-Housing and shelter are basic human needs and Vermont must work hard to develop solutions and create options for Vermont residents to have access to safe, reliable shelter. A comprehensive plan encompassing existing properties and the creative design of new Vermont style housing that works with the environment will be critical to help this situation.
No doubt Vermont unfortunately has a housing issue. Shelter is a fundamental human necessity, especially here in Vermont with our winters. Vermonters of all ages are struggling to find a place to rent or a home to buy that is affordable or even available. This is a real issue here in Vermont at this time and there are many factors that influence this situation. This is a difficult situation that must be tackled and resolved so Vermonters and those considering a move here can have access to shelter.
Part of the issue lies in the fact that Vermont is a tourist state. We have this absolutely beautiful place and a wonderful community in which people can come for peace, sanctuary, wilderness experiences, to enjoy the many outdoor activities, and also indulge and take part in the wonderful local food offered here. Due to this, there are many Vermonters who have decided to build or convert part of their home into an Air B&B or something along these lines in which they can rent their place and make a decent living. This is a great opportunity for Vermonters as we struggle with inflation and the need to bring in extra income to afford gas, groceries and our everyday expenses and bills. It is understandable as to why many would choose this path and I firmly believe that this opportunity which has made a positive financial impact on so manty Vermonters and our economy must be supported
Of course, the question is- what are the solutions for this housing issue- Here are a few thoughts and if elected I will work hard to engage and discuss this situation with other legislators, selectboards and constituents in order to reach a solution. Shelter is a basic need, especially in Vermont in the winter, it is critical we come up with answers to solve this problem. Fortunately, we have some of the most talented builders in this state and we have many who are experts in the field of permaculture and integrated system development.
Possible solutions to be considered include-
Renovations of existing properties and run-down buildings- both commercial and residential. This will not only help provide additional housing, but it will also spruce up communities and help create sound infrastructure and build healthy neighborhoods and towns for Vermonters and visitors to enjoy.
I have had a vision of earth friendly communities based on maintained forests, tiny homes and stewards of the land living lightly and in community in earth centered “neighborhoods.” Obviously, there is the question of funding, but I feel this is a model that should be explored as we seek both housing for Vermonters as well as support and care for our environment. There is no doubt this could be done properly in which both humans and the lands are supported and can coexist in a mutually beneficial way. The wisdom of indigenous communities, traditional building techniques and steward-based relations with the land could be a real solution for the people and the environment here.
Many cities and towns around the country are considering millennial pods and building up instead of out to increase numbers and focus on quantity. There is a place and space for this but I also believe Vermont could do this in a wise and unique Vermont way in which both the people and the earth will be served. There are many people today who do not necessarily want or need a tremendous amount of space however a level of security, independence and reliable shelter is a priority and access to land for gardens and appropriate and wise use of resources must be considered here.
With Vermonters ingenuity, the many talented tradesman and the traditional practices often revered and prioritized in this state, I believe that solutions can be found with regards to providing shelter for many folks that is a benefit not a burden to both our lands and environment.
We have an opportunity to show the rest of the country how it can be done the Vermont way in which both humans and the environment can be served and not compromised in the process of creating shelter for residents.