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to our office CONTACT US:
58 East State Street
Montpelier, VT 05602 PH: 802.828.3250
The statute dictated the makeup of the nine-member Board: five citizen members appointed by the Governor, to include an advocate for low income Vermonters and a farmer, the Commissioners of the state agencies of Agriculture, Housing and Community Development, and Natural Resources, and the Executive Director of the Vermont Housing Finance Agency. In July 1987, the Board held its first meeting.
In September 1987, then Governor Madeleine Kunin established a Commission on Vermont's Future, charged with the mission of assessing the concerns of Vermont citizens on the issue of growth, establishing guildelines for growth, and suggesting mechanisms to help plan for Vermont's future. Through a process of public hearings at which thousands of Vermonters spoke about their concerns, the Commission gathered public input to create their report, issued in January 1988, Guidelines for Growth. In 1988 Vermont had a budget surplus, and upon the recommendation of the Governor's Commission on Vermont's Future, the legislature appropriated $20 million to the Vermont Housing and Conservation Trust Fund.
The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board was up and running, and momentum was building. With the new source of state funding, housing and conservation nonprofits were able to conceive and carry out projects within communities around the state that had not previously been possible. VHCB funds closed a critical gap in the financing of affordable housing projects and brought new conservation funds to the table, initiating a new era in the conservation of Vermont's agricultural lands and natural areas.