This Issue Update newsletter is part of a series that provides more information on each priority issue on the Alliance's 2022 Legislative Agenda. The Legislative Agenda is crafted annually in partnership with early childhood organizations that are advancing legislative policy solutions related to health, safety, food security, economic security, and early care and education. The nine priority issues were selected by the Alliance's 21 member Steering Committee.


Increase Access to Safe, Stable, and Affordable Housing for all Children

Safe, stable, and affordable housing is both a key social determinant of health and essential to children’s well-being and success. Housing instability, homelessness, and unsafe housing contribute to childhood trauma, risk, and negative outcomes. 

Increasing state investments in affordable housing, reducing homelessness, and improving the health and safety of rental housing are critical to improving children’s outcomes.

The Alliance supports the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition in securing full statutory funding for the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board (VHCB); promoting continued state investments in programs to reduce homelessness; ensuring that the Emergency/General Assistance Program continues to effectively serve Vermont children and families; and improving the health and safety of the state’s rental housing stock.

The FY23 Budget as passed by the House includes a $10m increase in base funding for VHCB. While still short of full statutory funding, this increase is an improvement to the level funding in the Governor’s Recommended FY23 Budget. 

The Rental Housing and Safety bill, S. 210, was passed by the Senate earlier this month and is currently being debated in the House General, Housing, and Military Affairs Committee. In addition to creating a new uniform statewide Rental Housing and Safety code, this bill also includes a $20m appropriation for the Vermont Housing Improvement Program (VHIP) to cover the costs of bringing vacant and blighted rental units back into the rental market. Advocates have been pushing for a statewide rental housing and safety code for many years and are hopeful this legislation will pass this year. 

The omnibus housing bill, S. 226, was also passed by the Senate and is being considered in the House General Committee.  The bill contains several provisions including Act 250 permit reform, grants for employer housing, and the Governor’s proposed $15m “Missing Middle Home Program” to help middle-income Vermonters afford a home. We are hopeful that this bill will pass as well.

The Emergency/General Assistance Housing Program is continuing to use federal funds to keep children and families in hotels and motels through March 2023. The long term future of this program is still being discussed, and the Alliance will continue to monitor this program to ensure that children and families are effectively served.


Data and Talking Points

  • Strategic investments in housing, financial supports, and services help reduce and prevent homelessness; improve the lives of children, families, and vulnerable Vermonters; improve their physical and mental well-being; and improve their chances to succeed and live independent lives – all while building strong, healthy communities.


  • Women who are homeless while pregnant are 50 percent more likely to have a low-birth weight baby and more than 30 percent more likely to have a preterm delivery than women who were not homeless while pregnant. 


  • Vermont has a severe and protracted housing shortage: our vacancy for multi-family housing has ranged from 1% – 2% statewide for many years.

Lead Organization

Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition

At the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition (VAHC), they are committed to ensuring all Vermonters have decent, safe and affordable housing. They are not a housing provider, but rather a coalition of over 90 members who work together to increase access to safe, decent, affordable housing in Vermont. Our primary focus is education, advocacy, and outreach. 


Their coalition represents much of Vermont’s affordable housing landscape. This includes non-profit affordable housing developers, community land trusts, housing and homeless advocacy groups, public housing authorities, regional planners, economic service providers, funders, state agencies, and others. VAHC advocates for affordable housing interests and the interests of low-income Vermonters at the state and federal levels.



Resources and Advocacy Tools


The Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance is a statewide coalition formed in 2000 of early childhood professionals, parents, organizations, businesses, and strategic partners committed to improving public policies that impact young children between birth and age eight in the areas of health, safety, food security, economic security, and early care and education.

The Alliance crafts an annual Legislative Agenda in partnership with early childhood organizations, provides year-round advocacy support, and facilitates meaningful interactions with policymakers at key times during the decision making process.


7 School Street | Montpelier , Vermont 05602

The Vermont Early Childhood Advocacy Alliance is a program of the Vermont Community Loan Fund.

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