Housing Forum: Needs, Trends & Opportunities

Event Details

Friday, November 13th 10:00-11:30am on Zoom (View Recording)

What does the housing situation look like for Vermont, the Upper Valley, and Bradford? What does the data show? What needs and opportunities exist now and looking to the future? We were joined by voices looking at local, regional, and statewide housing needs, trends, and opportunities:

Please reach out with any questions to thespaceonmain@gmail.com.

This was presented live on our Facebook Page.

Resources from Our Presenters

Please consider reviewing these materials prior to the event:

This presentation shows how our land use choices impact our towns. Joe Minicozzi of Urban3 is fantastic at using data based images to help us question our biases and guide our choices. Any town can pretty easily gather the kind of data Joe shows from Claremont, Hanover, and Lebanon – and he models how to use the information as we make our decisions, in VT or NH towns of any size. One key take-away: we get amazing value from small businesses and residences in mixed use settings.

This documentary shows why our towns need homes, and ways that people can take action to create them. Communities and Consequences II: Rebalancing New Hampshire’s Human Ecology mostly looks at NH, but the stories are easy to relate to and feel very relevant to VT communities. One key takeaway: partnerships between employers, towns, and builders can create the kind of homes our communities need.

Our Home for All Video and a few related thoughts:

  • The ‘market’ will not solve the problem, and with climate migration it will just get worse, since we are in a good place, unless we intervene.
  • Having a decent home is a matter of public good and therefore a public response is appropriate.
  • Communities need all levels of housing and people to be authentic and vibrant places.
  • Much of our homes built recently are in the wrong place from a habitat, transportation, and climate perspective and are the wrong kind for an aging population.
  • Bradford’s zoning does a decent job, but zoning is best at stopping what you don’t want rather than starting what you do want, mainly because it is easier to write rules to avoid commonly agreed problems than to mandate a commonly held vision when that vision is actually fractured.
  • Young families want a home that works and good schools.
  • Towns such as Bradford with sewer and water have lots of room in served areas to drastically increase housing and also increase commercial activity, but many structures need big investment to become the needed homes.

TRORC and others are involved in the www.keystothevalley.com regional housing study and search for solutions.

Here is a 2-pager with a summary of information VHFA put together from resources you can find at www.housingdata.org and subsequent ideas you may want to consider moving forward that are part of the Housing Ready Toolbox.

Looking at the most recent data, VHFA noticed median home prices in 2020 are increasing a bit faster in Orange County and Bradford than in the rest of the state. Compared to 2019, median prices in 2020 are up 14-15% in Bradford and Orange County, compared to 6% statewide. This is much greater appreciation than Bradford and Orange County has had in prior years this decade.