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Creative Housing Solutions: Vermont Homes for All Toolkit Launches

March 25, 2024
Homes for All Toolkit Trainer Summit on March 14, 2024 in Barre

It's no surprise that Vermonters need better housing options and more affordable homes. Meeting that need requires changing the ways homes are built in Vermont, especially the location and types of new homes. The Homes for All Toolkit is one such solution. 

The initiative proposes missing middle homes, or MMH—including home types like accessory dwelling units (ADUs), duplexes, small-scale multi-household buildings, and neighborhood-scale mixed-use/live-work buildings that are rooted in Vermont’s traditional development pattern—as a way to deliver diverse and affordable housing choices in convenient, existing walkable neighborhoods and places.

On March 14, the Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) launched the VT Homes for All Toolkit to a maximum capacity crowd at the Toolkit Trainer Summit in Barre. 

The half-day event was a spirited occasion for novice and emerging small-scale home builders, community development professionals, and local leaders interested in innovative home-building and home-renovation solutions to connect, network, and learn. The Summit included a VT small-scale developers’ panel featuring stories and advice from four current developers, and an interactive activity where attendees were encouraged to “think like a developer” and design a missing middle housing site plan.  

Homes for All site design activity

Participants working through the "Think Like A Developer" site design activity.

The Homes for All Toolkit is full of tips, tools, and resources for would-be developers, and those who support their work to produce more homes, and includes three components: 

  1. Builders’ Workbook - A Missing Middle Home builders’ how-to workbook that provides a comprehensive roadmap to real estate development for first-timers. This workbook provides guidance on a variety of considerations including regulations and zoning, financing, infrastructure, and design, as well as advice on potential partners that can help beginner developers achieve success.
  2. Missing Middle Homes Design Guide - A design guide for Missing Middle Homes in a broadly appealing Vermont architectural vernacular.
  3. Vermont Neighborhood Infill Design Case Studies - A series of five case studies developed in Bellows Falls, Arlington, Rutland City, Vergennes, and Middlesex, showing how MMH building designs can be integrated into existing Vermont neighborhoods and communities using illustrated visualizations. 

The Homes for All project aims to attract and support and new generation of grassroots investors, local champions, and developers—including first-time, women and BIPOC builders committed to their communities and ready to build walkable neighborhoods. Later this year, the VT DHCD will launch the first round of a live training cohort to walk a group of aspiring developers through the Builders’ Workbook with hands-on project support, technical assistance, and networking opportunities. 

The Homes for All Toolkit and materials—including dynamic pro formas—are available to view and download for free at: Future trainings, presentations, and project updates will be posted on this project page – stay tuned! 

Please reach out to with any questions.