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".
The Housing Commission met on March 22nd, where members continued reviewing options for incentivizing the creation of units with two or more bedrooms in the City.
Commissioners spent time with the Inclusionary Housing Calculator and realistic numbers provided in the corresponding memo to examine the relative impacts of various financial incentives, including waiving fees, allowing extra stories on buildings, reduced parking requirements and tax incentives, and how these might make an overall project financially viable. Based on the size and mix of development in Winooski, reduced parking requirements and extra stories were the incentives that seemed to have the most impact and could get a development project to pencil out financially. The impacts of these on the overall cost of a development are one to several orders of magnitude greater than other paths. Housing Commission members will present on these differences to the Planning Commission in the coming months as they consider changes to zoning that might advance Winooski’s affordable housing goals.
The Housing Commission meets on the 4th Monday each month and meetings are open to the public. The next meeting will take place on April 26th at 6 PM.
Please get in touch if you have any input or questions on the work of the Commission – Jim Duncan, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Click here to learn more about the Housing Commission and get involved.