We are writing to you, a supporter of HomeShare Vermont, with exciting news! HomeShare Vermont will be expanding our service area to cover three additional counties in Vermont starting November 1.
For over a decade, homesharing services have been provided to Vermonters by two small and independent non-profit organizations: Home Share Now (covering Washington, Lamoille and Orange counties) and HomeShare Vermont (covering Chittenden, Addison, Grand Isle and Franklin counties). Each organization has had its own board, staff, office and systems.
Over the past few months, discussions have taken place between the two organizations to determine how best to efficiently and cost effectively provide strong, sustainable homesharing services to Vermonters. To achieve these goals, our organizations made the decision to have homesharing services provided by one organization.
This decision will provide more streamlined and efficient homesharing service delivery. By combining efforts, we will have one website, annual report, audit, outreach plan, etc. By centralizing the administration, we can put more resources directly into client services.
Effective November 1, 2019 HomeShare Vermont will provide homesharing services to all seven counties listed above. A satellite HomeShare Vermont office will open in Montpelier at 149 State Street. To assure continuity of services, Aaron Guman, currently a staff member of Home Share Now, will be hired by HomeShare Vermont and will continue to serve homesharing participants in the central Vermont region.
This is an exciting, but sizable, undertaking for us. Thank you for your support over the years and we hope you will continue to support our efforts to bring homesharing to more Vermonters. Please feel free to give us a call if you have any questions or concerns.
Last fall we hosted a workshop at the Heineberg Community Center in Burlington on accessory dwelling units (ADUs). Since then we have had a small working group that has been meeting to develop a plan of action to help Burlington residents create more ADUs based on the program in the City of Brattleboro.
A number of things are in the works. The City has completed a report on ADUs In Burlington, examining the current rules in the City and best practices around the country. As a result, the City Council and the Planning Commission will be reviewing ordinance changes to hopefully make it easier to build an ADU while reducing potential impacts. The upcoming Burlington Housing Summit on Tuesday, June 11 will include a discussion on ADUs to determine the timeline and scope of these changes. If you are interested in ADUs this would be a great place to let the City know so that it will get prioritized in their workplans. If you support ADUs as a way to help make ends meet, age in place or provide a home for family members, please let your city Councilors know!
HomeShare Vermont has also received a very small grant from the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB) to provide outreach, public education and some technical assistance to help homeowners create ADUs as either a homesharing arrangement or an affordable rental.
The technical assistance could be:
- to help look at your home and decide the most feasible way to add an ADU;
- to get some professional design assistance and/or
- to help you navigate the permitting process.
In conjunction with this technical assistance, the City of Burlington will be putting some CDBG funding aside to provide small grants or loans to help people create ADUs.
Similarly, HomeShare Vermont can help you find a tenant using their comprehensive screening and matching process if you decide you want to rent out your ADU.
We want to see many more ADUs get built in Burlington. Please let us know if you are planning to create an ADU in the next twelve months by completing this form and getting it back to us. This form doesn’t commit you to anything. It is just a way for us to get started and prioritize our work. We want to hear from you about what you might need to do a project. If you are not interested in adding an ADU to your home, please let us know that as well so we won’t continue to contact you.
Please feel free to call me if you have any questions at 863-5625. We look forward to keeping in touch and working with you if you decide to go forward.
*To view our other resources regarding ADUs, click here.
Do you want to remain in your home, but have some difficulty keeping up with household chores? Would a little extra rental income help pay the bills? HomeShare Vermont has over 35 years of experience matching people who want to share their homes with compatible housemates who are interested in helping around the house in exchange for a place to live. Let us do the interviews, background checks, and reference checks for you. We will introduce you to pre-screened candidates and you decide who to live with.
If you or someone you know could benefit from homesharing, join us for a free 30-minute informational session at our office located at 412 Farrell St., Suite 300 in South Burlington. Staff will explain our program and services and answer your questions. All are welcome and refreshments will be provided. Please reserve your spot by calling (802) 863-5625.
Upcoming Info Sessions
- Tuesday, December 3 at noon
Training for New and Emerging Homesharing Programs
Co-sponsored by NSHRC and HomeShare Vermont
Thursday and Friday, June 13-14, 2019 – Burlington, VT
This training is to help establish or fortify a new homesharing program based on the non-profit, comprehensive model that HomeShare Vermont has developed. The training is appropriate if you have a new program (3 years or less) or simply working towards establishing a new program.
To learn more about the training click here to read our full announcement.
If interested in attending, you can print off a registration form here.
You can read about one of our great homeshare matches in our latest newsletter here. There is also information about our annual storytelling event in April. We’ll also have a raffle for 4 Boston Red Sox box seat tickets!
Homesharing was included in the City of Burlington’s Housing Action Plan as one of 22 strategies for building a more affordable, inclusive and sustainable community. The Plan called for the city to re-dedicate itself to addressing its housing affordability challenges. A recently released 20-page Whitepaper, written by staff from the CEDO office, evaluated the HomeShare Vermont program and focused on strategies to expand homesharing in Burlington. The report noted that, “The numbers of people age 55+ living alone coupled with an increasing financial need and a desire to remain in Burlington makes home sharing an important tool to provide services to a rapidly growing senior population in the city.” It also suggested that using financial incentives to encourage Burlington homeowners to share their homes, along with targeted marketing, would provide more homesharing opportunities for those needing affordable housing. We look forward to working with the City to expand homesharing opportunities.
Read the CEDO Whitepaper here.