HOUSING

Affordable housing is clearly in short supply for both renters and potential home owners. There are numerous issues involved in addressing affordability. High rent for substandard housing is a major problem for many Burlington residents.   Too many in our community find the social safety net has failed them and they have no housing at all. Joans supports efforts to provide housing for all members of our community, especially for the most vulnerable. I support a Housing First model https://endhomelessness.org/resource/housing-first/  

Joan opposes the March 2021 ballot item related to evictions as it does not address, and may exacerbate, the City’s problem with rental housing cost and availability.  Specifically, it is the following language within this proposal that is of concern:

  • “Such Ordinance shall exclude from ‘just cause’ the expiration of a rental agreement….”  This clause creates a perpetual tenancy and will make it exceedingly difficult to remove problem tenants such as those dealing drugs, harassing other tenants, or even assaulting other tenants, unless it is adjudicated by a court.

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“Limit unreasonable rent increases…” this clause is a form of rent control that will force the courts to determine on a case-by-case basis what is “reasonable” in terms of a rent increase.This is far worse than typical rent control where the rental limits are known.This creates an unknown rent control making a very unpredictable rental market and disincentivizing the construction of new rental units or investment in existing rental units.

Joan’s Housing Action:

  • Led the effort to expedite a zoning change allowing the Women’s Rape Crisis Center (now Hope Works) to purchase and occupy its current building.

  • Led a City effort to convert downtown to a Form-Based Code in the Downtown and Waterfront to Encourage New Housing Investment as recommended in the housing action plan.

  • Supported easing restrictions on creating Accessory Dwelling units. https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/mayor/housingpolicy/adu