Mayor&Rsquo;S Office

2019 Housing Summit

In April 2019, Mayor Weinberger announced in his State of the City address a plan to bring focus, urgency, and resolution to five key areas of unfinished business from the City’s Housing Action Plan. In June of that year, the City kicked off the public discussion with the BTV Housing Summit to gather community and stakeholder input about each of these five areas, and, knowing that there will be more work to do beyond this, to start generating a list of what other work should come next. In September, the City hosted a second public meeting to share initial recommendations for policy reform in each of the five areas and ask for more input, and Mayor Weinberger visited each of the five Neighborhood Planning Assemblies to discuss these initiatives. On October 7, the City Council unanimously approved a resolution that refers these proposals to several of its committees and the Planning Commission, which will now work to refine these proposals over coming months.

These five initiatives will not change Burlington's housing crisis overnight. Taken together, though, they tackle many sides of the problem, and will make structural fixes that help address the availability and affordability of housing in Burlington. The five areas are:

  • Accessory Dwelling Units: Making it easier for people to create Accessory Dwelling Units (ADUs), which offer more flexibility for families to age in place, offset housing costs for homeowners, and create additional neighborhood-scale housing options throughout the City.
  • Housing Trust Fund: Continuing Burlington’s legacy of supporting affordable housing by restoring and increasing the level of funding for the City’s Housing Trust Fund.
  • Parking minimums: Reforming our requirements for building new parking in residential developments in our downtown and along key transportation corridors, in order to reduce a major cost driver of housing, give people more choices when it comes to the cost of car ownership, and take a step toward aligning our land use policies with our climate goals.
  • Energy efficiency in rental housing: Updating our standards for energy efficiency in rental housing in order to support our climate goals and protect renters from unreasonably high utility costs.
  • Short-term rentals: Implementing new regulations for short-term rentals like Airbnb that help us reduce impacts on long-term housing availability and neighborhoods, while balancing the economic benefit for Burlingtonians who are hosts.

The City is also working to address other facets of the housing crisis, beyond just these five areas. Mayor Weinberger asked CEDO to review the City's tenant protections, and the Administration delivered a review and recommendations to the City Council for further discussion by the Council's Community Development and Neighborhood Revitalization committee. On another track, in September, the City Council approved an agreement that outlines a process for the City to renegotiate its Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Vermont regarding student housing over the next year. To truly address Burlington's housing crisis will take work on all of these fronts.

Read more about each of these five areas, and next steps for this work, below.

Current Status

On Monday, October 7, the City Council unanimously approved a resolution that refers these proposals to several of its committees and the Planning Commission, which will now work to refine these proposals over coming months.. You can find a detailed memo about the proposals, as well as the Council resolution, here.

A Joint Committee of the Planning Commission and the City Council's Ordinance Committee will be considering the three proposals that include proposed zoning amendments, which are the proposals regarding Accessory Dwelling Units, reforming parking requirements, and implementing new regulations for short-term rentals. Agendas for the meeting of the Joint Committee will be posted online in advance of the meeting at:

About the Policies

While there will be more work to do on housing policy reform, the focus in summer-fall 2019 is on the below five areas, which are remaining, unfinished business from the City's 2015 Housing Action Plan. These policies are all aimed at increasing housing affordability and creating housing supply. The policies are:

Want to know more about the policies and the process?