Supporting community by protecting housing for those who live and work in the community year round.
Local Deeds protects housing for families and individuals who live and work, or will work, here year-round serving the local community. The project buys deed restrictions on existing and new properties in exchange for cash that can be used by the owners of these homes for their own purposes.
Like many communities in Vermont and nationally, Woodstock and the surrounding area face an extreme housing shortage. Families and individuals of ranging income levels and ages cannot find a home here. Teachers, bartenders, police officers, retail workers, artists, and others are leaving the area and taking jobs in locations where they can live within their means. When those who work here can’t affordably live here, they may choose to leave, and the dynamism and quality of life of the community and its residents decline.
Local Deeds pays 15–20% of the property’s fair-market value in exchange for a permanent deed restriction. The deed restriction does not impose an appreciation cap. The deed-restricted housing must be occupied by a household that contains at least one “qualified resident,” a person who works at least 30 hours per week in a Woodstock Area business or organization. A retiree who has worked in the area for the five years prior to retirement is also a qualified resident. The property owner may be the qualified resident or rent to a qualified resident.
This is a local, high-impact investment opportunity. Funds are used to invest in deed-restricted properties. When the resort community of Vail, Colorado, faced a situation where 95% of homes were being purchased by vacation-home buyers, the community chose to invest more than $11M through Vail InDEED to protect and preserve the supply of homes and rentals for local residents and workers. The program has created 175 deed-restricted homes for locals, just since 2019.
The first priority will be to offer down payments to prospective buyers. We will continue to seek other opportunities for longer-term funding of this project beyond philanthropy.