Officials seek ways to help those losing hotel-motel voucher lodging
Burlington, Vermont officials are working with the Chittenden County Homeless Alliance to find ways to help individuals losing lodging as a state-level pandemic-era hotel-motel voucher program ends.
The voucher program was initially funded by the federal government as a way to prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus by low-income and unhoused residents in congregate settings. After the federal funding stopped, the state continued the program But the state is phasing the program out and issued a request for Letters of Intent on May 22nd asking how municipalities will respond. Democratic Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger said Monday he supports an orderly sunset of the voucher program.
“However for the state to later this summer for them at the end of July to turn out elderly Vermonters, people living with disabilities and worst of all young children and families to live in tents or congregate shelters for months would be unacceptable.”
The city and partners suggest three strategies: the creation of a temporary emergency congregate shelter; a day shelter would be co-located at the downtown Burlington facility. And the Chittenden County Homeless Alliance is proposing to transition 165 households to permanent housing over a 5 to 8-month period with an extension of the voucher program until they can be placed.