Scott vetoes housing registry bill

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Published: Jul. 2, 2021 at 12:19 PM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont Gov. Phil Scott on Friday vetoed a landlord registry bill approved by lawmakers during last week’s veto override session.

The bill sought to give loans and grants to renters and to landlords as well as creating a statewide rental registry for apartments and Airbnbs. The bill called for creating six new positions in state government to conduct rental housing safety checks. Advocates say it would have created safer and more consistent housing options for those in need. But in his veto message to lawmakers, Governor Scott said the bill would actually have the opposite effect, reducing the number of housing options during a critical housing shortage.

“Most agree we suffer from a critical housing shortage for middle income, low income and homeless Vermonters, but the solution is not more regulation. Instead, we need to invest in new and rehabilitated housing in every corner of our state,” Scott said in a statement. “S.79 targets all rental units in all types of buildings and dwellings with few exceptions. I believe this will discourage everyday Vermonters from offering their homes, rooms or summer cabins for rent, not as a primary business but as a means to supplement their income so they can pay their mortgage as well as their property taxes.”

Scott offered several changes he said would make the bill acceptable, including a registry that targets professional landlords rather than small rentals, and avoids mandatory statewide safety inspections by the Division of Fire Safety

Lawmakers last week said they had already scheduled another override session in October in anticipation of the veto.

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