Burlington homeless pod proposal faces delays

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 6:21 PM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - Plans for a parking lot full of pods to house the homeless in Burlington’s Old North End are still on, but delayed.

The city was originally aiming to have people move into the pods by July. Now, city officials say navigating setback regulations mean it might be several more months before they can get the permits allowing them to convert the Elmwood Avenue parking lot.

The project needs to get the Burlington Development Review Board’s stamp of approval. At a previous meeting, they were in the middle of a public hearing when a lawyer for an adjoining property maintained the city hadn’t followed proper processes to get the project off the ground and the meeting was paused.

Now, the city is going back to present its case to the DRB 20 days from now. Another hurdle is finding an organization to run the 30 pod community, which the city says is now one of it’s primary focuses.

According to city officials, the number of chronic homeless has ballooned during the pandemic. Before they say there were around upwards of 30 chronically homeless people in the county, Now they estimate there to be around 250.

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