We have heard from local residents, “I can’t afford to live in the town I grew up in because affordable housing is scarce in our mountain communities”. While we don’t have hard data yet (a housing needs assessment for the Town of Londonderry is underway and expected to be completed in February), we do know this anecdotally. People who have lived here all of their lives have a hard time finding a home they can afford as they seek to be on their own, start families, establish a business, or find employment with a local business.
The facts are alarming. Housing prices in Vermont increased by nearly 9% in 2021 and will surge by more than 10% in 2022, according to the latest financial report from the Vermont Department of Finance and Management. The report anticipates an additional 8.9% increase in Vermont housing prices in 2023. In Windham and Windsor counties the average listing price of a home vs. the average estimated value rose 122% in just one year (December 20, 2020, to December 21, 2021) according to the Vermont Association of Realtors. This has created a challenge to first time home-buyers trying to find and purchase a home.
Affordable housing is considered housing for our local workforce, or a primary home. That means providing reasonably priced housing (to purchase or rent) for families who earn between $47,093 and $109,000
(80% - 120% of median income in Windham County). These are the folks who work at the grocery store, hardware store, at the ski resorts, provide support services for second homeowners, teach at our local schools, drive the town’s snowplows, serve in area restaurants, work at the medical center, and many other jobs.