Annual Meeting of VT Affordable Housing & Homeless Advocates
Today over 70 advocates, policymakers, and local leaders on housing and homelessness throughout Vermont attended the virtual joint annual meeting of the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition (VAHC) and the Vermont Coalition to End Homelessness (VCEH). The meeting took place on Zoom.
Speakers included Emily Nosse-Leirer of Sen. Patrick Leahy’s office, Sheila Reed of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ office, and Thifeen Deen of Rep. Peter Welch’s office. Presenters were Commissioner Sean Brown, Geoffrey Pippenger, and Lily Sojourner of the Vermont Dept. of Children & Families; Gus Seelig and Jen Hollar of the Vermont Housing Conservation Board; Commissioner Josh Hanford of the Vermont Dept. of Housing & Community Development; Maura Collins of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency; and Tyler Maas of the Vermont State Housing Authority.
Lieutenant Governor David Zuckerman spoke about the intersections of housing and other societal problems, including physical well-being, mental health, and domestic violence. “If we don’t deal with housing and fundamental economic insecurity, many of the other challenges that we face in society will not be addressed,” he said.
VAHC elected its Steering Committee and officers for the coming year, including Cindy Reid of Cathedral Square, chair; Jess Hyman of the Fair Housing Project at Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity, vice chair; Sara Kobylenski, Upper Valley Haven (retired), treasurer; and Anna Herman of Champlain Housing Trust, secretary. At-Large members continuing their service include Michelle Kersey, Twin Pines Housing Trust; Kerrie Lohr, Lamoille Housing Partnership; and Patricia Tedesco, Vermont Center for Independent Living. The Coalition also elected three new members to the Steering Committee: Kevin Loso, Rutland Housing Authority; Marion Major; Windham & Windsor Housing Trust; and Michael Redmond, Upper Valley Haven. The Coalition thanks Elizabeth Bridgewater, outgoing Steering Committee member, for her work.