Community Development

About the Community Development Program

Community Development is a large field that covers economic development as well as those other man-made aspects of communities that need to be in place to have a healthy, functioning community. This usually includes facilities and services such as health care, libraries, schools, social services, cultural institutions, adequate sanitation, housing, and a good civic ethic that promotes growth, cooperation, and inclusion.

MARC works in community development by helping towns to address these issues in their local plans, writing and administering grants to plan and implement projects and through partnerships with other organizations and agencies. MARC participates in the Vermont Community Development Association, which is a large group of many interests in community development throughout the state. We regularly work with our many Chambers of Commerce, local development corporations and with  Windham and Windsor Housing Trust  to plan for housing needs, educate member towns on housing issues, and administer combined housing and community development projects . MARC also works with regional planning and housing interests to develop Upper Valley Housing Needs Assessment and to hold regional housing forums.

A Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS) effort continues. This economic development planning effort enables this area to access public works grants from the Federal Economic Development Administration (EDA). See the quicklinks section for the 2016-2021 CEDS.

MARC works with Vermont business owners, developers, lenders, and other professionals involved in “environmentally-challenged” real estate transactions, called Brownfields (Southern Windsor County Brownfields Reuse Project). We work to provide these professionals with the resources they need to successfully transact and redevelop Brownfields, with grant funding from the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

MARC assists member towns in applying to the Vermont Downtown Program for downtown or village designation, which provides technical assistance and training to communities for their downtown revitalization efforts.

Tourists contribute significant amount of income to the state economy. In 2005, visitors made more than 13 million trips to Vermont and spent more than $1.5 billion on goods and services, providing about 12% of all jobs in the state and contributing $196 million in revenues for state government.

Important Information for Vermonters:

During COVID-19 outbreak, please check the Agency’s web site for the Recovery Resource Center for available tools including financial assistance programs, unemployment information and a Frequently Asked Questions to help businesses and individuals navigate available resources. 

Staff Contact:  Thomas Kennedy or 802-674-9201