Affordable Housing in Norwich

Submitted 18 days ago
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Land sought to achieve affordable housing goals

Happy New Year

Norwich Affordable Housing, Inc., an independent firm run by Stuart Richards of Norwich, is in search of viable land parcels in Norwich to develop a scattered site affordable housing program that can solve two problems. (this is in addition to a single, more concentrated location that is being sought as part of a potential joint venture with Twin Pines)  The first and foremost goal is to provide new affordable housing options to prospective families who wish to live in Norwich.  The second goal is to assist the Town of Norwich with its affordable housing initiative and revised Town Plan.

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A scattered site program essentially scatters or folds the housing throughout Town versus concentrating it in one spot.  While downtown Norwich is ideal given proximity to the elementary school and Advance Transit, the land cost would be prohibitive to develop affordable homes. 

Both the Town of Norwich and the Town Fire/Water Co. own various land parcels throughout the Town.  Norwich Affordable Housing Inc. is in search of parcels between 2-5 acres to develop duplexes in 5 sites over the next 5 years (1 project per year which would be a duplex thus serving two households).  These homes would be either for rent or for sale (ideally for sale so that the homeowner can build equity over time).  The intent is not to profit from this endeavor but to rather sell the homes at cost.

An "affordable" home must serve a family that earns 50% - 80% of the Windsor County AMI (area median income) versus the Norwich or U.S. AMI (Norwich AMI is $139,464  source  According to HUD, the Windsor County AMI is $74,500 (+- given data date).  Therefore, a household earning $59,600 or below (80% of the Windsor County VT AMI) is deemed a moderate income household and would fall in the "affordable housing" criteria.  One then multiplies the $59,600 x 33% which provides a front end DTI (debt to income level for household expenses only) and this number is $1,639 per month that is calculated for an affordable housing expense. 

The aforementioned math result shows that each duplex that is built must rent or sell for a monthly housing cost of $1,639.  Thus, this is the ultimate goal of Norwich Affordable Housing Inc.

Paying full retail (market value) for land would be a budget buster to achieve affordable housing. 

We are asking and appealing to the Town and the fire/water department to DONATE land to this initiative (one parcel per year over the next 5 years) and to provide permitting support as well. This collective effort (public-private) coupled with a revised Town Plan (which the new zoning head indicated  at the last Planning Commission meeting was being shredded and redrafted from scratch over the next 12 months) should go a long way to helping the affordable housing crisis in the Upper Valley and specifically in Norwich.

Please email Stuart Richards and or myself with land options.  Thank you for considering this initiative to help future residents of Norwich.

Kind regards,


Doug Wilberding

Turnpike Road



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