Tag Archives: economy

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Vermont’s Massive Renter’s Assistance Program Winding Down

By Brigid Skidd

Burlington, VT– The Scott administration announced on August 31st a roll back of Vermont’s Covid era Federal Renter’s Assistance Program. The Vermont Emergency Rental Assistance Program (VERAP) was set up through the Vermont Housing Authority to keep people housed during the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic crisis it caused. This program has served over 15000 Vermont households since April 2021. It was part of a larger 320 million dollar federal rent assistance fund which was originally projected by officials to last through at least 2023.

However, the program went through its 138 million dollars in federal funding more quickly than expected. Doug Farnam of the Vermont Agency of Administration explains, “The reason that everyone that is finding out about this now (August 31st) is that we didn’t have the actual spending recorded and the data to know we were going to run out of money before the end of the winter.”

The Vermont Housing Authority offered VERAP assistance to any household that had an Area Median Income (AMI) below 80%. According to VERAP’s updated website, as of October 1st the program is closed to new applicants and has reduced its funding by 30% to all households. By November 1st households over 30% AMI will have they’re support cut to 50% of the original and be cut completely by the end of the month.

This decision has caused outrage among tenant’s advocates and sparked criticism of the government’s response to the crisis, specifically the way this will exacerbate the effects of the current housing crisis . Brenda Seigel, Democratic nominee for governor and longtime tenants advocate, stated,“Our vacancy rate is just over 2%. There is no housing,” she said. “There will be more people without housing, and there will be immense harm to low- and moderate-income people across this entire state.”

As high school students, renter’s issues are not generally on our mind, but housing insecurity is not alien to CVU and will be exacerbated by the ending of VERAP.

The Dollar Divide: How Has CVU Battled Economic Inequality?

Ms. Alexandra Anderson

CHICAGO, IL — An epidemic of mass school closings is afflicting inner city neighborhoods in Chicago, Illinois, adding to the already overwhelming load of adverse circumstances plaguing youth at risk. Whether a bustling metropolis, or a quaint town, the economic disparity between families stalks the lives of youth nationally. From Englewood to CVU, the problem quietly weaves itself into the American culture.


Rahm Emanuel, mayor of Chicago since 2011, has justified the issue with causes such as under enrollment and underperformance, but has failed to recognize the larger problem at hand: an environment that fosters neglect in an ever gentrifying urban space. Here, in a city with an enormous wealth disparity and racial divide, the population living on or below the poverty line in primarily non-white neighborhoods have had to learn to cope with abandonment.

Asha Hickok, a 16 year old junior at CVU, traveled to Chicago this summer with the program Conversations from the Open Road, to learn about the deteriorating public school system in Englewood, a designated community area in the south side of the city. She says that although Englewood is an extreme situation, common themes resonate throughout the country in lower-income areas. “The environment that [is created] for students says ‘you don’t matter, you’re not good enough,” she said.

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Opinion: Regulation causes Additional Hardship for Vermont Farmers

Mr. Jeremy Lang

When one imagines Vermont, the mind may wander to lush green rolling hills, farms covered in neatly wrapped hay bales, and black and white spotted cows grazing peacefully. Tall, slow moving tractors dot the mountains, and the only sound is the wind blowing through neatly planted rows of corn and hay. Under this postcard view is a disturbing truth: our Vermont farmers and farms are vanishing quickly.


Here are some facts:

2.4 million acres in Vermont in 2015 were currently used as arable fields, pastures, wilderness, managed woods and natural habitats.  This is called “Current Use,” which means the owner gets set in a lower tax bracket so that they don’t have tax debt. This amounts to one third of Vermont’s land being under land conservation.

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