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The latest private report shows rental vacancies in "healthy range" of 3-5% (Chittenden Regional Planning figure), first time in a generation--about 500 empty rentals in BTV today!--and likely to grow as student numbers drop at UVM/Champlain, 600 student beds get added at those two by summer 2018, and 75 new units come online at the BC orphanage building, many more at S. D. Ireland on Grove St;--part of over 2,000 units since 2013 building season jumping rental supply in BTV by 20%. Landlords are suffering from no tenants! Rents have plateaued--all without a single unit from Sinex where not one apartment will come in at 25% of a low income household. We need "livable rents" not the misleading "affordables" pedaled by the City Administration which start t $950 a month! Sinex rents if project were ever built--now very unlikely--might nudge into $2,000 a month--we do no know for sure because the rent numbers were censored in the economic study handed out the the public.
Tony Redington http://TonyRVT.blogspot.com
Regarding Genese Grill "bashed the report"--so do most others who have actually read the report as it reflects a housing crisis of four years ago before the 2,000+ tsunami of housing development inundated the Burlington leaving a likely higher than healthy rental vacancy rate in the City before year end and as far as the eye can see now. Besides, IZ housing is a very small slice--though beneficial--element of the rental housing market. Viewed from today the IZ report is a solution in search of a problem that disappeared about two years ago.
Burlington goes it alone with inclusionary housing requirements for developers in the County--S. Burlington, Colchester, Winooski, etc., not lifting a finger. Now for the first time in a generation the County has a rental vacancy rate more of 4.7%, more than double the 0-2.5% dating from the mid-nineties at least. Burlington with 2000+ rental housing units built, underway or close to final approvals (not including any from the stalled Sinex Mall project) has about 500 empty rental apartments and single family houses today. We need to keep the "inclusionary zoning" (IZ) requirements with minor modifications--but no need for City financial incentives with housing to waste today. IZ units today start at $1,000 for one-bedroom and "affordable" is a misnomer for them. They do help but the crying need of the poor and the disenfranchised today is for deep subsidy down to $0 income--a proposal is before the legilature to do just that, provide about 1,500 such units statewide including about 400 for Chittenden County, many of them deservedly coming to Burlington which has expended so much effort to housing the moderate and low income. Tony Redington
Have termed Genese the "person for all seasons" because she can do the nitty gritty of politics at the meeting level with those she likes and does not like so much (disagrees with someone's politics but never makes it personal), writes scholarly researched books, does the boring organizational work of leading meetings and silk screening T-shirts, listens to everyone she meets, works as a part time artist, edits Burlington's incredible 05401 magazine carefully circulated to all residents not just the "elites", taught at Burlington College, and perhaps as important in impressing one, she travels everywhere by bicycle and would be the second City Councilor along with Max Tracy to bring a first hand daily experience of what it is like to walk and bike the difficult streets of this City. This is a time of change, of insuring grassroots change rises naturally through the City Council and above--and Genese Grill could be better suited to undertake this task on behalf and in democratic concert with Wards 2 and 3. Tony Redington Blog: TonyRVT.blogspot.com
The Coalition for a Livable City (CLC) comprised a local citizens and volunteers gathers help from a Fund Me drive and individual contributions--no corporate, big business gifts. BTC Associates is Don Sinex, equals corporation. Together for Progress is the epitome of the larger business community driven group with many smaller businesses opposed to the Mall project--afraid to express their opinion for fear of reprisal, or both. The Mayor's PAC has corporation money left over from past campaigns and started off with $1,000 corporate donation from Citizen Cider.
Councilor Shannon touted the project "affordable housing" when a reporter noted the affordables come with a rent cap of $1,100 monthly for one bedroom and $1,200 for 2 bedroom--clearly not affordable (and about the median for the over 200 apartments available to rent in the City today). "Affordable" housing done by zoning and non-profits really does benefit the moderate income but not low income seniors and single parents or the homeless (trickle down does little for them either). "Deep subsidy" housing (down to $0 income) provided by Section 8 and public housing does get to those in severe needs--none in the Sinex Mall development. Suggested to Councilor Shannon political leaders like herself and the Mayor mislead our residents by speaking as the Mall "affordable" uinits when in reality they are "shallow subsidy" and totally unaffordable to most if not all with low incomes and the homeless. Tony Redington TonyRVT.blogspot.com
Obama was not addressing liberal Burlington zoning with over 2,000 rental units built/under development since 2013 equaling over 20% of the 2010 Census of 10,000 rental units. This does not include the Peal Street Bove project (50 rental units), the addition of 300 UVM students moving mostly from downtown area of Burlington to the new campus facility, and excluding a natural 100-150 units in a sensibly scaled Mall redevelopment. Mayor Weinberger knows very well Burlington remarkable accomplishment of one in three non-student rental households living our affordable housing! Shame on you Miro Weinberger saying no to a too large Mall even suggesting "the people we’re forcing out when we say no and no again are the poor and the disenfranchised." Your comments insult Cathedral Housing, Burlington Housing Authority, our local private developers of inclusionary housing, and Champlain Housing Trust! Tony Redington TonyRVT.blogspot.com
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