Housing meeting recap and available resources, approaching New Year~ Margo’s Plymouth report

Reprinted with permission from The Vermont Standard


It seems like the deep freeze is lessening a bit, although the high of 20 degrees today (Monday) is still rather nippy. I hope that electricity has been restored to everyone, although there may be a few customers without power. I feel so fortunate to have Ludlow Electric because we rarely have an issue.

I attended the 12/19 meeting at town hall, where much information was presented by Tesha Buss and Jill Davies about housing needs. It was stressed that big, new structures are not always an easy solution to the housing crisis in our area.  VHIP (Vermont Housing Improvement Program) hasgrants available to allow existing homes to be modified to provide separate living space for another resident.  Go online to their website and also learn about the Healthy Homes Initiative (HHI) that provides additional grant funding that offers property owners supplemental grants ranging from $500 to $30,000. These grants can be used to fix leaking service lines, old plumbing, replace outdated fixtures (sinks, toilets, dishwashers, laundry) with high-efficiency devices, and install new water systems (wells and septic systems) and water efficiency improvements as part of VHIP housing rehabilitation projects. 

Home-sharing is another way to provide additional needed housing and the Thompson Senior Center (802-457-3277) is offering a service to help connect people. The newly reimagined HUB helps folks to explore resources.  It began operations in December 2022, building on the results of WARF. In 2020 and 2021 our community raised and distributed nearly one million dollars of assistance to residents of Barnard, Bridgewater, Killington, Plymouth, Pomfret, Reading and Woodstock. Last winter, The HUB ran a pilot project to provide fuel assistance. Working with funding partners, we distributed $103,00 to 100 people.Woodstock Community Trust and Ottauquechee Health Foundation are sponsoring organizations. Funding partners include Barnard Helping Hands, Faulkner Fund, King’s Daughters, Pivotal Steps and Plymouth Memory Tree. For more information, call 802-457-7214, email: apply@thehubneighbors.org or pick up an Application: Outside the Ottauquechee Health Foundation office at Simmons House at 30 Pleasant Street, Woodstock.

I do not feel like I have a handle on all of these resources, but it is nice to know that there are options to help enhance living situations that can benefit us all. Mike Coleman was on hand at that meeting to provide Planning & Zoning information on the subject. It was suggested that Plymouth might want to form a Housing Committee, so anyone who is interested can let Tesha Buss know at 802-245-4746 orteshaforvt@teshabuss.com

Many blessings to everyone for a happy and healthy New Year!

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