Study says housing prices beyond reach of many

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(Host) A shortage of affordable housing is driving prices beyond the reach of an increasing number of Vermonters. That’s the conclusion of a new study of census and government data compiled by the Housing Council and the Vermont Housing Awareness Campaign. The study says rents and home prices continue to rise faster than incomes.

Gus Seelig is with the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board. He says the problem is getting worse because of a shortage of affordable housing.

(Seelig) “I think it’s getting worse because supply is limited. Low interest rates help people buy their first home but there are more people in the marketplace competing for those homes so a good economy doesn’t necessarily help those people whose incomes have been stagnant.”

(Host) The report says that since 1996 the median price of a home in Vermont has gone up nearly 54 percent, while wages have increased by 20 percent.

Housing and Community Affairs Commissioner John Hall says the solution is to build more housing and create more jobs. The report says the shortage of affordable housing affects businesses by making it harder to recruit and retain workers.

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