Housing in Vermont

Image by Cameron Venti

Finding Housing

If you're relocating to Vermont to serve, finding a place to live is the first step. Here are some frequently used resources to help you get started!

  • Ask your future supervisor/service site about housing – usually they are familiar with the local community and might have housing connections. 


  • The market for housing across Vermont is tight, so start searching as early as you can. You’ll likely have to be persistent and diligent in your search, especially if you have specific criteria for the living situation you want.


  • It can be easier to go with a group to find units with several bedrooms, especially in the Burlington area. If you don’t know people in the area, you can try to find potential roommates in the Facebook groups listed further down.


  • If moving to a college-centric area, housing will be a lot easier to find at the start of the summer than other months of the year.


  • If you’re moving from another state, have the resources, and are willing to do so during the pandemic, you can arrive a few weeks ahead of time to view places and meet landlords in person. Otherwise, arrange to tour places and meet landlords virtually or ask a friend in the area to do it for you.


  • Try subletting if your service is for a shorter period of time. This is often done through Facebook groups.


Resources For Finding Housing

VT affordable housing database:

https://www.housingdata.org/find-rental-housing/vacancies/

  • Facebook Marketplace

https://www.facebook.com/marketplace/

  • Craigslist

https://vermont.craigslist.org/

  • Front Porch Forum (select your area in VT)

https://frontporchforum.com/

  • Buy Nothing groups (local groups where goods and services are exchanged without exchanging money)

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1NoGaa6rKIbvEDRkhQcYchBHehJA&hl=en_US&ll=43.85983316577949%2C-72.15629040907244&z=8

  • Other apartment hunting websites (apartments.com, etc.)



Burlington-Specific Housing Resources

  • Burlington, VT & Area Housing and Rentals

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1586001198111922/

  • Champlain Black Market

https://www.facebook.com/groups/ChamplainBlackMarket/

  • BTV Housing Connections

https://www.facebook.com/groups/BTVHousingConnections



Housing Scams To Beware Of

Sometimes scammers create fake listings (especially on Craigslist) for houses or apartments they don’t own in hopes that someone will pay money upfront without seeing the place. To avoid being taken advantage of:

  • Always arrange to have a tour of the unit, in person or over video if you can’t be there, before paying any security deposit or rent.


  • You can reverse Google Image search pictures from the listing to check if the pictures are actually from somewhere else. 


  • You can ask the landlord for proof of homeownership, such as a title deed, before signing the lease.



General Housing Tips & Tricks 


  • Submit your applications to rent and lease (if applicable) on time. Landlords will give the listing to whoever is quickest to respond. 


  • Keep track of when rent is due and pay it on time every month – some landlords charge a fee if it’s late.


  • Photograph housing on move in with date stamps (damaged and undamaged).


  • Around May and the end of April, people will place unwanted furniture on the “green belt” – the patches of grass outside their houses or apartments. This usually means the furniture is up for grabs, but if you’re not sure, just ask! Another great place to look for furniture is ReSource (another AmeriCorps site!), which offers gently used furniture such as bookshelves, bed frames, and more. Check out the Williston or Pine St locations to see what they have to offer!



Informational Resources for Renters


  • Vermont Renter's Handbook:

https://www.burlingtonvt.gov/sites/default/files/LeadProgram/RENTINGinVERMONT.pdf


  • Resources for renters from the State of Vermont covering renter’s rights:

https://accd.vermont.gov/housing/resources-rules/renters-landlords


  • Burlington Tenants Union – A group aimed at building solidarity among tenants in Burlington in order to protect renter’s rights that’s currently in the early stages of organizing:

https://burlingtontenantsunion.com

https://www.facebook.com/BurlingtonTenantsUnion/


  • Information about habitable living laws and how renters can legally protect themselves from negligent landlords:

https://vtlawhelp.org/renting-repairs


  • Renter’s rights guide and resources from CVOEO, a social services nonprofit organization:

https://www.cvoeo.org/get-help/vermont-tenants-rights-and-resources


  • VERAP: Eligible if one or more individuals within the household has qualified for unemployment benefits or experienced a reduction in household income, incurred significant costs, or experienced other financial hardship due to the COVID-19 outbreak. 

https://erap.vsha.org/


  • Landlords in Vermont are obligated to provide you heating to maintain at least 55 degrees per the Vermont Department Health Code. You can also apply for Vermont Seasonal Fuel Assistance:

 https://www.benefits.gov/benefit/1583

Regional Housing Resources

In addition to the statewide resources provided above, every region of Vermont has its own local publications or housing resources. If you know where you'll be serving, these can connect you with the community directly!