By Guy Page
About $125 million of federal recovery funding will help the State acquire longterm housing for Vermont’s homeless, Gov. Phil Scott said at a press conference today.
At present many Vermont hotels and motels are filled with homeless people. $46 million in federal funding has extended this program through June. Traditional homeless shelters are unable to meet demand, especially due to the social distancing requirements. But this summer “we will be returning to tourism, and the number of [available] hotel rooms will decline,” an administration official said. Besides, the current funding to house homeless in motels is “just not financially sustainable,” she said.
A reporter pressed the governor for details about the longterm solutions. Of the $1 billion in somewhat discretionary federal funding in the most recent recovery package, about $250 million will go to housing. Of this funding, about half ($125 million) will go to acquiring more permanent housing for homeless Vermonters. This acquisition will include building new housing, upgrading existing housing, or buying motels and hotels, Gov. Scott said.
Social workers also will work with homeless individuals to develop plans for transitioning to permanent housing, administration officials said.
Also, County Courier Editor Greg Lamoureux asked about the state’s plan to lift the current eviction moratorium. No date yet, he was told.
Gov. Scott acknowledged the eviction moratorium has been source of frustration, but “the people we’ve been able to help have been substantial,” Gov Scott said. Courts are beginning to reopen to hear eviction cases. Administration officials pledged to discuss the issue more with Lamoureux.
Photo: Taylor Street, Montpelier housing, including some units for low-income and homeless Vermonters.
Categories: State Government