very near future.


smokeythemechanic t1_jef2yaj wrote

The "trustafarian" from MA, MD, DE, NJ, CT, NYC, CO, and CA have replaced almost everyone of my generation that left here at 18.... They don't work, still have disposable income, and can buy rental houses here to have some sort of income. Literally I know hundreds of these people as I fix their cars.


ojhatsman t1_jeez10w wrote

Covid colonists just moving up here cuz it’s pretty, it’d be nice if they had a work ethic but it’s likely they’re all rich so they won’t have one


smokeythemechanic t1_jef1dyc wrote

That's part of it, we also have a giant homeless population due to the miro open invitation to the sears lane experiment, where growing up here we never had hundreds of homeless people at any given point in the year, and now all of a sudden there are people cooking meth across from an elementary school in a multi level homeless shack....


steelymouthtrout t1_jeg4emo wrote

Bottom line is that these landlord types are not making enough money off of long-term renters so they're all going to short term which is destroying the community and they don't give a shit.

Fuck Airbnb


dronesforproles t1_jef6abz wrote

Market solutions have been allotted plenty of time and have failed to deliver on their promises. Now it's time to trial publicly funded housing, medicine, education, food, and energy to compare the two solutions and see which works better.


Kiernanstrat t1_jef9ge1 wrote

Affordable housing is a term that refers to nothing at all. You have subsidized housing and you have the cheapest houses (smallest, worst quality, worst locations).


Twombls t1_jeexchp wrote

That is why we undo the capitalism


Necessary_Cat_4801 t1_jef0shg wrote

It would be so awesome if there were a viable replacement.


halfbakedblake t1_jeflvtz wrote

I believe some socialism seems to work fine.


smokeythemechanic t1_jeg5dlt wrote

In what sense? It doesn't make anything more affordable or less expensive. It just means the government controls it, and having seen so many of our government programs even just the PPP program monumentally fail for the people it was supposed to help, how well do you think the nepotism of all our current or past 50 years democrat and republican government officials would do a massive government funded anything?


halfbakedblake t1_jeg5xas wrote

Happiness and quality of life is the metric I was using.


smokeythemechanic t1_jeg99at wrote

I think you are forgetting all the government forced taxes and fees for everything in those countries, you want to try to survive on 45% of what you earn? That doesn't make me very happy.


halfbakedblake t1_jeg9ou3 wrote

Well, thank you for explaining to me, you sure ranted at me and taught me.... That you don't pay attention to the words and you are just spouting shit that gives nothing to the conversation. Here's your big reddit win. You got me, shit. How dare I measure a country by how happy people are.


smokeythemechanic t1_jegangi wrote

I wasn't trying to be a dick, I was inferring that the grass just looks greener on the other side, no matter what form of government you have, it has the key feature of humans, which are always prone to corruption, self enrichment, and the elite helping the elite. You're welcome to think whatever you want obviously.


halfbakedblake t1_jegbb9t wrote

I really hate that I assume people are assholes on reddit. It is my usual experience and I apologize, but you didn't respond to what I was saying, you just started talking about taxes after I said I'm measuring by happiness. Also we pay up to %37 in taxes. I know I lose about 1/3 of my money to taxes. So instead of 3 paychecks going to the government wed lose 5. Not that big a jump for the benefits.


smokeythemechanic t1_jegc9dd wrote

I guess I don't see the added benefits just added cost to pay for those that don't pay for themselves anyway. And the reason I replied as to a measure of happiness with money, is I am just able to afford to be happy here now after lots of hard ass work, where the people I know from Europe have considerably less spare money, and considerably less assets for doing basically the same shit we do here for fun. The other thing is getting shaken down for every individual thing they can possibly hit you for, even just the euro MOT inspection for your average car would completely break most Americans as every inch of the car has to be 100% perfect.


halfbakedblake t1_jegcxnu wrote

I am not unhappy here, but as you relate to the world through your lens I do mine. I was injured and out of work for 2 years. Medical debt is no joke and the debt that comes with illness is terrible. I'm scared shitless to age here.

Happiness to me is different than for you, but all governments are fucked and this may be a case of the grass being greener, but accidents and life happen.


smokeythemechanic t1_jegf7ou wrote

Yeah I for sure hear you there, I honestly our medical systems are so broken we as a country do need to start at square one there. Like Drs have to be held accountable for what they say, do, and prescribe, also health administration should make less than anyone working the floor. But then again that's my sentiment about all technical jobs that require a decade of study to master.


resistreclaim t1_jeftcq3 wrote

Of course not; it caused the crisis.


Odd-Philosopher5926 t1_jeeupb6 wrote

Gentrification ruined housing prices.


No-Ganache7168 OP t1_jeg8lzc wrote

When we first moved to morrisville 20 years ago lots of people were buying village homes for $100,000 to $200,00 and fixing them up to live in. Meanwhile businesses were starting to open on the downtown. It did not drive housing prices up that much. That didn’t happen until Covid. That’s when people realized vacation homes are basically free if you can pay mortgage and other expenses by renting them on Airbnb. Stowe became too expensive for all but the Uber rich so people started buying up morrisville properties


Proud-Put-9907 t1_jeg0qx6 wrote

Weird how 12 years of handing out money and having the federal reserve buy the debt would make things more expensive.


Shortysvtdad t1_jecuxoi wrote

We need to fix rental laws that let freeloaders not pay from October til May because of non-eviction rules.

We need to stop Act 250 from overreaching into areas not included in the law. The Board has, according to it's statute, no authority in a town with sewers, water and a zoning plan. Now, every plan is subject to 250.

We need to allow in-law apartments to be rented to non-family members.

We need to deregulate housing


ChocolateDiligent t1_jee2cu8 wrote

Deregulating does not equal a better housing market, you’re simply conflating bad regulation with good regulation.


Nutmegdog1959 t1_jed1yci wrote

> freeloaders not pay from October til May because of non-eviction rules.

Pure nonsense. If you can't find qualified renters, that's on you.


Necessary_Cat_4801 t1_jeestkl wrote

Can you point to those eviction rules? My mom also swears this is a thing but I see people evicted in all parts of VT throughout the winter. Maybe it's a utility shut off thing, not eviction?


suzi-r t1_jefghrb wrote

Regulate it differently, maybe. Don’t forget that VT’s topography is a challenge. We need our local farms & forests, which keep us healthy, or we don’t have much to pass on to future generations.