Aug 07, 2024 12:10 PM
LUNCH::Kevin Chu, Director, VT Futures Project
VT Futures 802 Data Driven Housing Proposal

Due to a mix up in January, we did not hear from Kevin.  While the weather may be different in August, the housing issues he will address remain.  Thank you, Kevin, for sharing your vision. 

Kevin Chu is the Executive Director of the Vermont Futures Project, a data-driven organization that calls on Vermont policy makers to base decisions on hard data.  To accomplish this, VFP generates data and data trends to inform the decision making process.  

In this capacity, Kevin has been generating interest and conversation about a somewhat controversial proposal - a plan to increase Vermont's population to 802,000 from our current level of 650,000 - an increase of over 150,000 by 2035.  This proposal suggests Vermont should add 13,500 people per year over the next 11 years!!  To put this number in context, over the past few years, in-migration has been just over 3,000 people after years of stable or falling numbers.  Vermont Public does a nice job of describing the 802 proposal in this article

To put this concept in play for Essex Jct. and Essex Town, the proposed population increase is 23%.  Assuming the population of the Town and Junction to be 11,000 each, the population of each municipality in 2035 would be 13,500 or an increase of 2,500 in 11 years.  Said another way, the Town and the City would each add 225 residents per year over the next decade.  

As you can see, Kevin has an impressive bio.  Before Vermont Futures, he worked at UVM and attended Middlebury College.  

Kevin Chu grew up in Vermont and is looking forward to growing old here too. He is the son of immigrants and spent most of his early years living and learning in Burlington. A graduate of Middlebury College, he studied the environment and education while also competing in track and field. Prior to joining the Vermont Futures Project, Kevin worked at the University of Vermont, where he led efforts in recruiting for diversity, academic advising, communications, community engagement and economic development, and strategic planning. He is now the Executive Director of the Vermont Futures Project, a nonpartisan organization that is working to answer the mission question: “How can we use data to support the evolution of Vermont’s economy towards a thriving future with opportunity for all?”