St. Jay inn reaches temporary agreement with city over homeless shelter

Published: Nov. 29, 2022 at 4:25 PM EST
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ST. JOHNSBURY, Vt. (WCAX) - Enforcement action against a Saint Johnsbury hotel operating as a shelter has been delayed.

The Fairbanks Inn in Saint Johnsbury wanted to operate as a temporary shelter for unhoused Vermonters, but the city’s development review board shot it down, saying that it was breaking local zoning laws.

The inn was set to fight the decision this week in court but the owners reached a temporary agreement with the city and will revisit the violation in March.

Federal funding for hotel vouchers is drying up and Gov. Phil Scott says using hotels was a temporary solution for battling homelessness. “I don’t think it’s beneficial for them either because of the wraparound services -- or lack thereof -- so we think it’s going to be important to get these units on the ground as fast as we can,” Scott said.

The governor says he expects to work with lawmakers this coming session on local zoning and Act 250 reforms to aid in the building of more homes.

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St. Johnsbury schools looking into a homeless student policy