By Karl Klein

The MRV Housing Coalition (MRVHC) would like to thank Ward Smyth for serving as treasurer for the past two years. Along with a dedicated board of directors, we have made positive advances toward our mission of providing safe, affordable housing and Ward’s dedication is appreciated by all. I am pleased to announce the appointment of our new treasurer, Perry Bigelow. Perry joined the MRVHC in 2015 and has been an active and thoughtful member. As a small business owner for the past 30 years, we look forward to Perry’s perspective of locals helping locals in housing that builds on the groundwork laid by our town governments.

In 2020 the MRVHC received several generous donations earmarked for our Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) program from the Mad River Valley Community Fund, the Warren United Church and St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church. Last year the coalition supported both financially and with professional services two Valley residents in the process of building ADUs that are now rented long term at below market rates. Several other potential ADUs are currently in the planning phase and are due to be completed in 2021.

With funding from an AARP grant and in partnership with Mad River Valley Planning District, we organized an affordable housing talk series this past fall. The series shared data from the Mad River Valley Housing Demand and Market Analysis Report and provided several potential solutions from local and state experts. This series is available for viewing on our website. 

The coalition has consulted with Warren, Waitsfield and Fayston as they amend their land use development regulations in an effort to provide opportunities for diverse housing options in The Valley. In the coming year, we will continue our work with Valley towns and are eager to assist Moretown in any revisions to their regulations that would assist in adding affordable housing.

2021 presents us with new opportunities to further our mission. In addition to our ongoing efforts we are working toward the completion of several additional ADUs through the continuation of our program. We will collaborate with other local organizations to explore the creation of a local home weatherization program, begin the exploratory process towards creating a housing trust fund and will assist the planning district in its work to better understand the implications of short-term rentals on the local housing market. And, finally, we will continue to look for opportunities to expand affordable housing options with developers, individuals, businesses and the municipalities. 

To learn about donating your time or helping financially, contact us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., visit us on the web at or check out our Facebook page @MRVHousing. 

Klein, Fayston, is the chair of the Mad River Valley Housing Coalition.