Vermont Business Magazine Planning for Vibrant Communities, an upcoming Housing Summit workshop hosted by the Lamoille Housing Partnership (LHP) and the Working Communities Challenge (WCC,) invites community members to collaboratively develop housing-related action plans in an effort to solve some of Hardwick and Lamoille County’s pressing housing challenges.
“When current and future residents can’t find housing to rent or buy, it’s a countywide problem that requires community and intercity cooperation to solve,” said LHP Executive Director Jim Lowinsky.
Housing For Vibrant Communities, the predecessor to Planning For Vibrant Communities, features panel and panel discussions that explore the interrelationships between housing, economic development, and community, including the roles of municipalities in advancing housing solutions and opportunities for intercity collaboration. Individual citizens, municipal leaders, human services, economic development and community planning professionals, business owners and realtors were invited and attended. Participants shared what they believed was and wasn’t working well in the Hardwick and Lamoille County housing landscape, then distilled those discussion topics through voting to provide a framework for developing a Planning Action Plan for Vibrant Communities.
“Participants collaboratively refined five of the highest priority housing opportunities and challenges that need action at the local level, which serves as a starting point to address and reduce pressure on some of the Lamoille area’s troubled housing hotspots,” Lovinsky explains. The discussions provide valuable guidance for the nonprofit’s ongoing work on affordable housing, as well as for “local communities and municipalities to better understand their housing needs so they can effectively address them while striking a strong balance with community vitality and economic development.”
Participant-selected priorities focus on strengthening the conditions for residential development in communities in the Lamoille region to better meet current and projected needs and include: 1) increasing community connectivity by improving existing public transportation, 2) reducing of the significant cost and time barriers to affordable housing through Act 250 modernization, 3) working with the State of Vermont to expand Smart Growth Center policies that more closely reflect this region’s changing residential landscape while continuing to protect agricultural and forest lands, 4) help cities obtain the resources needed to plan and finance expansions to water and sewer infrastructure, and 5) increase community support for affordable housing and the development of homeless shelter projects through a coordinated educational campaign.
In Planning For Vibrant Communities, returning and new participants will be tasked with developing the five priorities from workshop discussion into collaboratively developed action plans to be implemented locally. LHP and WCC are set to take the lead on the stakeholder plans and rely on the involvement of local residents, community organisations, the private sector and municipalities concerned about housing in the area, both during and after the Housing Summit .
“We at LHP envision a Lamoille region where everyone’s housing needs are met, community vitality thrives and economic development continues to thrive. Our neighbors and community partners also share this vision,” says Lovinsky. “If you are concerned about housing and looking for ways to get involved locally, we invite you to join us in community building work at Planning For Vibrant Communities or by contacting LHP and WCC to learn about additional ways to get involved outside at the summit.”
Planning For Vibrant Communities takes place on Monday, August 22, 2022, from 8:00am to 1:00pm at Green Mountain Support Services (93 James Road, Morrisville VT 05661.) To learn more and register, visit https://www.lamoillehousing.org /2022-housing-summits or contact LHP Director of Development and Communications Kerry Lohr, (802) 888-5714.
The 2022 Housing Summit Series is generously supported by the TD Bank Charitable Foundation and the Lamoille Board of Realtors and is jointly organized by the Lamoille Housing Partnership and the Working Communities Challenge with support from the Rural Development Council of Vermont.
Lamoille Housing Partnership collaborates with communities to create and preserve quality affordable housing options for lower and moderate income households in Hardwick and Lamoille County. Since 1991, the nonprofit has developed more than 300 income-affordable rental units. Learn more at www.lamoillehousing.org.
MORRISVILLE, VT August 1, 2022 — Lamoille Housing Partnership