Our Housing Policy
While no one person can fix our broken housing system, we have yet to see a firm set of organizing principles to help protect our remaining year-round residents at risk of being priced out, along with a strategy to help maintain a year-round workforce. Housing policy should be grounded at the community level at a time when the market has failed in a region where only the very wealthy can afford to buy in. With no workers to care for our aging population, and few potential workers to work even the highest paying essential jobs – we need the public sector, not the market, to help fix these problems. These interventions are a start.
To keep people in their homes and stabilize our year-round economy, we propose:
- A right of first refusal for longtime tenants of a property that comes to a sale.
- A down payment assistance program (preferably from a public bank) for those with good rental history desiring to purchase their own home – especially one they have been renting for years.
- A state tax credit for struggling seniors on fixed incomes who are having trouble keeping up with property tax payments in the midst of soaring home valuations.
To help disincentivize the economic activity which has caused many of these problems, we propose:
- Increasing taxes on short-term rentals for those who own two or more properties.
- Exempting residents who live in their homes from the short-term rental tax.
- Promoting a real estate transfer fee to help fund housing interventions
To help with the immediate shortage of housing, bearing in mind that housing is a human right, we propose:
- The establishment of a regional land bank to help with long-term planning that looks to our future, while taking into account our fragile natural environment.
- State-funded construction of “Community Housing” which looks to take care of locally based workers, housing insecure individuals, and senior citizens.