Affordable Housing in Brattleboro

It is very revealing that in all the comments of sympathy and advice about one family’s difficulties in finding affordable housing, a post and thread appearing very recently on fbook, not one asks if it is possible for us, as a community, to house ourselves.

The population of Brattleboro has decreased slightly from what it was in 1960. Although there is a relatively small number of new units built every year there is a very large number over that span. As far as I know not one Selectboard in all these years has tried to deal with affordable housing other than approving federally funded projects when one happened to be brought before them. Most of that money dried up long ago. Sixty years have passed and we have more people struggling with housing than ever before.

There is no lack of “bedrooms” in this town. But a very large number are owned by people who live somewhere else. Most often out of the county altogether. Too far to ever see or feel or care how the people who live here are effected. They consider their “right” to profit on housing, a basic and essential necessity, to supercede the right of a person to have a roof over their head at all.

Is it the Selectboard’s responsibility to be fully versed about the housing situation in the town they are leading? Is this a fair question?

Comments | 2

  • renters

    Three have been selectboard members over the last 20 years that were actively opposed “affordable” housing. They heard it as “affordable housing” and that was, to them, code for of slums and section 8 housing. They saw the town as having a enough of that, and wanted to encourage more upper middle income housing development. To attract executives.

    Our rent in Brattleboro went up by $500 a month when the new out-of-state owners bought the place a couple of years ago, pushing us into the unexpected situation of finding it cheaper (and better, I might add in hindsight,) to have a mortgage than to continue to pay rent.

    Perhaps the new focus on racial and economic justice will include a look at rights for renters. Brattleboro recently formed a tenant’s rights organization, though I haven’t seen any suggestions from this group hit the selectboard stage yet. COVID may be distracting them.

    We can do anything. What we choose do to, well…. : )

  • Brattleboro Housing Partnerships

    The Brattleboro Housing Authority was created in 1962 by the Town of Brattleboro to address the housing needs of the community.
    Now known as Brattleboro Housing Partnerships, it owns and manages 300 apartment homes for seniors, persons with disabilities and families. These homes are found in 6 developments throughout Brattleboro.
    BHP provides 24 hour maintenance, on site property staff and special programs for adults and youth. On site parking is available at all properties.
    Three properties comprise 200 apartment homes for seniors and persons with disabilities.
    BHP also owns two properties comprising 70 apartment homes for families and others.
    Rents are affordable and are determined by tenant’s incomes. There are reasonable income limits.
    All Brattleboro Housing Partnerships apartments and buildings are smoke free.
    There is a waiting list. My advice is to apply and wait for a vacancy-it’s worth it.

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