How Vermont used CARES Act money to help house the homeless

Published: Dec. 28, 2020 at 5:03 PM EST
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - We’re learning more about where millions of federal dollars were spent to help house Vermont’s homeless.

Most counties got some assistance. In all, Vermont used more than $34 million in CARES Act money on 26 sites, improving 12 shelters and creating or rehabbing 243 homes. Many of those new homes are rooms in five motels that were purchased and converted to transition apartments. The Vermont Housing and Conservation Board says that was a quick way to use the CARES Act money which had to be spent before the end of the year.

“Usually a housing development is in planning for six months to a year and then there’s a year’s period of construction. So, we needed to find opportunities around the state that could be put to work really quickly,” said Gus Seelig of the Vermont Housing and Conservation Board.

Despite all those investments, the VHCB says Vermont will need more federal assistance because their work only served about a quarter of those who need housing help right now.

Watch the video to see our Cat Viglienzoni’s full interview with Gus Seelig with more on how the money was used and what’s next.

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