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With influx of federal funds, Scott administration expands emergency motel housing program until March 2022

A brick motel with greenery out front and blue sky in the background
Elodie Reed
/
VPR File
Starting Nov. 22, individuals who make less than $24,000 a year, and don’t currently have access to housing, will be eligible for free motel rooms until March 1, 2022.

Advocates for homeless Vermonters won a major victory on Wednesday when the Scott administration expanded eligibility for its emergency motel housing program.

Starting Nov. 22, individuals who make less than $24,000 a year, and don’t currently have access to housing, will be eligible for free motel rooms until March 1, 2022.

Sean Brown, commissioner of the Vermont Department for Children and Families, says he expects several hundred unhoused Vermonters to sign up for the housing program.

“By starting it on Nov. 22 and running through the coldest weather months, it provides those reassurances that they will be housed continuously," Brown said.

The Scott administration had previously planned to provide universal access to shelter only when temperatures dipped below 20 degrees. Brown says the state is working to secure motel capacity in advance of the program’s start date

Federal funds will cover 100% of the cost of the new program.

Housing advocates and faith leaders had been calling on Gov. Phil Scott to expand the emergency motel housing program during cold-weather months.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or get in touch with reporter Peter Hirschfeld @PeteHirschfeld.

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