The U.S. House has passed new legislation that could bring over $20 million a year to Vermont for affordable housing. The “Moving America Forward” act would direct $100 billion toward affordable housing across the country. If the legislation passes in the Senate, Vermont would receive an additional $9 million a year for the first two years, and then after that, there would be an additional $18 million every year for affordable housing. ​

Congressman Peter Welch said, “This legislation is going to bring millions of dollars into Vermont in order to continue the work of affordable housing, not just in Burlington, but around the state.”​

The legislation would create tax credits so there can be public-private partnerships. ​Congressman Welch points to Juniper House, as an example, which is an affordable housing project for seniors on North Avenue in Burlington. ​

“We’ve got a private developer working with the nonprofit, Cathedral Square Organization. Seventy affordable housing units right here overlooking the lake”, said Congressman Welch.

Executive Director for the Vermont Housing Finance Agency, Maura Collins says this could create 85 more apartments every year. ​Collins said, “We have done studies at the affordable housing shortage in our state and we need more than 85 units a year coming online. So, this is a tremendous benefit to Vermont.”​

Collins also believes these effects small businesses because they are having trouble attracting and maintaining talent because there are not enough housing options in Vermont. ​

“Housing is where jobs go to sleep at night,” Collins said. The connection between the economic strength of our state and where its workers live is really critical.”​

Congressman Welch thinks the legislation will face challenges in the Senate and the position of Senator Mitch McConnell could determine whether it passes.