[Hpn] Sanders advocates for affordable housing;Times Argus;10/16/01

Morgan W. Brown norsehorse@hotmail.com
Tue, 16 Oct 2001 00:47:21 -0400


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Tuesday, October 16, 2001
Times Argus <http://timesargus.nybor.com>
[Barre - Montpelier, Vermont]
State & Regional News section
Sanders advocates for affordable housing
<http://timesargus.nybor.com/Regional_News/Story/35746.html>

October 16, 2001

By WILSON RING The Associated Press

MONTPELIER — A Vermonter earning minimum wage would have to work at least 85 
hours a week to afford a two-bedroom apartment, a new study has found.

And the lack of affordable housing in the state is getting worse, up 11 
percent in the last year, said the study, which was released Monday in 
Montpelier by a group of affordable housing advocates and Rep. Bernard 
Sanders, I-Vt.

Sanders said the federal government had to do more to help alleviate the 
housing shortage in Vermont and elsewhere.

“There is no question, but that the issue of affordable housing is one of 
the most serious problems facing communities throughout America,” Sanders 
said.

And building affordable housing could give the national economy a boost.

“We must put unemployed Americans back to work at meaningful, decent paying 
jobs,” Sanders said. “While we combat recession we can simultaneously 
address some of the major unmet needs facing our country.”

Sanders held a news conference Monday in Montpelier with a number of 
affordable housing advocates.

The study “Out of Reach” by the National Low Income Housing Coalition, which 
was released by the group's Vermont chapter, found that families in Vermont 
must earn $13.21 an hour, or more than twice the minimum wage, to afford a 
typical two-bedroom apartment.

In the last year the income a renter needs to afford a two-bedroom home in 
Vermont increased by $1.30 an hour or 11 percent. This is more than three 
times the rate of inflation, the study found.

The group used as a backdrop an 11-unit affordable housing development a 
block from the Statehouse in Montpelier.

Housing is generally considered to be affordable when it costs 30 percent or 
less of a household's gross income.

Sanders said he'd introduced in Congress legislation to create a National 
Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which already has 90 co-sponsors. Separately, 
Sanders is pushing for $5 billion in affordable housing construction to be 
included in the economic stimulus package that is to be debated in Congress 
this week.

Kate Trembley and her three children live in one of the apartments in 
Montpelier. “The affordable housing costs mean I don't need to work a second 
job,” she said.

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



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