by James Ehlers
‘Vermont Affordable Housing’ – why isn’t there any? Because they don’t really want to build it.
What sounds more noble and politically palatable? A) We need to make it easier to bulldoze forests and destroy streams so that developers, our campaign donors, can get even richer or B) We need to modernize and streamline regulations to address the shortage of affordable housing?
“Introducing Spear Meadows… South Burlington’s premiere new neighborhood. Featuring a highly desirable Spear Street location, this brand new neighborhood will have luxury townhomes and carriage homes with sun-drenched, mood-boosting designs.”
Two beds, two baths, 1930 square feet in a high density location: South Burlington. Cost: $773,000 and many more at $800,000 plus. That means $80K down and $60K-plus a year for 30 years.
Vermont’s median household income: $70,000.
Who’s ready for another legislative session of self-interested politicians telling us why public health and environmental protections need to be weakened and we all just need to work longer and harder to subsidize the profits of wealthy developers?
Wonder why South Burlington did not build a solar farm in this location given its proximity to the base load demand of all the 6,000 to 9,000 square-foot “homes” and heated garages already on Spear Street. Or workforce housing for all the cleaners, servers, and property maintenance staff needed for this “highly desirable” location.
The author is Children’s Environmental Health Director with Vermonters for a Clean Environment.