Celebrate Fair Housing

An op-ed looking back on the Fair Housing Act, the significance of the law, and how Vermont has expanded to include more protected categories.

Op-Ed (Vermont)

Ted Wimpey
Burlington Free Press
April 6, 2015
Link to story

Tags: Housing: Landlord-Tenant

Organizations mentioned/involved: Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunity (CVOEO) (Vermont)


Vermont’s character would seem to favor an ideal of socioeconomic inclusiveness. This is a state, after all, which values a town-meeting tradition that draws everybody into communal decision-making, a state that looks askance at gated communities.

And in fact, the Vermont Legislature took a stand for that ideal in 2012, when it added “income” to the state’s protected classes for real-estate development. Now it is unlawful for anyone “to discriminate in land use decisions or in the permitting of housing” because of income.

Over the past several years, Burlington engaged in an extensive dialogue about socioeconomic diversity in its public school enrollment. Burlington and other towns across the state might well benefit from similar conversations about socioeconomic diversity in residential housing patterns.