The mission of the Joint Essex and Essex Junction Housing Commission is to help ensure that any resident (or aspiring resident) of Essex has access to a home that:
- Is affordable (generally no more than 30% of household income is spent on housing);
- Is a desirable type and size for their household;
- Is located with easy access to basic needs (jobs, schools, food, health care, and cultural experiences) via walking, biking, or public transit;
- Is of sufficient quality to ensure the health, safety, and enjoyment of its residents;
- Meets residents’ special needs, including senior care, ADA-accessibility, recovery housing, and housing for people who are homeless, etc.; and
- Is made available regardless of race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, national origin, pregnancy, disability, or status of citizenship, family, and military service
The Commission advises the Selectboard, City Council, Planning Commissions, and other municipal boards and committees on the housing needs of the community, including review and consultation of policy and zoning changes related to housing.
The Commission maintains and analyzes the community’s demographic and housing stock information and provides periodic updates on housing issues to elected officials.
The Commission also works to educate the public on housing topics and develops partnerships with developers, non-profits, state agencies, and social service organizations to advance the community’s housing goals.
The Commission is composed of up to seven members jointly appointed by the Selectboard and City Council. Each member shall serve a staggered three-year term with no term limit. Four of the members shall be residents; for the remaining members, residency is preferred but not required.
In appointing Commission members, the Selectboard and City Council should select members who represent a variety of relevant interests and backgrounds, including but not limited to: for-profit and non-profit housing developers; housing authorities and agencies; social services organizations; representatives of area businesses; and at-large members of the community.
The Commission receives staff support from the Town and City Community Development Departments and other departments as needed.