The housing crisis was at the forefront of U.S. Rep. Becca Balint’s first visit back to Vermont Wednesday since being elected.

Balint stopped by Zephyr Place, a new 72-unit affordable housing complex in Williston. Balint says creating more affordable housing options in Vermont will be among her top priorities while serving in Congress.

“For me, housing is at the core of so much of the work that we need to do in Vermont around mental health and physical health and sense of purpose and community,” Balint said.

“That’s like basic bottom line. You have to build more units. But you also need systems of support to help people stay housed, right? So that is support systems around those housing units, but it also means making sure that we’re training first responders and other folks who are in the community to deal with the mental health struggles that come along with being unhoused.”

Balint also addressed being in the minority in the Republican-controlled House, and the impact that may have on her ability to get work done. She says she’s willing to partner with anybody to help solve housing and mental health problems, regardless of party.