[Hpn] NIMBY Confronts Housing Task Force;Burlington, VT;WCAX-TV Report;8/9/02
Morgan W. Brown
Sat, 10 Aug 2002 09:34:13 -0400
Friday, August 9, 2002
WCAX - Channel 3 - TV <http://www.wcax.com>
NIMBY Confronts Housing Task Force
Burlington, Vermont -- August 9, 2002
Burlington mayor Peter Clavelle's Affordable Housing Task Force
almost a year coming up with ideas to promote more housing in the Burlington
area, one of the nation's tightest housing markets. The sixteen-member panel
includes housing advocates AND developers. This week its report was
New housing is not being built fast enough to keep up with the demand, but
the construction of government-subsidized affordable housing has risen
significantly in the last two years. Examples are the Bove development in
Burlington, now nearing completion, and Odell Parkway in South Burlington.
Sarah Carpenter heads the Vermont Housing Finance Agency and co-chaired
Clavelle's task force.
"I do believe local leadership is going to be the key," she told Channel 3.
"Municipalities, city councils need to be supporting a whole variety of
initiatives to get housing built."
This is the third housing report out of the city of Burlington in the last
twenty years. But this one is regional, not just Burlington, and one member
of the housing task force says he hopes it will gather more fingerprints
The report says new construction is essential throughout Chittenden County,
although the Not In My Backyard syndrome has blocked construction in many
cases. Carpenter said of new housing: "Even if it could be seen be
somebody's backyard, even if it adds traffic, growth is important and having
homes for our workers is important. And we need to support that in areas
that have been designated good for residential housing."
Housing rehab is a priority too. For example, a condemned house in
Burlington's old north end was targeted for a complete makeover. It was
stripped down to be given a new life as an owner-occupied home.
Among the report's four-dozen initiatives to spur more housing are
politically difficult measures, including more federal and state funding --
and tougher rules governing permit appeals. Here is where NIMBY comes in.
Neighbors in the Hill section nearly killed the McAuley Square affordable
housing project on Mansfield Avenue. It was built after several years of
delay only after the developers agreed to scale it down considerably. In the
words of one developer, opponents "bled the density out of it."
Brian Pine of the Community & Economic Development Office who served as
staff for the task housing force said, "I think people need to look in the
mirror a little bit. If the neighborhood I live in was opposed by previous
neighbors that lived near us, we wouldn't have a place to live today."
To discourage NIMBY and keep the momentum going on housing, several members
of the task force say public support is key. The task force's report will be
presented to the Burlington city council at Monday night's meeting, along
with a presentation on its conclusions.
Andy Potter <email@example.com>, Channel 3 news.
---End of forwarded article---
Burlington Affordable Housing Taskforce:
Mayor's Affordable Housing Task Force Recommendations:
Mayor's Affordable Housing Task Force Action Plan:
Burlington Affordable Housing Task Force Membership List; Novermber 2001:
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Morgan W. Brown
Montpelier Vermont USA
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