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).
THREE first-division female games, including one between defending champions the Woodpecker Hikers and Saints will highlight the opening day of the 2019 GTT National Indoor Hockey Championships, which starts this afternoon at the Cliff Anderson Sports Hall.According to president of the Guyana Hockey Board, Philip Fernandes, all systems are in place for today’s openers.Speaking to Chronicle Sport during a practice session yesterday, Fernandes, who plays in the veteran division and serves as the GCC female teams’ coach, indicated that the one-week event is expected to be competitive.“This year we have more juniors than in the past and we expect really good quality hockey.”The juniors in both male and female divisions will look to prove themselves against their peers and their older counterparts. Again, club pride will be at stake in the multi-category championships.Various clubs are using the tournament as a warm up for the upcoming Diamond Mineral Water International Hockey Festival.Today’s scheduleThe feature female game on the opening day is scheduled to start at 20:20h, followed by the men’s first division opener between Bounty GCC and YMCA Old Fort.Action bullies off from 17:00h, with Saints Sensations tackling YMCA Old Fort Hard Ball in a second division Men’s Group A battle.GBTI GCC Spice and YMCA Old Fort Bloods will then match sticks from 17:45h in the female first division opener, which will be followed by another female clash with GBTI GCC Tigers playing against the GBTI GCC Spartans.The lone Over-35 clash is scheduled to start at 19:35h between Bounty GCC Vintage and Antonio’s Hickers.The male defending first division champions, the Pepsi Hikers, who are again favourites to win the title, will be in action in the feature clash of another six-game battle tomorrow evening.At least six games will be played per night for the rest of the week before quarter-final actions takes place on Saturday from midday. The semi-finals will take place on Sunday morning and early afternoon, before the over 35-final is played at 16:00h, the men’s second division final is at 17:00h, while the women’s first division final is at 18:00h and the men’s first division final at 19:00h.
NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported Sunday the team picked up Foles’ 2019 option for $20 million. The quarterback then bought out the final year of his contract for $2 million, according to ESPN. Foles will become an unrestricted free agent, according to NFL Network’s report, unless the Eagles place the franchise tag on him, which is worth about $25 million.Sources: #Eagles QB Nick Foles is, in fact, buying back his freedom for $2M, voiding the new and final year of his contract. Now, he’s a free agent… unless Philly hits him with the roughly $25M franchise tag.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 6, 2019Given Foles’ late-season heroics the past two years, he should be a hot commodity if he reaches free agency. Among possible destinations mentioned for Foles are the Jaguars, Dolphins, Broncos, Bengals and Redskins. Related News Eagles reportedly give Nick Foles $1M bonus despite his missing incentive goal The Eagles have made it clear Carson Wentz is their quarterback for 2019. But, backup Nick Foles’ status with the team continues to remain uncertain.