The Housing for All Revenue Bond is a new source of funding for the development of affordable housing established in 2017. The Vermont Housing & Conservation Board is administering proceeds from the $37 million bond to fund rental housing and home ownership opportunities for more than 750 low- and moderate-income Vermont households. The bond funds are matched with state, federal, and private sources, leveraging approximately $4 for every one dollar of bond funds, resulting in $163 million in additional resources for housing development.
Spending on affordable housing yields multiple benefits across the economy. The $37 million housing bond will also act as a stimulus package, generating millions of dollars of economic activity through the creation of jobs and the purchase of goods. The revenue bond was issued by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency. It will be paid by $2.5 million in annual revenue from the property transfer tax over 20 years, through 2039. The bold, new initiative represents the largest state investment in housing in more than a decade. It was first proposed by Governor Phil Scott in his January 2017 budget address, gained strong support in the legislature, and was signed into law in late June of that year.
At least 25% of the housing will be targeted to households with incomes at or below 50% of median income; another 25% will be targeted to moderate-income Vermonters earning 80-120% of median income. The balance of the funds will be awarded to projects based on community needs, applications received and the availability of resources for leverage. Applications may be submitted for new construction, rehabilitation of existing homes, multi-family apartments, single-family home ownership, and revitalization of blighted or historic properties in community centers, with an emphasis on creating new homes and bringing substandard properties back into use. Public-private development and ownership partnerships are encouraged.