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.

Designation Program Survey Results

This report presents results from a survey conducted by the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) at the Agency of Commerce and Community Development (ACCD) on the state’s designation programs. The online survey was administered between September 25, 2012 and October 6, 2012. Responses to the survey will be used to re-evaluate the suite of state designations collectively known as the “Downtown Program” (Downtowns, New Town Centers, Growth Centers, Vermont Neighborhoods) and to help guide key decisions that will lead to updates and improvements to the program.

Designation Program Reform
Working group meetings were held in fall of 2013 to discuss issues, identified by the Legislature in ACT 59 (H.377), related to the designation programs.