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Advocates push for expanding hotel housing for the homeless

Published: Nov. 3, 2021 at 6:35 AM EDT
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MONTPELIER, Vt. (WCAX) - Vermont state leaders say more homeless people can live in hotels once the colder weather hits but stress it’s not a permanent solution.

There are about 1,500 Vermonters living in hotels and 500 people in shelters. There are also some people living on the streets or in camps.

Advocates and top lawmakers say homeless Vermonters who are not in hotels or shelters should have a place to live, but state leaders say hotel capacity is an issue and the program isn’t sustainable. They contend that permanent housing is the solution.

State leaders say hotels need to be vetted to determine whether they can support homeless Vermonters.

“It’s up to us to make sure the hotels are capable to do the things that we need done to house people,” Vermont Human Services Secretary Mike Smith said.

The governor also says lawmakers need to act on a $250 million permanent housing investment this coming session.

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