QUEEN CITY HOUSING COSTS 35% HIGHER THAN NATIONAL AVERAGELake Champlain Chamber, VHFA identify housing as a crisis for Vermont’sworking familiesBURLINGTON – Vermont’s Queen City area might be one of the most livable inAmerica, but it’s also an increasingly expensive one, especially forhousing.New figures from ACCRA, a community and economic development researchassociation, released today by the Lake Champlain Chamber of Commerce andVermont Housing Finance Agency, show that the cost-of-living in theBurlington area — Burlington, Essex, South Burlington, Winooski andColchester — for the third quarter of 2004 was more than 17 percent abovethe national average. In the same period in 2003, the area’s compositeindex was 12.5 percent above the national average.In the third quarter 2004, Burlington was higher than the national averagein every category, with the greatest deviation from the mean found in thecost of housing at 134.8%. The city’s utilities were at 117.8%;miscellaneous goods and services at 106.4%; transportation at 109.4%; andgrocery items at 110.4Chamber President A. Wayne Roberts identified housing as a key componentofthe organization’s efforts to attract and retain businesses and theiremployees to the area. “High housing costs are a challenge for thoseseeking to live and work in Greater Burlington,” he said. “For a lot ofpeople relocating to our region, it means a choice between Burlington at135% of the national average and Plattsburgh at 93%.””Clearly, we’re still playing catch-up when it comes to providing anadequate supply of affordable housing, and that’s driving up costs,” saidVHFA Executive Director Sarah Carpenter. “We know this problem affectsindividual Vermonters, their families, our businesses and our economy as awhole. It boils down to a fundamental issue of costs versus wages.Vermonters are having trouble finding affordable housing.”According to the ACCRA data, the most expensive two-bedroom apartment inthenation is in New York City with an average monthly rent of $3,506. Theleast expensive is Hays, Kansas with an average monthly rent of $450.Burlington’s average monthly rent is $1,120. One silver lining in theACCRAreport is that the Burlington area’s housing costs are still lower thansomeother New England metro areas, such as New Haven, Conn. at 149.3%;Providence, R.I. at 168.3%; and Boston at 178.5%. Yet the GreaterBurlington area’s housing costs rank above cities like Miami, Fla. at127%;Hilton Head, S.C., at 110.3%; and Las Vegas, at 130.1%.The Lake Champlain Chamber has identified housing as an economicdevelopmentpriority for the 2005 legislative session, citing it, along with taxburdens, as a chief business competitiveness issue. VHFA offerslow-interest mortgages for qualified homebuyers and provides funding andadministers state and federal housing tax credits to encourage developmentof affordable rental units. Both organizations are members of the VermontHousing Awareness Campaign, www.housingawareness.org(link is external), a state-wide publiceducation effort to build support for housing development.The Lake Champlain Chamber is a participant in the nation-widecost-of-living index, compiled by ACCRA. The ACCRA survey examines theafter-tax cost of a professional/managerial standard of living for 324urbanareas.The quarterly index is available by subscription. Go online towww.costofliving.org(link is external) for additional information. The cost of living datafor the Burlington area was compiled by The Lake Champlain Chamber andEconomic and Policy Resources of Williston. Data are available atwww.vermont.org(link is external). Additional housing statistical information is availableatthe Vermont Housing Data Web site, www.housingdata.org(link is external).
Lille striker Victor Osimhen is expected to open contractual talks with with Napoli president Aurelio de Laurentiis in Naples on Wednesday (today).Osimhen and his management team met with coach Rino Gattuso and Napoli directors on Tuesday over a potential move. Osita Okolo, a member of Osimhen’s entourage, told Radio Punto Nuovo: “Yesterday, when he arrived in Naples, we headed straight for the first meeting.“Along the way, he watched people on the city streets and admitted that he had been positively impressed.“He then met Italian coach (Rino) Gattuso: they talked about the Napoli project and he was also very impressed here.“Today he will meet with the president, Aurelio De Laurentiis.“What if Victor loved the city? “Absolutely, he was impressed with Naples and its people, although the visit to the city was short.“However, everything went in the right direction.“Now just make a decision about the boy’s future.“Osimhen-mania?“I don’t know what Napoli fans think of him. “I knew that everyone who crossed paths with him was very happy to see him in the city.“And I think it’s a very nice way to be Neapolitans.“I am convinced that fans would also like Victor’s play style very much and this could positively influence the final decision.“When for the agreement with Napoli?RelatedPosts Napoli Coach: Osimhen young lad with old brain Live stream Premier League, La Liga, Serie A on Showmax Pro this weekend Juve’s Pirlo gamble makes new Serie A season the most open for years “The impressions were very positive.“He is certainly already very happy that a club like the Azzurri is so interested in Victor.“Serie A, being a striker from Naples, would always be an important step for a young footballer like him.“I haven’t spoken to Victor yet this morning, but we’re waiting for the meeting with De Laurentiis to understand what’s going to happen.“Will there be problems between the two parties?“I don’t think there will be a problem between Napoli and Lille.“I think they will soon find a formal agreement.“Everything is now turning to convince Victor 100 per cent of the transfer.“Let us see what the meeting today will bring in this direction.”Tags: Contract TalksNapoliNegotiationsPlayer TransfersSerie AVictor Osimhen
Jose Mourinho has suffered another major setback after it emerged keeper Thibaut Courtois is expected to be out for at least two months after suffering a serious knee injury.Chelsea doctors were attempting to assess the full extent of the issue and although substantial swelling was preventing them from making an exact diagnosis, Courtois has already been warned he faces an extended spell on the sidelines.Chelsea’s initial fears that Courtois had suffered cruciate-ligament damage are believed to have been dismissed, but the 23-year-old Belgian international has been ruled out of Saturday’s trip to Everton.Mourinho is under mounting pressure at Stamford Bridge after just one win in the opening four Barclays Premier League games of the season and the loss of his first-choice keeper is another major blow.Courtois has established himself as one of the world’s best goalkeepers since his return to Chelsea from a loan spell at Atletico Madrid.Although he has had a difficult start to the season following his dismissal in the opening-day draw with Swansea, Mourinho needed his main man at Goodison Park. Summer signing Asmir Begovic will deputise. Chelsea have a tricky run of fixtures coming up and next week turn their attentions to Champions League action with a group game at home to Maccabi Tel-Aviv.After his return to the Chelsea team following suspension, Courtois conceded twice in the victory at West Brom and two more in the defeat at home by Crystal Palace before the international break.He started Belgium’s European Championship qualifying victories against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Cyprus before returning to Chelsea on Tuesday.The keeper trained on Wednesday, but suffered the injury during practice which immediately ruled him out of the Everton trip.– Follow Joy Sports on Twitter: @Joy997FM. Our hashtag is #JoySports