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Zoning Bylaw Modernization Grants for New Homes and ‘Great Neighborhoods’

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$650,000 in special grants to update zoning for needed homes in great neighborhoods

MONTPELIER, VT — The Vermont Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) is pleased to announce up to $650,000 in available funding to support statewide municipal bylaw modernization grants for Vermont’s cities and towns.

Municipalities can use this new and innovative funding to hire regional planning commission or consulting staff to collaborate with local stakeholders and prepare bylaw updates that expand opportunities for new homes, confront the State’s housing crisis, and ready communities for unprecedented investments in housing and infrastructure.

“Although zoning is only one of many market pressures constraining the production of homes,” said DHCD Commissioner Josh Hanford. “Leaders across Vermont increasingly recognize the importance of easing unnecessary local barriers that prevent well-located homes served by existing infrastructure and near jobs and daily destinations.”

The grants support access to the State’s Neighborhood Development Area designation through implementation of the Zoning for Great Neighborhoods Guide.  An initiative that produced model regulations designed to make little zoning updates that have a big impact much easier for local planning commissions, selectboards, and city councils.  The project also looked at case study communities across Vermont, revealing a clear mismatch between Vermont’s need for smaller homes and the current zoning regulations – many of which were adopted using mid-century templates favoring single-household homes, large lots, and expensive infrastructure.

“Vermont is feeling the impacts of climate and pandemic migration,” said State Representative Amy Sheldon and Chair of the House Natural Resources Committee. “This grant will help adapt municipal zoning to support homes in smart, pedestrian-oriented, and climate resilient neighborhoods, the kinds of places that are foundational to lowering energy use and cost and making homes more affordable.”

 

Municipalities interested in this special funding to update bylaws, implement Zoning for Great Neighborhoods, and expand housing choice and opportunity in pedestrian-oriented neighborhoods can learn more here: https://accd.vermont.gov/content/bylaw-modernization-grants.

 

The deadline to apply is November 1, 2022 and funding awards will be announced in January 2023.

 

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