Department of Housing & Community Development

Community Revitalization

Vermont’s landscape of compact centers surrounded by rural land is integral to our economy, community spirit and brand cache. Accordingly, Vermont has established a framework of “designations”  to provide incentives to encourage communities to maintain this land use pattern. These programs are also designed to help align our environmental, housing, and transportation policies, programs, regulations, and public investments to maintain and enhance the landscape cherished by Vermonters and visitors alike.


Downtown Designation provides communities with the help and resources they need to make downtown revitalization a community effort.

Growth Centers

The Growth Center program designates areas that are planned for new development in keeping with historic development patterns.

New Town Centers

Some Vermont communities developed without a strong central core and this program supports the creation of an area that functions as a new downtown.

Neighborhood Development Areas

The program offers incentives to create compact, walkable neighborhoods that attract more people and business to our existing community centers.

Villages Centers

Village Center Designation supports small town revitalization with a variety of benefits to the 100+ participating communities.

Planning Manual Update
DHCD is updating the State Planning Manual - the primary guidance document for over 5,000 volunteers who serve on local Planning Commissions and Development Review Boards. The last comprehensive update of the manual was in 1988 and this update presents an exciting opportunity to rethink and improve the local planning process in Vermont.