Housing Ready Bylaws

A Request for Proposals has been issued to produce guidance on housing-ready bylaws for Vermont municipalities.

Proposals are due on February 15, 2019 at noon, EST.   See RFP for submission details.  

The Department seeks a consultant or team to help develop guidance for Vermont municipalities on updating bylaws (zoning and other land use regulations) to support needed housing development in villages, downtowns, surrounding neighborhoods, and other walkable places.  

Proposal Q&A
Please contact Faith.Ingulsrud@vermont.gov with questions about the RFP or the project.  Any questions and the Department’s response will be provided on this webpage. 

Question from Nathan Suter, Build Strategies Consulting
What other components will be in the “Housing Ready Toolkit?” (bottom of pg. 2 of the RFP). Are those components already complete? Who is doing this work, and what are their objectives?
DHCD Response:
The "Housing-Ready Toolkit" is a concept that DHCD and its housing partners are working towards implementing, for assembling, packaging and disseminating existing and yet-to-be-produced guidance for helping municipalities shift to a more proactive stance in regards to housing.  Our Housing-Ready Bylaw project will  provide guidance on the regulatory actions towns can take, while other initiatives will focus on the non-regulatory.  For example, CVOEO is currently working on information a municipality can use to form a housing committee that can promote new and improved housing opportunities in the community. The “Housing-Ready Toolkit” concept will include these non-regulatory elements along with the regulatory focus of the Housing-Ready Bylaws project. 

For the purposes of this proposal, please consider the guidance on Housing-Ready Bylaws to a be stand-alone project that focusses on the  regulatory strategies.  

Questions from Mallory Baches, Program Manager, Congress for the New Urbanism:
What will the breakdown of the described funding be, e.g. would the $50,000 for consultation fees be expected to reflect the budget of the respondent, and if so, what sort of staff resources will be participating on the project from DHCD?  Will folks with planning, coding, redevelopment, architecture etc backgrounds be a part of the DHCD partner team?  If so, how many/to what extent?  This will help me understand how to build our consultant team much more clearly?
DHCD Response:
$50,000 is what we have in funding for consultant services at this time.  Proposals should describe the kind of team and approach that can be assembled to accomplish the work plan for that amount.  DHCD is providing staff with local planning, coding and regulatory experience to lead the project, and will involve additional staff with backgrounds in landscape architecture, urban design, historic preservation, community revitalization, graphic design, housing policy, and land use/housing law as needed.  DHCD will manage the project, oversee communications between all parties, review and comment on draft products, and will cover expenses related to meetings, including any public events (venues, food, publicity, any group travel, etc.). DHCD will also cover necessary publication costs, including printing, and will be responsible for outreach, once the Housing Ready Bylaw guidance is produced. 

What are the expectations for the public outreach "...two or more public events focussed on the case study communities,"  e.g. do you see this as (open to the public) presentations by the case study communities in their own municipality, which the consultant team attends/participates in?  And/or do you see this as public presentations by the Project Manager of the consultant team, after the product is finished, that can be consolidated into a single trip to Vermont?  This clarification will help me understand how to build our budget and determine our time allocation accordingly.
DHCD Response:
We are open to considering any approach to the public events that the proposals recommend.  In our original conception of the project, we envisioned a concentrated, charrette-type planning process that would involve all the case study communities in a central location but please feel free to offer any other project approaches that would use consultant time efficiently, build energy, and attract statewide interest.  The two events, open to the public, could be days or months apart depending on the project approach.  Other, less public meetings with case study community leaders, may be appropriate to propose as well, but we look to those submitting proposals to tell us how the work can best be accomplished.  The DHCD team expects to work with the case study communities to prepare for the consultant events and to follow-up as well. 

Question from Nathan Suter, Build Strategies Consulting
The RFP mentions that "The project will engage several case study municipalities..." Are these case study municipalities specific villages, towns and or cities? If so, please let us know which ones.
DHCD Response:
Yes, the case study municipalities will be specific villages, towns or cities within Vermont.  The case study municipalities will be selected once the consultant is on-board and can help determine the types of case studies we need.  The Department will apply the knowledge we have from working with communities around the state and consult with partners and advisors to identify municipalities that may benefit from housing-ready bylaws and then work with municipal leaders in those communities to determine their readiness and interest in participating in this project.  

Question from Kevin Geiger, Senior Planner, Two Rivers-Ottauquechee Regional Commission:
Are RPCs precluded from submitting a proposal?  
DHCD Response:
The regional planning commissions are free to submit a proposal.  

Those preparing proposals are advised to check this page periodically to review responses.  


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