The Town of Brattleboro is conducting a housing survey to help the Town and its partners create housing solutions to address pressing housing needs. Your contribution to the study of housing needs is very important. Findings from the survey will be incorporated into a Housing Action Plan that is expected to be completed this fall. Take the survey at http://tinyurl.com/brattleborohousing. In addition to residents of Brattleboro, property owners and those who would like to live in Brattleboro but have had trouble finding housing are encouraged to take the survey.
The Brattleboro Selectboard voted 3-2 in favor of a rental housing ordinance that limits the amount landlords can collect upfront from new tenants. It takes effect in February.
The board was unanimous in the support of monsters.
Goodbye, Archery Building. At their next meeting, the Brattleboro Selectboard will be voting to tear down the old train yard building to make room for paved parking spaces.
They will also hear another first reading of the proposed Rental Housing ordinance, hear updates on community marketing and the Downtown Brattleboro Alliance, consider tax exemptions for five properties, and continue with their review of the FY22 budget. If you are so inclined, you can add to the agenda by bringing up other items during public participation.
Brandie Starr of the Brattleboro selectboard recently wrote an article titled, “Be part of the movement towards a sustainable Brattleboro” in which she directly addresses community members and, more specifically, landlords. The article is in reaction to and support of a, now notorious, proposal written by the Tenants’ Union of Brattleboro (TUB) which limits security deposits to an amount of one month’s rent or less.
Since the proposal was added to the last selectboard meeting agenda and since Starr has voiced her support, there have been rumblings of discontent from the landlord community. From voices of opposition at the selectboard meetings, to local landlord Deedee Jones’s rebuttal piece, to emails sent directly to the tenant’s union.
I am a member of TUB and a tenant who has rented four apartments in Brattleboro. On behalf of myself and the tenant’s union, I would like to elaborate on Starr’s points and examine the conditions that make a proposal like this reasonable, necessary and, quite honestly, not very radical. I would also like to address some of the voiced and rumored concerns from our local landlords.
The Brattleboro Selectboard approved a proposal for a Community Safety Review facilitation team. They chose a local proposal, created a committee, and decided on how much to pay for stipends.
Other issues before the board involved the Department of Public Works, some grants, and gathering data on housing to aid town planning.
Five proposals for community safety review facilitation have been received, twenty six applications to be on the committee are in hand, and the perhaps re-organized Brattleboro Selectboard will decide next steps at their next Tuesday meeting. Committee members will be interviewed and appointed at a special meeting.
Grants and bid awards are also on the agenda, as is the purchase of a new salt shed. You can add other items not on the agenda during public participation.
The Brattleboro Selectboard discussed affordable housing at length Tuesday evening. A new affordable housing project downtown on Flat Street, a town-wide zoning change to create more rentable units, and a discussion of an ordinance to limit what landlords can collect up front from tenants all indicated difficulties for the 60% of residents who rent in Brattleboro.
The DPW also shared a bit of the spotlight, with road grants and a new mower attachment.
Housing and getting around will be discussed at the next meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard. There is a new affordable housing project planned for Flat Street, the Tenant’s Union is asking for an ordinance to regulate security deposits, the DPW needs some vehicles and will apply for some road erosion grants, and there is a “interim zoning bylaw public hearing.”
It’s all on Zoom and you can bring up other items not on the agenda during public participation.
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.
Montpelier, Vt. – Governor Phil Scott, the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), the Vermont State Housing Authority and the Vermont State Housing Finance Agency today announced $30 million in housing assistance to those affected by COVID-19. The programs, first proposed by the Administration and amended and passed by the Legislature, utilize federal CARES Act funding to provide relief for those tenants unable to pay rent, landlords suffering from a loss of rent payments and those lower income homeowners needing assistance in paying their mortgages.
“Landlords, renters, homeowners and those experiencing homelessness have all been impacted by this virus and need assistance, which is why we’ve worked closely with the Legislature to provide this relief,” said Governor Phil Scott. “As we continue to fight this virus, keep Vermonters safe and restart our economy, we know our recovery starts with everyone having a safe and secure place to call home.”
Mr. President, Madam Speaker, Mr. Chief Justice, members of the General Assembly, honored guests and fellow Vermonters:
Today, I welcome the opening of the legislative session with the same optimism I had as a freshman senator from Washington County nearly two decades ago.
I come before you to report on the state of the state, to reflect on the work we’ve done and to share a vision and priorities for our future.
The Brattleboro Selectboard had their final meeting before Santa’s visit next week, discussing municipal broadband, finances, the Grand List, a housing grant, and FY21 loose ends. Was it enough for them to stay on the “nice” list? Read on to find out.
The Brattleboro Selectboard held their only meeting of July. Despite objections from many landlords, the board approved a new rental housing inspection program, and despite numerous statements of support they put off deciding on how best to deal with issues of sustainability.
New tax rates for FY20 were set, a 3-month day work pilot program was funded, Groundworks received $100,000 for housing, and more.
Brattleboro’s new “Work Today” program for day labor will be explained and partially funded at Tuesday’s meeting of the Brattleboro Selectboard. Youth Services is taking the lead on this attempt to employ members of the community that have trouble finding steady work.
The board will take up the question of whether to create a Sustainability Officer position within town government, enact a rental housing inspection program, the town pool needs more repairs, tax rates will be set, goals will be reviewed, the library will get grants to help with local history, we’ll buy another pick-up truck, goals will be reviewed, committee members will be appointed, and more.
You can bring up other matters not on the agenda during public participation.
The Brattleboro Selectboard took up a full agenda, though with only three members present, they themselves were not quite full.
The big discussion of the evening centered on landlords and a new rental housing inspection system soon to take effect, but the exciting news came during public participation when it was announced that a day work program, legal and with dignity, will soon be getting started.
It’s the return of the 1% Local Option Sales Tax (LOST) at the next Brattleboro Selectboard meeting. The board will try once again to convince residents and businesses to add a 1% sales tax to purchases in the ‘boro, despite competition from online shopping and nearby states.
The Downtown Brattleboro Alliance will give their semi-annual report and present a budget for the coming year, a private drive will be named, finances reviewed, and the board will discuss housing, and economic & community development.
You can bring up other items not on the agenda, or a side dish, by attending the meeting at the Municipal Center on Tuesday.
The Brattleboro Selectboard cancelled a few possible contentious items on the agenda (the Harmony Lot mural and the Health Code violation) but still got an earful from a couple concerned that blinking safety lights on Western Ave are unnecessary and lower the value of their home. The Wessel Baffle might prove to be the solution.
Town Manager Elwell gave the board an overview of the coming budget request from Town staff. Of note: the expected 4% health insurance increase is actually more like 17%. Ouch. Call a doctor. Police cars are being uplifted, a new solar project is being considered, and more.
Are there any affordable apartments in or near Brattleboro yet?