By Councilor Jim Duncan
I serve as the City Council Liaison to the Housing Commission, which is charged with helping Council and staff "ensure a mix of quality housing that maintains and enhances Winooski’s unique sense of place and supports the needs of the entire community".
After a long break, the Commission reconvened for the first time since February to talk about its work plan for the coming year and issues of housing stability in our community.
Looking ahead at its work plan this year, the Housing Commission will focus on finalizing and launching the Housing Trust Fund, which will provide home improvement funds, housing construction funds, and down payment assistance for low to middle-income residents. As this work is finalized, the Commission will recommend possible funding sources, review applications, and track outcomes of the trust fund.
The ongoing economic impacts of the pandemic have a significant connection to housing, as people may not be able to pay their rent or mortgages. Commission members think this is an issue to pay attention to as things change so we know how big an impact this could be, and will be monitoring information on evictions, foreclosures, and unemployment in the City to look for upcoming challenges. To support the last item, Community and Economic Development Officer Heather Carrington will be seeking external funds for a consultant to gather data to share with the Commission.
If you are having trouble paying your rent or mortgage, there are supports available:
The Housing Commission meets on the 4th Monday each month and meetings are open to the public. The next meeting will take place on August 24 at 6 PM.
Please get in touch if you have any input or questions on the work of the Commission – Jim Duncan, email@example.com. To learn more about the Housing Commission and how to get involved, please visit https://www.winooskivt.gov/233/Housing-Commission.