Even with modest population growth projections, Vermont will likely need about 5,000 new rental units and 8,000 ownership homes to be built by 2014, according to a new analysis by the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA). This would require doubling the current rate of construction in the state.

In other findings, VHFA reports that:

  • An estimated 62 percent, or 27,000 people, of the lower-income renter households in the state (with incomes less than $41,000) lack housing they can afford without spending more than 30 percent of their incomes for housing. About 13,000 of these households pay 50 percent or more of their incomes toward housing.
  • About 5,400 residents were homeless at some point during 2008. During a one-day count in January 2009, 46 percent of the people who were homeless were children and adults in families.
  • The supply of housing is constrained in Vermont compared with other states. The vacancy rate among owner homes was 1.6 percent in 2008—fourth lowest in the country. The vacancy rate among rental homes was the lowest in the country in 2008, but the rate has increased recently, according to 2009 data.

For more information about the 2010 Vermont Housing Needs Assessment, visit www.vhfa.org.