Community Development

205 South Street
Bennington, VT 05201
Phone: 802-442-1037 | Fax: 802-442-1068

Shannon Barsotti, Community Development Director

Hours: Monday – Friday 7:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Community Development

Community Development

With approximately 16,000 residents, the Bennington community provides a diverse cross-section of the socio-economic make-up of the region. Likewise, diverse cultures and interests drive the community forward towards a sustainable vision.

Whether living, working or just visiting Bennington, this close-knit community is what keeps people coming back. Our safe and friendly environment encourages interaction and social debates that are on the forefront of the conversation across the nation.

The Office of Community Development provides oversight of the municipality’s efforts related to the advancement of the Bennington community in the areas of public health, recreation, the arts, thriving schools, heathy homes, safe neighborhoods, and economic vitality.

The Community Development Director administers the Town’s Revolving Loan Programs, identifies grant opportunities, manages the Community Development Block Grant funding, and is the Town’s liaison to state and federal agencies related to community and economic development.

Economic Development

The Town’s low interest business loan program provides funding to small business owners looking to start or grow their business in Bennington.

The Town’s housing loan program provides funding to low and moderate income families so that facilities can be maintained and kept up to code, and to insure that quality housing is always available.

Affordable Housing Partners

NeighborWorks of Western Vermont:


In 2003 NWWVT became the first rural chartered NeighborWorks member in the country. NeighborWorks USA is a national network of housing and community revitalization organizations. NeighborWorks of Western Vermont services Bennington, Rutland and Addison Counties by providing services to homeowners that assist with building efficiency, redevelopment and development efforts. This is primarily done through the organization’s H.E.A.T. Squad program.

Shires Housing:

Shires Housing

Shires Housing (formerly Regional Affordable Housing Corporation, or RAHC) is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit housing development corporation serving Bennington County and headquartered in Bennington. Shires Housing’s mission is to provide safe, decent and perpetually affordable housing options for limited income residents of Bennington County. Shires Housing has a staff of fourteen and a nine member Board of Trustees consisting of local volunteers.

Economic Development Partners

Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce

Bennington Area Chamber of Commerce

The Bennington Regional Chamber of Commerce promotes, leads and advocates a unified effort, on behalf of its members, to maintain and improve a healthy business climate and rewarding quality of life for the entire Shires of Vermont region.

Better Bennington Corporation

The mission of the Better Bennington Corporation is to lead and support public and private efforts that enhance downtown as the vital commercial and cultural heart of the community.



The Bennington County Regional Commission (BCRC) was created to build strong, resilient, and sustainable communities, to foster economic prosperity, and to promote a high quality of life for residents of the region.

Town wide Recreation Initiatives: The Community Development Director works with the Parks and Recreation Department to support community wellness through infrastructure and program development.

Bennington Recreation Center
Full of Possibilities – Berkshire Family YMCA and Bennington Recreation Center 2019


Community Recreation Partners include:

Arts and Cultural Activities: The Town of Bennington partnered with the Town of Manchester to create the Bennington County Cultural Plan.

Bennington County Cultural Plan


Community Arts Partners include:

Bennington – Vermont Begins Here

The Town of Bennington marketing and tourism site.

Citizen Survey

2018 Citizen Survey Results
The next Citizen’s Survey will be in 2020.