"We are trying to create a few new affordable housing units so that people have a chance to move beyond shelter and regain their independence," said Rita Markley, Executive Director of the Committee on Temporary Shelter.
Markley says Vermonters are in desperate need for affordable homes. That's why COTS has plans to make additions to its current administrative building on North Avenue to add a new day station and affordable housing units. The daystation is currently housed temporarily at the First Methodist United Church in Burlington. Those in need can use computers to aid in their job search, get financial counseling and meet with veterans and women's groups. COTS moved to the church after the old daystation was damaged in a flood, but they need a permanent home. COTS officials say converting the conference room on North Avenue to the new daystation makes sense, as does the other planned additions. The affordable housing will be built on the second floor and will contain between 12 and 16 units.
Just next to the North Street building sits a residential area. What do people in those homes think about their possible new neighbors? "A lot of homeless people do use the area in and around our neighborhood -- both at the parking lot down by COTS and battery park, so it would be helpful for them to have some place to go," said Oren Guttmann, a neighbor.
Although Guttmann welcomes the idea, he says he has spoken with some of his neighbors who own homes in the area, and they have a different point of view. "People who do, I could see them having many varying opinions on it," Guttmann said.
Markley says what the neighbors think is important. She says they have had meetings and will continue to communicate with residents as the project moves along. "I think people are always nervous when there is change. What we are trying to do is so before we have everything set in concrete, we are trying to get their input first," she said.
Markley says construction will take two to three years and they are in the very early stages of making plans and getting city permits.
Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:07 AM EDT2014-04-16 04:07:42 GMT
Rain, flooding and now snow. This weather rollercoaster is causing problems all around our region. Temps have dropped so the heavy rainfall has switched to snow. Rivers are spilling their banks, roadsMore >>
Rain, flooding and now snow. This weather rollercoaster is causing problems all around our region. Temps have dropped so the heavy rainfall has switched to snow.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 8:08 PM EDT2014-04-16 00:08:37 GMT
Flood warnings are in effect around our region as heavy rains begin to move through. There is already localized flooding at some of the typical problem spots, like the wrong-way bridge on Route 15 inMore >>
Parts of our region are already flooding and others are bracing as heavy rains move through. Not only is rain falling fast, but warm temperatures Monday melted snow, adding to high waters.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 7:06 PM EDT2014-04-15 23:06:00 GMT
A man had to be pulled from the Black River in Springfield Tuesday morning. The Hartford Fire Department says it's working to pull a man out from the river. They say he got stuck about 75 feet out inMore >>
Vermont emergency workers have rescued a man stranded in the middle of a treacherous section of river in downtown Springfield. More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 5:02 PM EDT2014-04-15 21:02:17 GMT
The sex crimes trial of a former prison guard has been delayed. Jury draw was scheduled to begin Monday for Richard Gallow. He is charged with sexual assault and lewd and lascivious conduct on a femaleMore >>
The sex crimes trial of a former prison guard has been delayed.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 7:27 PM EDT2014-04-15 23:27:17 GMT
Arson at the Albany Fire Department was an inside job. On Tuesday former firefighter Elmer Joerg pleaded no contest to setting the blaze. Investigators say the former volunteer was caught on camera settingMore >>
An arson at the Albany Fire Department was an inside job.More >>
Tuesday, April 15 2014 7:26 PM EDT2014-04-15 23:26:03 GMT
There was a plea deal for a man who triggered a 5 hour standoff in Newport last fall. Derek Niles pleaded no contest to reckless endangerment Tuesday. He got a deferred sentence and will be on probationMore >>
There was a plea deal for a man who triggered a 5 hour standoff in Newport last fall. More >>