Justice, Equity, Diversity & Inclusion
Promoting fair and equitable access to housing opportunities has long been a guiding principle for VHFA. VHFA set three new commitments in 2020 to further justice, equity, diversity and inclusion in housing, hiring and leadership:
- Work to increase the number of black, indigenous, and people of color on VHFA's staff, in Agency leadership positions and Board of Commissioners.
- Disaggregate VHFA’s programmatic data to make clear who VHFA’s lending and assistance programs serve and which neighborhoods may be over/under-represented. This information will be public and we will target future resources in response accordingly.
- Reduce the barriers and increase opportunities to homeownership for Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and low-English Proficiency communities.
Executive Director Maura Collins posed a call to action, with Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger and other community partners, at a July 2020 press conference. Decrying racism as a public health emergency, Collins invited staff to propose ways to increase justice, equity, diversity and inclusion throughout the Agency's systems and impacts. These staff devoted their initial efforts to identifying strategies to make clear, measurable progress toward the Agency's three new commitments.
- Emergency COVID-19 Mortgage Assistance Program (scroll to "Race of Primary Borrower" graph)
- Home buyer mortgage program indicators
- Rental housing program indicators
- Municipal engagement tools for diversity, equity and inclusion
- Systemic racism in the housing sector (VTDigger commentary by M. Collins, July 29, 2020)
- VHFA News articles about fair housing issues
- Housing barriers for immigrants and refugees to Vermont
- 2020 Vermont Housing Needs Assessment
- Vermont Community Profiles