Rutland, VT — Vermont officials met in Rutland to discuss their hopes in tackling the housing crisis.

Governor Phil Scott says it starts with Vermont Housing Improvement, a program that helps bring vacant rental units to get back into the market. “It’s no secret that in every corner of our state, lack of housing is a major concern. This has impacted Vermonters already here, it’s a barrier to growing our workforce.”

In the 2022 legislative session, $20 million was appropriated for the program. “We are confident this will work because we proved it with our pilot program last year which helped bring more than 300 units back to the market.”

Housing and Community Development Commissioner Josh Hanford says this should get more units online at a faster rate than having to rely on new construction.

“This is also a very efficient program when it comes to cost perspective these units are averaging under 30,000 dollars per unit to bring them online,” said Hanford.

Partnerships such as Neighborworks of Western Vermont are working with the state to get this money into the field, helping landlords make the upgrades needed to get more units rented.

“These additional VHIP funds we now have 30 units in the pipeline to our goal of 73 additional units and all of these are in our three county service area, in Addison Rutland and Bennington counties, and will serve those living without housing stability,” said Heather Starzynski, Executive Director of Neighborworks of Western Vermont.

Even though this is a step forward, officials say there is still much more to do.