House to consider amendment restoring ‘homeless hotel’ program

By Guy Page

An 11th-hour amendment offered by the Vermont House Human Services Committee chair Theresa Wood (D-Waterbury) seeks to continue the pandemic-era Emergency Housing program. The amendment is likely to come before House members at today’s session of the Legislature, called to address Gov. Phil Scott’s veto of several bills, including the budget. 

The amendment appears to be an attempt to entice the 17 Democrat and Progressive legislators who refused to vote for the budget last month because it didn’t extend the ‘homeless hotel’ emergency housing program housing to up to 2700 people. Federal funds have dried up, leaving the program funded by state revenue, or not at all.

Filed at 4:51 PM yesterday, Wood’s ‘strike-all’ amendment to a Senate amendment to H.171 declares ”that vulnerable Vermonters should continue to be housed while sufficient time is allocated for developing alternative housing placements, including emergency housing beds, and furthering community collaboration.”

The amendment sets guidelines for eligibility, including contributing 30% of household income. The lion’s share of the funding would come from existing revenue, specifically the “balance of the Other Infrastructure, Essential Investments, and Reserves subaccount in the Cash Fund for Capital and Essential Investments.”

The initiative authorizes the Scott administration to “use available resources” to “phase-out” the homeless hotel Emergency Housing program: “The Agency of Administration is authorized to use available resources as necessary to assist in the implementation of the phase-out of the pandemic-era General Assistance Emergency Housing Program.”

Emergency Housing program advocate Brenda Siegal said the bill doesn’t go far enough: “This bill addresses a small subset of the population and only if they are able to clear the hurdles for their survival. If this bill passes as written, than those who can jump the hoops will remain sheltered, but those who can not will be penalized by living outside.”

Categories: Legislation

11 replies »

  1. Perhaps they could use the climate change and DEI funding to help the homeless as a temporary stop gap measure? It is an emergency after all and surely the bleeding hearts can put our stolen money where their mouth is, couldn’t they?

  2. They all knew it was coming to an end they had plenty of time to find housing. Another Democrat over reach

  3. When will this finally stop or are we from now on surposed to keep paying for everyone else’s problems with tax money because with our current society homelessness is never going to stop.

  4. Has this legislature lost all realization that Vermont still relies heavily on tourism for it’s revenue? The reputation of Vermont’s hotels being used as flophouses for junkies has already spread around the country and I have personally heard from people living outside of Vermont that they are wary of coming here for that reason.
    Do these bleeding hearts know what a “motel” is supposed to be used for? Who voted for these idiots?

  5. The fact of the matter is that the State has had 2 years to find homes/solutions for these people and instead have chosen to pay $7000 a month to house them on the tax payers dime.

    Look at this article from WCAX in June of 2021:
    “The goal is to have fewer than 1,000 people in hotels, down from 2,600 at the peak of the pandemic” – https://www.wcax.com/2021/06/08/state-cut-back-homeless-hotel-vouchers/

    The idea that they need more time to find a solution is preposterous, they have added to it.

    This is a stunt by useless politicians to further their own career and pretend like they care. It’s more likely that their own policies will further create homeless families in the name of DEI or climate change than it is that they will ever “solve” a single problem.

    ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. One would think they have already enough time to resolve this problem. Heck for $7,000 a month we could have probably bought them all houses at this point!

  7. Hey. If you want people to move to Vermont, this is just the ticket. Unfortunately, the demographic draw will do nothing to improve the economy or lower taxes. In fact, just the opposite will result.

    • The revenue can be obtained by a constant stream of lawsuits against deep-pocket companies that our Attorney General claims have “hurt Vermonters”. The vagrants the legislature continually attracts here like birds to a feeder are only brought to add to the victim rolls and as new democrat voters. Did I get that right?

  8. Where are there affordable rentals? Landlords jacked up the rents to get the emergency rental money, now even tenants paying up to 70% can’t find affordable housing,
    There should have been a plan in place before the money ran out, and why were people already in subsidized rentals paying 30% of their income, told they didn’t have to pay anymore! So messed up!

  9. Thomas Sowell wrote about patterns of failure in The Vision of The Anointed. Its laid out in 4 stages: the crisis, the solution, the results and the response.
    “Often the so called crisis has been actually improving years prior to legislative introvention. Advocates of the solution (lefties) say it will lead to results X while critics (conservatives) say it will lead to Y. Advocates claim the critic’s claims as absurd and “simplistic”, if not dishonest. The results are policies that as critics predicted lead to Y. The response are proponents dismissing critic’s correct predictions for ignoring the “complexities” involved and “many factors” that went into determining the outcome. The burden of proof is put on the critics to demonstrate to a certainty that the policies of the proponents alone were the only possible cause of the worsening that occurred. No burden of proof whatever is put on those who had so confidently predicted improvement.
    Indeed, it is often asserted that things would’ve been even worse, were it not for the wonderful programs that mitigated the inevitable damage from other factors.” Examples where this has taken place include, but are not limited to, LBJ’s “war on poverty”, 1960’s “sex education” in public schools, “criminal justice” reform from a “compassionate” viewpoint and now locally vermont’s “homeless” or housing “crisis”. Congratulations democrats, you predictably and consistently fail. Wake up vermont. Wake up America.

  10. Advocates for this free motel room policy need to be made aware that when you provide the privacy of a motel room for someone with an opioid issue, that greatly increases the likelihood that they will die alone of an overdose. If the “housing is a human right” advocates instead would put them in a group setting, it is likely that someone will be around to observe their overdose and be able to intervene. Providing privacy for junkies is a death sentence. Do you hear that, Brenda Siegel?

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