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Statement from Governor Phil Scott on House Consideration of H.687

March 25, 2024

Montpelier, Vt. - Governor Phil Scott today issued the following statement: 

 “As we all know, we have a housing crisis in all parts of Vermont, and we desperately need to make it easier, faster, and less expensive to build the housing we urgently need. Yet this week, the House of Representatives will vote on a bill that will move us backward by further complicating our regulatory and appeals systems.  

“If passed into law, this land use bill will make it harder to build housing units in most parts of the state, which could make our housing crisis permanent in many communities. In fact, 100 members of the House represent towns that will likely never benefit from the Tier 1A designation in the bill.

“H.687 would take four years to implement, doing nothing to address the housing shortage we are facing today. It includes changes that would significantly expand the bureaucracy, inevitably resulting in more delays that make it more expensive to build housing now. It will deepen the disparity between the ‘haves and have-nots' in our state, especially for rural Vermont, where expanded regulatory requirements will fall on the shoulders of communities with the least capacity.

“I believe rural Vermonters deserve affordable housing as much as those from Burlington and Montpelier. H.687 suggests otherwise and sets the state up for years of inaction, at a time when we need to move swiftly to support the housing needs of all Vermonters.”