MRV Housing Coalition

MRV HC Logo_draft

 The Mad River Valley Housing Coalition (MRVHC) envisions a community with a range of safe, affordable and sustainable housing options that honor our past, celebrate our landscape, and align with the values articulated by the Mad River Valley Vision. As a volunteer-based non-profit organization, the MRVHC has been working to support housing options for current and prospective residents of Fayston, Warren, Waitsfield, Moretown and Duxbury for over thirty years.

MRVHC Board Meetings take place monthly at the Waitsfield Town Office, 4144 Main Street in Waitsfield. Everyone is welcome, but times are subject to change, so please check the MRVPD Calendar for updates. For detailed meeting information, please see the MRV Housing Coalition category of the Agendas & Minutes page.

*COVID-19 Update:
Meetings are being held virtually.
Please see meeting agendas for log-in information.

 

About Us

Our Work

Why Housing in the Valley?

Housing is intrinsically connected to all areas of a person’s life. Affordable housing - housing for which the occupant pays no more than 30% of their household income – helps to ensure households have enough to spend on other essential areas such as healthcare, food, transportation and education.

Safe, affordable, and energy efficient housing for all current and prospective Mad River Valley residents is a shared vision among the three towns of Warren, Waitsfield and Fayston.

Physical & Mental Health

Housing is now widely considered one of the most basic and influential social determinants of health. Quality housing limits exposure to environmental toxins such as mold, lead, asbestos, and poor air quality. It also frees up resources to spend on healthy food and health enrichment activities. These factors improve physical health and decrease healthcare costs.

Access to affordable housing has positive mental health outcomes, as well. People living in affordable housing are less likely to be forced into making difficult decisions such as having to choose between paying for food, clothing or medical care for their families.

Affordability also equates with stability. Limiting frequent moves has the benefit of allowing a person the time and space to address other life challenges. Reducing the aforementioned stressors in a person’s life has been proven to better their mental health and wellbeing.

Education
Economic Mobility
Local Economy
Sustainable Communities

Get Involved

  • Make a Gift 
  • Become a Member
    • The MRVHC Board and members meet monthly to review updates, set priorities, and provide input and support. To learn more and become a member, send us a message: mrvhousing@gmavt.net
  • Share Your Skills
    • Are you a lawyer? Architect? Builder? Handy-person? We would love to hear from you and discuss how your skills could assist our work!
  • Share Your Home
    • HomeShare
      • A statewide program that matches homeowners with housemates for a mutually beneficial arrangement.
    • MRV Accessory Dwelling Unit Program (ADUP)
      • See the program description above & message us for more information.
    • Tenants for Turns
      • A Sugarbush program that matches homeowners with seasonal Sugarbush employees in exchange for resort benefits.

Housing Coalition Resources

Potential Tools for Action
Policy & Municipality-Oriented Action

Establish Designated Growth Areas - Encourage greater utilization of land in designated areas by allowing higher densities for residential and non-residential development. Ideally these areas are within or close to existing village centers or along major transportation corridors.

Apply for VT Neighborhood Development (NDA) Designation – State Designation that helps reduce the time and cost of state permitting in areas within easy walking distance of state designated centers. Neighborhood development area designation goes to municipalities with adopted plans, policies and regulations that support housing and compact development.

Create Density Bonuses – A zoning exception granted by a municipality to allow for more housing units to be built on a given site if the developer includes a fair share of affordable units within the site.

Enact Inclusionary zoning – A policy that creates dedicated affordable housing units by requiring developers to include a specified share of below-market units as part of market-rate rental or homeowner developments.

Accommodate Tiny Homes and ADUs in Local Bylaws – Help to facilitate the development of lower-cost housing types and promote density by revising zoning policies to encourage development of these types of units.

Dedicate Publicly Owned Property for Affordable Housing - Make publicly owned land and buildings available for the development of affordable housing to help ensure there is adequate opportunity to develop lower-cost homes.

Impact Fees to Fund Housing Trust Fund – Charge a fee on new, market-rate development to generate revenue to support the creation of affordable housing.

Consider Regulating Short-Term Rentals – Enact regulations that protect public interests including health and safety, housing affordability, neighborhood quality, and municipal revenues, but still allow reasonable latitude for residents to host and earn money from short-term guests.

Local Lodging Tax or Fee on Short Term Rentals to Fund Housing Trust Fund - A municipality may choose to levy a local option tax in addition to the state business taxes. This could also take the form of an annual fee.

Reduce or Waive Permitting Fees for Qualifying Projects - Municipalities can encourage the development of new affordable housing by reducing or waiving fees for affordable housing projects.

Tax Incentives for Maintenance and Rehabilitation of Affordable Properties – In exchange for weatherizing, bringing buildings up to code or upgrading building systems in rental properties, municipalities can offer property tax incentives that hold the taxable assessed value of the property at pre-improvement levels for a set period of time, or otherwise reduce or limit the amount of taxes owed.

Support for Employer Assisted Housing Programs – Municipalities can provide incentives or other support to encourage private employers to offer Employer Assisted Housing (EAH) programs to their employees. This often entails providing monetary incentives such as matching the EAH funds dedicated by the employer or offering the employer a credit against property taxes.

Establish a Housing Trust Fund - Creates a flexible source of funding that can be used to support a variety of affordable housing activities designed specifically to address local priorities and needs.

Increase Wastewater Capacity; Provision of Free or Discounted Connection to Municipal Water – Lack of space or funds to accommodate wastewater and potable water systems can prevent the creation of new housing, expansion of existing housing, and infill in designated growth areas. Public systems reduce development costs and allow for development in otherwise undevelopable areas.

Resources & Capital
Non-Profits & Community Members
MRV Housing Studies

The Housing Studies seek to analyze the circumstances that create barriers to
affordable housing in the MRV through a needs assessment, summary of types of housing needed & options, barriers to creation, and strategies to creation.

MRV Housing Coalition
Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs)