Housing Endorsement Program

The Collaborative worked with the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board, Housing Vermont, and other housing organizations to create a voluntary housing endorsement program, which uses criteria to evaluate new housing projects based on smart growth principles.

The Housing Endorsement Criteria

The Collaborative will endorse housing and mixed-use development that meet the specific smart growth principles and criteria. Since the program's inception, the criteria and scoring process have been refined. Click here for the current criteria and process.

The basis for endorsement is the following group of smart growth characteristics:

  • Maintaining the historic development pattern of compact village and urban centers separated by rural countryside.
  • Developing compact, mixed-use centers at a scale appropriate for the community and the region.
  • Enabling choice in modes of transportation.
  • Protecting the state's important environmental, natural and historic features, including natural areas, water quality, scenic resources, and historic sites and districts.
  • Serving to strengthen agricultural and forest industries and minimizes conflicts of development with these industries.
  • Balancing growth and the availability of economic and efficient public utilities and services.
  • Supporting a diversity of viable businesses in downtowns and villages, including locally-owned businesses.
  • Providing for housing that meets the needs of a diversity of social and income groups in each community.

Requesting Endorsement

This information is also available as a PDF file.

A project that is endorsed by the Collaborative will receive a letter of support for the project that the developer may submit with any permit application.

At the request of the applicant and, if available, members of the Collaborative may be involved in active advocacy for the project, which may include testimony at public hearings.

Any developer of housing that includes ten units or more that exemplifies the principals above may submit a request for endorsement. A request for endorsement should be received at least six weeks before action for support is needed. We encourage developers to contact the Collaborative at the earliest possible date, preferably at the design development stage. Members of the Housing Endorsement committee are available for preliminary, informal meetings to examine and make suggestions for projects in the planning stages.

Requested Materials

A request for endorsement should include the following:

  • Completed Housing Endorsement Project Information Sheet (PDF)
  • Site location map
  • Scaled engineering site plan with buildings, contours, and planned infrastructure;
  • Building elevations (if available)
  • Project schedule including local and state permit process and construction start and finish

If endorsed, applicants will receive notification of the endorsement within six weeks of submitting materials. Please be advised that submission of the above materials does not constitute an automatic endorsement by the Collaborative. The endorsement is in effect a "blue ribbon" for the best examples of smart growth housing. Failure to obtain an endorsement does not mean that the Collaborative is opposed to the project: projects submitted but not endorsed may meet other important planning objectives although they do not meet these smart growth criteria. Failure to get an endorsement does not mean a project will be opposed by the Collaborative although there is no guarantee that some applicants may meet opposition from individual members in the permit process. The Collaborative as a group will not take positions against housing projects through this process.