Built capital is also known as physical capital. Green and Haines define physical capital as, “the stock of buildings (houses, retail stores, factories) and infrastructure (roads, water, sewers) in a locality.” (2016, p.190) Residents, companies, or town departments can invest in physical capital if they seek to generate profit down the line or pass existing infrastructure to future generations. Investments in built capital also provide residents immediate and long-term benefits, which simultaneously help residents, meet their basic needs.
The village of Richmond, Vermont has historically been the epicenter of town for residents. It’s where the municipal department is located, which includes the fire, highway, water resources, and police departments; the Richmond Free Library; and Richmond Rescue. There is also a local grocery store, several gas stations and restaurants, a hardware store, and multiple auto repair businesses. Most residents have access to adequate housing according to the “Our Town, Our Future” website which reports, “ 20% of Richmond’s housing stock was built before 1939. 27% was built in 1990 or later. The rest was primarily built in the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. The largest percentage – more than 400 units- was built in the 1970s.” However, access to affordable housing can be an issue for community’s lower income residents, which according to the data page on Richmond’s “Our Town, Our Future” website are 5.2% of Richmond’s 4,081 residents are below the poverty level.
Residents above or below the poverty line lack access to local community financial development institutions in Richmond. However, the Vermont Community Loan Fund known as VCLF in nearby Montpelier is an accessible organization for residents seeking loans. They are a community-focused alternative lender and “make loans to local businesses, community organizations & nonprofits, child care providers and developers of affordable housing who don’t qualify for a loan from a traditional lender.” (The Vermont Community Loan Fund, 2016). They also have services including financial consulting that give borrowers access to educational tools they need to succeed.
Green, G .P. & Haines, Foster (2016). Asset Building & Community Development. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications, Inc.
Richmond: Our Town, Our Future. (2015). Richmond Data. Retrieved from http://richmondvtfuture.weebly.com/richmond-data.html
The Vermont Community Loan Fund. (2016). About. Retrieved from: http://www.investinvermont.org/about