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Housing Needs Assessment 2023

Across multiple iterations of its Comprehensive Plan, in other documents and as a part of several planning efforts, the Town of Williston has recognized the need for housing. Williston’s 2016-2024 Comprehensive Plan includes objectives aimed at encouraging a wider range of housing types in Williston as well as policies for increasing the number of units considered affordable by households with incomes at or below the regional median income. The need for new development in Williston to further its housing goals was recently reiterated as part of the 2020-2022 Taft Corners Form-Based Code project. In its work on the project, the Planning Commission recognized that additional tools and policies should be explored to ensure housing goals are met.

The Housing Needs Assessment quantifies the trends of increasing housing scarcity and unaffordability at a town level by referring to statewide and regional studies such as the 2020 Vermont Housing Needs Assessment and CCRPC’s Building Homes Together project, supplementing them with local data derived from the Vermont Housing Finance Agency (VHFA), U.S. Census American Community Survey and the Williston Planning & Zoning Department. This Assessment lists key findings about housing need in Williston, discusses connections between these findings, and identifies the gap, or housing need identified by each finding. Finally, the conclusion of this report discusses policy and programmatic responses the town may choose to take. Implementation of recommended strategies will be further explored by the town and the Housing Committee work to come.

 

Key Findings

  1. Williston lacks enough homes to support its workforce.
  2. Housing in Williston is becoming less affordable, with home sale prices and rents increasing faster than incomes.
  3. Most people who work in Williston cannot afford to live in Williston.
  4. There is a mismatch between the distribution of household sizes and configuration of available homes in Williston.
  5. Homeownership among Black and African American households is significantly lower than White households.
  6. Significant needs exist for supportive housing.
  7. The shortage of available homes is a challenge for housing in Williston.
  8. Where new housing is built matters.

 
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