Gov. Phil Scott signed two key housing bills Tuesday that will pump $45 million in federal money into programs designed to make home ownership affordable for middle-income Vermonters and fix up run-down rental properties throughout the state.

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The event was the first public ceremonial signing since the pandemic started. It was held at the site of a former furniture factory in Randolph where nine new solar-powered homes and 12 new apartments will be possible partly because of the bills.

Scott said the funding, when combined with another $50 million for affordable housing projects and other initiatives, represents the largest infusion of public money into housing in Vermont’s history.

“Anyone who’s tried to buy a home or find an apartment to rent knows just how critical this is,” Scott said.

Legislative leaders who worked on the bills attended the event, and Scott praised them for persevering to find common ground with his administration. He called the bills “a great example of how people from different parties can agree on a fundamental problem, put differences aside, and work together to find solutions that will benefit our state for decades to come."

Read more in Seven Days.