[Hpn] Sanders Calls Housing "A Sleeper Issue";10/15/01

Morgan W. Brown norsehorse@hotmail.com
Mon, 15 Oct 2001 21:43:31 -0400


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-------Forwarded News Story-------

Monday, October 15, 2001
WCAX - Channel 3 - TV <http://www.wcax.com>
Burlington, Vermont
Televised News Story
Latest Local Headlines section
Sanders Calls Housing "A Sleeper Issue"
<http://www.wcax.com/Global/story.asp?S=509381&nav=4QcR4vSe5B1a>

(Montpelier, October 15)

Vermont Congressman Bernie Sanders says his proposed national affordable 
housing trust fund is picking up steam. The independent representative says 
his legislation, submitted earlier this year, now has ninety co-sponsors in 
Congress.

Sanders joined several housing advocates on the porch of a Montpelier 
apartment house, where he said significant new federal spending on 
affordable housing would help people who can't afford skyrocketing rents, 
and spur the economy. His backdrop was The Winooski River Apartments, 
recently bought by the Central Vermont Community Land Trust, which will 
renovate its eleven apartments, plus five more a few blocks away, with the 
help of federal money. Housing advocates say if it had stayed in private 
hands the three-story wood frame building probably would have been torn down 
to make way for a parking lot.

A report released by the National Low Income Housing Coalition says incomes 
are not keeping pace with rising rents. It says a wage of $13.21 per hour -- 
equivalent to annual earnings of $27,480 -- is required to pay for an 
average two-bedroom apartment in Vermont. The advocacy group calls it "the 
housing wage" -- the earnings required to pay the rent and utilities, and 
still have enough left to cover other necessities.

A weakening economy, Sanders said, will aggravate the housing crunch. He 
said new spending would be the best kind of economic stimulus. "Today, with 
the recession looming, it makes enormous sense to pump money into affordable 
housing to take care of our people and at the same time put workers to work 
at decent wages, which is what construction is about," he told reporters.

Erhard Mahnke of the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition cited the report 
that pegs the average rent for a two-bedroom apartment at $687 a month. 
Three bedroom go for $901, "a huge gap between what people can afford and 
what's out there," he said.

The figures reinforce earlier warnings that a six-county area of northern 
and central Vermont faces a severe housing shortage. Sarah Carpenter, 
executive director of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency, said the region 
will suffer from a deficit of 10,000 housing units over the next decade.

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Morgan <norsehorse@hotmail.com>
Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont USA



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