in the State House of Representatives
on May 6, 2022, by a vote of
Purpose: The purpose of S.226 is to increase Vermont’s housing stock and make existing homes more affordable, by spending $20 million in federal ARPA funding and $200,000 in General Fund money, spread across F2022-23.
- The Missing Middle Income Home Ownership Development Program $15 million of federal ARPA money ($5 million in 2022 and $10 million in F2023)
- The Manufactured Home Relocation Incentive Program allocated $4 million of ARPA funds for F2023. This money would be used to remove abandoned homes, rehab ~300 poor quality homes and fund down payments for increasing homes’ energy efficiency
- The Community Partnership for Neighborhood Development $1 million in ARPA money for F2023. This would develop “pilot neighborhoods” which are: “compact” (at least 8 units/acre), close to existing residential and commercial buildings, exhibit climate readiness, are energy efficient, and emphasize environmental equity and “livability.”
- The Residential Construction Contractors Registry and Certification. Roughly 1400 individual contractors would pay $75 and ~2300 businesses would pay $250 in registration fees, bringing in $125,000 net by F2026. Contractors could voluntarily pay to become certified in specific areas of contracting.
Analysis: Those voting YES believe S.226 will result in more housing available at a lower price point to a wider slice of Vermont’s population.
Those voting NO opposed the contractor registry portion of the bill. They believe home improvement fraud is rare enough that government intrusion is unnecessary. Contractors are likely to raise their rates to cover the registry charge and added paperwork needed to do their jobs. The Attorney General’s office has failed to mediate disputes between contractors and homeowners and has been generally negligent in mediating disputes between contractors and homeowners. For the past 5 months, the AG has also neglected to update their website with a list of individuals criminally convicted of home improvement fraud. This bill would spell out exactly what needs to be in written contracts for home improvement, something only funeral directors would share with home improvement contractors.
As Recorded in the House Journal, Friday, May 6, 2022: “Shall the bill pass in concurrence with proposal of amendment?, was decided in the affirmative. Yeas, 103. Nays, 42" (Read the Journal, p. 1822-25).
Vermont Joint Fiscal Office's note on S.226
Roll Call! Mandatory Registration for Construction Contractors (H.157).Roll Call! Impose $2500 Fine for Unauthorized Construction Projects over $2500 (H.157).
Sally Achey (R - Middletown Springs) – NO
Paul Lefebvre (I – Newark) – YES