To the editor:
I’m writing to urge Hardwick, Stannard, and Walden residents to re-elect Chip as our representative to the Vermont House of Representatives. Although many of us talk to Chip about a wide range of issues, I want to focus on housing issues and the importance of Chip’s work in bringing solutions and relief in this area for our towns and communities.
As a former homeless liaison for a neighboring school district, I can attest to Chip’s years of commitment and understanding which he brings to problem-solving this issue. More recently, as vice chair of the House General Housing and Military Affairs Committee, Chip has provided effective leadership and worked hard to guide and support legislation designed to increase affordable housing. Chip supported committee goals to protect vulnerable Vermonters by investing in long-term housing and accompanying services to chronically homeless and was instrumental in helping the committee to achieve the following outcomes: Invested $600 million in pandemic relief funds since 2019; created 1300 new housing units; $30k is still available for vacant apartments to receive grants and loans for renovations; appropriated $22 million for new construction loans geared to lower home costs for working middle income home buyers; formed a land access board to work with the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board to increase land access to Black and Indigenous Vermonters of Color.
I’m sure we’re all aware of the struggles that small businesses and local schools are experiencing due to unfilled jobs. Some of these vacancies are due to applicants and their families being unable to find new housing or maintain current housing due to rent increases. While Chip will tell you “there is still more work to do”, he has worked long and hard towards achieving some concrete steps that will help residents and allow our towns to grow and thrive.
In addition to his commitment to improving the housing crisis, Chip has been active over the years in looking out for our veterans, and vulnerable populations such as nursing home residents. Many of us have called him for assistance in other areas. As a long time school board member I have talked to him regarding education law and regulations. He has always been responsive and an active listener; he takes the time to talk to others to learn more about the issue before getting back to you.